A Day in the Life of an Online High School Student

If you’re an online student, you are all too familiar with the question, “So, what do you do all day?”

The answer? Well, schoolwork.

Don’t worry, students. We know you work hard. Whether you take the traditional or online route, earning that high school diploma is hard work.

But we will admit that without the barrier of a physical classroom comes some benefits.

Donald Mitchell, an assistant principal for an online high school, put together a “Sample Schedule” of a successful online student. Check it out!

  • 8 a.m.: Gather learning tools (pencil, paper, headphones, etc.)
  • 8:05 a.m.: Log in to the PSP
  • 8:10 a.m.: Launch course and starting working the day’s lesson
  • 9:40 a.m.: BREAK TIME
  • 9:50 a.m.: Return to computer and continue with lesson
  • 11 a.m.: Wrap of the day’s lesson
  • noon: Lunch time
  • Repeat for the second lesson.

Let’s take a closer look into a day in the life of an online student.

What Does an Online Student Do All Day?

Let’s start with the morning.

Online students are not required to wake up at a certain time. They are required to complete assignments on time, but when and where they choose to do so is up to them.

In other words, yes. You can sleep in.

That will mean you finish courses later in the day. But if that’s what you prefer, you go for it!


What will my courses look like?

Once you wake up and get ready, you log in to your Parent Student Portal (PSP) account where you will see school announcements and access your courses. Once you launch a course, what does it look like? Keep on reading!

iSucceed online courses are unique to other online schools. They are not simply a bunch of words on the page. In addition to reading, there are interactive multimedia elements integrated throughout each lesson. These elements include award-winning videos, graphic-novel stories, educational games and more to help you enjoy what you’re learning.

If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum, head to this blog post.

Now let’s move to lunch

Since you set your schedule, lunch is whatever you want, whenever you want. Hungry by 10:30 a.m.? Great! Take a break and eat.

Late snacker? That’s fine, too. Plus, if you go somewhere with Wi-Fi, you can work on courses while you eat. Most of our students are more than happy to say goodbye to that cafeteria food.

What if I have a Question?

Teachers hold the same qualifications in both traditional and online school. Should you have a question, you can easily ask your teachers via email, instant messaging, a phone call or live online tutoring.

Head to this blog post to learn more about communicating with online instructors.

You finished school for the day, what’s next?


If you’re one to get up early and finish your coursework early, you might be wondering what to do with the rest of your day. We have a couple suggestions: Hit up the PSP chat or join us at an event!

iSucceed has a staff-monitored community where you can connect with other students and “friend” them. There are also several in-person school events held throughout the year so you can come meet classmates and make friends.

I need a flexible schedule. Can you work with me?

Of course! Many of our students are aspiring athletes or artists, have a job, illness or other family responsibilities that make the traditional school schedule complicated.

The above sample schedule is just that: a sample. You are not tied to 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. As long as you complete your lessons and assignments on time, you can choose when you complete your class work.

To see more differences between traditional school and the online environment, head to this blog post.

Thinking online high school might be right for you? Head to, or give us a call at 480.405.2703.

  • Students, what does your typical day look like? Share with us in the comments below!

Mr. Clayton Trehal--iSucceed's Principal

This past school year, iSucceed received a new principal!

Clayton Trehal has been a teacher for 16 years, a vice principal for four years and is now with iSucceed as the Principal for the past year. Learn more about Principal Trehal below!

About Principal Trehal

 Principal Trehal is a true Idahoan–he loves the great outdoors. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fishing, snowboarding, mountain biking and walking. Although there is one outdoor activity he doesn’t enjoy:

“I wish I liked running even a quarter as much as I like walking,” said Principal Trehal.

While he loves the great outdoors, Principal Trehal also enjoys watching a great movie.

Above all, Principal Trehal’s passion is helping and meeting diverse students.

“Working with our students gives me faith in humanity. You always hear the, ‘Oh, the younger generation is just the worst’ talk, but I doubt that few teachers or folks that actually work with the younger generation believe that,” said Principal Trehal. I’ve been in education for 16 years now, and every year I meet outstanding students of great character and integrity, who work hard to succeed and do what’s right. You realize that lots of young people are great quality people.”

