Heya, this is Joshua. You can call me Josh for short and this is my story as a teen in Abot Tala. I’m 15, currently homeschooled and Abot Tala made my homeschool life way more fun and gave me a lot of opportunities.
I remember being hesitant in my first class here. I have continued homeschooling because of the pandemic. The quarantine and physical distancing resulted in me not really socializing and talking to new people, in person or even through a Zoom call. (I didn’t use Zoom for years until now). It was an adjustment for me but it was worth doing so.
The first block that I joined was back in October to December 2020. To be honest, I didn’t really put myself out there for the first part of the block as I was still adjusting to Abot Tala but in the latter part of the block, I started to open up and decided hey, why not do some stuff? I didn’t regret that.
Abot Tala helped me through my academic classes and sparked new interests. And, I think the relationship with my mentors has a lot to do with it. I can have conversations with them about anything and they are always ready to help. I didn’t have to worry about their reactions to my questions or whether they will look down on me because I needed additional support. Most of all, it is way better than having only my mom to talk about school stuff for more than a year.
During the Scriptorium class, Teacher Mich made us write a personal essay that I thought, at first, was a writing exercise as per usual. But at the end, she revealed that the prompts for the essay were from Inquirer’s “Love.Life” column. I decided to submit my essay to the Inquirer which I could’ve submitted earlier than when I did but well, Christmas and New Year got the best of me.
Knowing the fact that my essay got accepted and it was going to be posted didn’t hit me until, well, it got posted. It was surreal but made me very happy. I wouldn’t be able to do something like this without Abot Tala. The opportunities given to me are plentiful and very useful to me.
The plan was for me to do Abot Tala for only one block. But, I wanted to do more so I enrolled for my second block and oh boy, did I not expect that I’d release my very own podcast with Abot Tala radio. One of my insecurities was the sound of my voice and how it sounded being recorded and doing this podcast helped me a lot to overcome that insecurity. Not only that, but the teens and mentors, even though they might not know it, helped me a lot as well.
And now, back to the present. As I am typing this, the block is about to end and woohoo! I found a way to convince my Mom to join the next block. I am sure excited as to what new projects I will work on.
To read Josh’s published essay on Inquirer.net: More Than 14 Reasons to Keep Going
To listen to Josh’s Crime Table podcast, click here. Make sure you click on Podcasts, then just go over to The Crime Table’s tab.
To check out Josh’s photography, click here.
A note from Josh’s mentor, Mich Alagao:
Josh Ira’s curiosity, friendliness, diligence, and openness are much appreciated by his mentors and the Abot Tala community. He has embraced self-directed learning by exploring topics and doing activities that he finds enriching and interesting, of his own accord. It’s a delight to have him in my classes and I am glad to be one of his mentors during this season of his life.