The sounds of waves crashing against the shore is something 15-year-old Tao Rodriguez loves to hear. An avid surfer, Tao has been hitting the waves off the coast of his native Panama since the age of five. And now he is taking his surfing hobby to the next level by competing in dozens of events all over the world.
“Competing is difficult and complicated,” Tao said. “One has to be ready for everything.”
Fortunately, Tao has time to train for competitions and prepare for anything that might happen on the water. Thanks to his online classes at The Keystone School, Tao can balance training for the next competition while still focusing on his studies.
With an online school, Tao can take his classroom with him wherever he goes. Whether he attends his classes from his home in Panama or from a surfing competition in California, having the ability to access his classes wherever there is an internet connection helps Tao to keep up.
Taking his classwork with him not only improves his ability to concentrate on his studies, but also helps Tao to focus when he’s competing. When he was enrolled in a brick-and-mortar school, he couldn’t arrive early to competition sites because he would fall behind in his work. Now that he can take his classes with him, Tao can arrive in advance and get a sense of the local waves. This helps him to feel more at ease when competing and the excitement that he gets from these competitions is more rewarding.
“Surfing helps me to connect with nature and the people around me,” Tao said. “I think there is no better feeling in the world, and I enjoy every minute of it.”
While surfing helps to connect Tao with the world around him, he still devotes himself to his coursework. Despite a demanding schedule, Tao maintains high grades and remains dedicated to his academics. When he struggles with a class, such as chemistry, he knows that his teachers are there to help him and make sure he is on track.
Tao’s mother, Flor, is grateful for the opportunities that Keystone provides for him. “I feel very proud that my son can organize his time and also earn good grades,” she said. Flor added that Tao’s schedule now offers more time for their family to be together. This includes spending time at their family-owned surf shop, where Tao occasionally teaches lessons alongside his parents.
Looking towards his future, Tao is confident in pursuing a career in surfing after graduating. “I want to live by surfing,” Tao said. “It is very difficult to reach that level, but I am confident that I can do anything.”
With the surf season running from January to November, Tao is prepared for a busy year ahead. However, he has one less worry knowing that he will not fall behind in his classes, thanks to the opportunities Keystone provides.
To learn more about the Keystone School, visit https://www.keystoneschoolonline.com/