For more tips on excelling in online school, head to this blog post.

Before coming to iSucceed, Principal Trehal was in a traditional, brick-and-mortar high school. Transitioning into the online realm comes with both its advantages and challenges, as Principal Trehal said.

“The advantages of being a principal of an online school are that we don’t really spend a lot of time dealing with discipline issues and I’m not constantly at a sporting event. So we get to spend more time on students.”

The challenge Principal Trehal faces is helping students stay on track in schoolwork. To help, there is something he always tells iSucceed students:

“I always ask students to tell me what would happen in brick and mortar school if they only went to school two days a week, and the predictable answer is that they would fail,” said Principal Trehal. “I tell them that the same thing is true with our school, but that it’s easier to miss school because we are not sitting on the students’ couches telling them to log in.”

Principal Trehal said being an administrator for an online school means he has to personally reach out to many students since he does not physically see them every day. Doing so has helped him get to personally know many iSucceed students.

“It’s been awesome working with online students because there are so many various reasons they are here and it’s amazing to see them juggle school, work, unique circumstances and to do well at all of these,” said Principal Trehal.

For the past 16 years, Principal Trehal has impacted many students’ lives by helping them achieve their goals. But if you ask him, it’s the students who are impacting his life. The most rewarding thing to Principal Trehal is seeing a student succeed.

“There is nothing cooler than reading a well-written essay that you know a student put a lot of work into, or seeing a marginal student turn themselves around, or, best of all to me, writing letters of recommendation for students’ college applications, and then hearing back from them a year or two later,” said Principal Trehal. “To play any role in helping a person move forward toward their goals and to know that you are at least a small part in helping them become the person they are meant to be is really the great reward of choosing teaching as a profession.”

When it comes to sharing advice, Principal Trehal wants to take a unique route using a picture:

“This is not a picture of a mini-Pac Man game. It’s a cardboard box for Valentine’s Day cards that my daughter and I put A LOT of work into, and we were proud of the finished result. And isn’t that true about everything in life? You get out what you put in, and giving something your all is always a victory.”

  • Students, do you have an iSucceed faculty member you’d like to give a shoutout to? Share with us in the comments below!

iSucceed's Spring 2017 Roadshow

iSucceed is back on the road and ready to help you get you enrolled for fourth quarter (Q4) classes starting April 3! We will be at various locations throughout Idaho for you to come meet our staff, enroll onsite and enjoy some treats at our Info Session Road Show.

The Details

There will be six info sessions taking place throughout the state March 24 – 30. Each event will have teachers and/or staff members available to answer your questions and help you get enrolled onsite.

Current iSucceed students are welcome to join as well! Come meet your teachers, receive or drop off your laptops and learn more about your school.

If you’ve recently enrolled, then be sure to drop by! These sessions are designed for you! In these sessions, we will help you learn how to log on your new laptop (if you have it), access your school email and your online classroom.

Did we mention there will be free refreshments available at many of the events? Check out the list below to see which event works best for you.


March 24–25: NORTH IDAHO 

  • Friday, March 24 from noon – 2:30 p.m. at Starbucks. 477100 US-95, Ponderay, ID 83852. Enjoy a free beverage!
  • Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. – noon at Springhill Suites Hotel. 2250 W. Seltice Way Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814. 

March 27–28: EAST IDAHO

  • Monday, March 27 from 2 – 5 p.m.  at Residence Inn. 635 W. Broadway, Idaho Falls, 83402.
  • Tuesday, March 28 from 11 a.m.  – 2:30 p.m. at Moxie Java. 430 Blue Lakes Blvd., N Twin Falls, ID 83301. Enjoy a free beverage!

Wednesday, March 29: BOISE

  • 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the iSucceed Office. 6148 N. Discovery Way, Ste 120, Boise, ID 83713. This will also be an open house with presentations to attend. 

Thursday, March 30: CANYON COUNTY 

  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Moxie Java. 2201 N. Cassia St., Nampa, ID 83651. Enjoy a free beverage!

What to Bring

If you plan to enroll onsite, you will need to bring a couple important items with you. Check them out in the image below.


