10th grade student Tyler Diggs is off to a great start in his first year here at PALCS! Tyler is a very talented ballet dancer and is also now a member of the University Scholars Program (USP) at PALCS. Tyler is 15 years old and is from Bucks County.

The Diggs family discovered PALCS from speaking with a few students who are members of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, who attend or have graduated from PALCS as well as participated in USP and the Center for Performing and Fine Arts (CPFA). Tyler’s mother, Carmina, explained that they chose PALCS over other schools because all of the PALCS graduates that they know who have went on to attend college at reputable schools.

Carmina’s main concern when considering cyber school for Tyler’s education was the lack of socialization if he was enrolled in a cyber program full time. Although he has friends at his ballet school, Tyler’s mom wanted him to be able to socialize and interact with peers who had a wide range of interests, not just dance. The reason their current situation in a brick and mortar school was not working out was because there was little to no flexibility when it can to pursuing serious ambitions outside of the schools usual programs. The blended program of PALCS USP allows Tyler the balance of freedom and time to pursue dance and at the same time have friends who are outside of the dance world. These types of programs are perfect for families who are looking to find something that works for their students who are academically motivated but at the same time are pursuing passions that are outside of the typical school model.

“I would definitely recommend PALCS and the USP program to anyone who is looking for an alternative to a brick and mortar school and still wants to make sure that their child is achieving high academic goals” says Carmina.

Since enrolling at PALCS, Carmina has noticed that Tyler is less stressed and is no longer faced with the choice between excelling in school or pursuing his dance ambitions, PALCS allows him to do both. Tyler and his mom agree that the convenience of being able to attend live virtual classes when his schedule permits and watching or re-watching the recordings really helps with his erratic schedule. “He gets as much work done in less time than if he were at his former high school because he can proceed at a pace that works for him,” explains Carmina.

The transition from his previous brick and mortar school to PALCS was very smooth. Tyler was use to doing his school work at home because there were so many times where he would have to catch up on the work that he missed from being absent due to his dance commitments. His PALCS teachers have been extremely helpful with the transition as well, being easily accessible and readily available to assist him with his courses. Tyler really enjoys the small class sizes offered as opposed to the larger classes at his previous school. He also loves how hands on the teachers are and how they engage the class in discussions.

For the first time, Tyler feels comfortable letting people know that he is a ballet dancer and can now wear whatever and be whoever he wants without the fear of being judged or not fitting in. He has quickly made some great friends at PALCS that he can relate to and be himself around.

Tyler has been taking ballet since the age of 7, and almost 9 years later he still dances 20-30 hours a week on average. He hopes to make a career out of his passion for dancing and to eventually be invited to join a ballet company. Carmina also has hopes that following high school Tyler will consider applying to college and conservatories. Tyler’s favorite subject in school is chemistry; he is fascinated by how different phases of matter and different elements interact with one another. Particularly he likes the math aspect of it and solving equations. His mom personally thinks it is the exactness of math and science that Tyler enjoys. He is currently taking honors chemistry within USP.

We would like to welcome the Diggs family to the PALCS community and thank Tyler and his mother Carmina for sharing their story with us!