To see the full list of items, download our Enrollment Packet. Students who express a financial need can receive a Google Chromebook to use free of charge while they are enrolled.

Q4 classes start April 3. Start your online application today at

We will see you along the road!

  • Do you have questions about the Info Session Road Show? Share with us in the comments below; we’re happy to help!

How to Focus on Homework and Stop Procrastinating

It happens every day. There’s the ever-piling list of things to do.

You can continue to sleep in, but it won’t disappear. And while we know you don’t want to hear it, every decision you’re making now impacts your future. Better grades mean more opportunities after high school.

We know completing homework can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few easy changes you can implement now to start seeing improvements today. Check out the tips below.

Tips to Focus on Homework

Tip 1: Exercise First

Studies show that cardio-based exercises boost your memory and thinking skills. Cardio based means doing something that accelerates your heart rate. This can include jogging, riding a bike, playing a sport or anything you like to do that’s fast-paced.

If you exercise right before starting schoolwork, it will get your blood flowing. This will help your brain become more active and ready to focus on homework.

Tip 2: Set a Routine

With the benefit of flexibility in online schooling comes the need for discipline. As Donald Mitchell, assistant principal in an online high school, stated:

“To be successful in your courses…create a daily schedule for yourself.  Remember, you are required to spend at least three hours on each course that you are assigned on a daily basis.”

In other words, it can be easy to fall behind. But it’s also easy to stay on track if you stick to a schedule.

How to Make a Schedule:

  1. Get a planner, or use a free online application.
    A planner is still the best way to stay organized.
  2. Think about your week; include every plan.
    Write everything you want and need to do that week. Do you want to fit in some time to skateboard? Great! Schedule it in. Just remember: Try to be active right before starting coursework!
  3. Be realistic:

    “If you are a night person, then be a night person.  If you know you only like to work online for 30 minutes at a time, then plan breaks between your 30 minutes.” – Mrs. Lauree Russell, online math instructor.

  4. Stick to your schedule.
    Things happen, and you might have to adjust your schedule. But stick to it, even when it’s time to do something you’re not looking forward to. If you decided to start that project Tuesday at 2 p.m., that’s when you need to do it.
  5. Keep writing out your weekly schedule
    It takes work and a lot of upkeep, but stay motivated. Don’t fall behind on that planner.

When planning, try to do schoolwork about the same time every day, in a familiar location. It will do wonders for your brain! It won’t take long before your brain automatically recognizes that it’s homework time. Then you won’t have to take as long to get started.

Tip 3: Be Prepared

If you have to stop what you’re doing to go grab a snack or a notebook, you’re going to get distracted. Ms. Sarah Gamble, executive director of academics for an online high school, suggests you do the following:

“Have all the materials you need to work ready to go before you start each day,” said Ms. Gamble. “Keep a list of your teacher’s and guidance counselor’s phone numbers, note taking materials, your daily schedule, a glass of water and you are ready to go. This will keep you from getting distracted when you have to leave your work to go find something.”

Tip 4: Establish a WorkSpace

We’re not saying you have to go to the store right now and drop hundreds on a desk, chair and supplies. Your workspace doesn’t have to be traditional. But it does need to be a set place in order to better focus on homework.

Maybe that place is an office in your home. Or perhaps you have a fuzzy bean bag in your room that you love. Whatever you choose, make it a habit, and make sure you’re comfortable to work. After all, that bean bag might be comfy to relax in, but might not be best once you have a laptop and notebook to juggle.

“Make sure your chair is comfy, your computer screen is at eye level and your favorite items are next to your computer,” said Mrs. Russell. This can be items like photos, music, lotion, candles or a favorite soda.

Online high school instructor Amber Day also suggests that you separate your workspace and your sleep space.

“If you do homework in your bed where you sleep, it’s likely going to make you want to take a nap rather than do math homework,” said Ms. Day. “Go somewhere you know you won’t get distracted (or leave) until you finish homework. Make that your routine and doing homework there will become as natural as taking a nap in your bed is.”

For more tips on organizing your workspace, head to this blog post.

Tip 5: Remove All Distractions

 A distraction is anything that deters you from working on courses. This can range from music to your loud little brother.

Let’s take a moment to talk about those smartphones. They’re more detrimental to your homework than you might think.

A study showed that having your phone on silent isn’t enough. Small disturbances like a screen notification could increase errors in your work. It also could prolong the time it takes to complete assignments. Here’s why:

As a researcher from the study stated, “Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt… mind-wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance” (PsychCentral).

Even just being aware of a missed call, an unread text or another notification causes your brain to lose focus on homework. It knows there is something else to do, and it wants to get it finished now.

We recommend setting all smart devices (phone, tablet, etc) in another room. If you are able to forget about it, you will likely finish your homework quicker and make fewer mistakes.

“Turn off your phone, video games, and yes, even your annoying little brother,” said Mrs. Russell. “You might need to consider moving your laptop in a private space or a closet if necessary (smile).”

It’s also best to ask your friends and family not to disturb you during homework.

“Talk to your friends and family about how they can support you,” said Mrs. Benjamin-Baker. “If you work on schoolwork from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day, tell your friends not to text or call during this time.”

Tip 6: Take Notes

Studies show that physically writing on a notebook improves your memory. So if you want to do better on homework and exams, try writing down notes.

“Although we use computers for everything, you are more apt to remember something if you write it down. Write words, draw pictures, use color! Anything you do that will allow you to touch  what you are learning will help!”

– Sarah Gamble, executive director of academics.

Tip 7: Take Breaks

The beauty of online school is that you can take breaks whenever you need. Do you have a hard time staying focused for long periods of time? Then break it up. Try studying for 30 minutes at a time. Remove all distractions and set a timer.

Once the 30 minutes is up, take a 15-minute break, but do something active! Get up and move around, go for a run. Just do something that isn’t sitting.

After 15 minutes, you can return ready to focus on homework. See if you can increase to 45 minutes before taking your next 15-minute break.

Tips to Stop Procrastinating 

So, now you know what to do in order to clear your mind and stay focused on your homework. But actually starting is the hardest part, right? If you’re needing motivation, try these tips.

Tip 1:  Create Rewards to Stay Motivated

If you know you have six assignments to complete in a day, then set aside a small reward for each.

“Know your weaknesses and turn them into rewards,” said Mrs. Benjamin-Baker. “If you like to surf YouTube videos or SnapChat with friends, then reward yourself with these activities AFTER you complete your schoolwork, but not until then.”

 Tip 2: When you get bored, get up and move

As Mrs. Russell said:

“Take a short break and turn on your favorite YouTube music video and have a dance fest. Getting your blood circulating will help your brain and spirit.  Nothin’ like rockin’ out to your fave music!

Now this is the way to do homework, right??!!!”

By breaking up coursework with small, fun tasks, your brain will have more positive associations. This might help you dread starting less.

Tip 3: Reach out to your guidance counselor

Your guidance counselor’s job is to help you with your academic struggles. If you are having trouble starting coursework, reach out to your counselor for help. They are state-certified and dedicated to you.

To learn more about iSucceed’s guidance counselor, head to this blog post.

Coursework is never easy, we know. But by following the tips above, it can become less stressful, and you will (hopefully) be able to focus.

We’ll leave you with one last quote:

“I am here to tell you that you have the power to be as successful as you want to be. Never let others dictate who you are destined to become!” – Donald Mitchel, assistant principal

  • Students, do you have tips to focus on homework? Share with us in the comments below!

Teacher Spotlights: Holly Mortimer

Behind every graduate is a number of dedicated teachers. We’re grateful to our iSucceed instructors, and that’s why we take a moment to shine the light on them in this Teacher Spotlight blog series.

This month, we are excited to spotlight Mrs. Holly Mortimer, an English instructor who is well liked by our students. Learn more about her with these fun questions below.

Mrs. Holly Mortimer, iSucceed English Instructor

1. How many years have you been a teacher?

I taught for 13 years in brick and mortar classrooms, and have been at iSucceed since it opened in 2008.
2. What are some of your hobbies?

Trail running, skiing, reading, cooking, architecture and home design.

3. Why do you enjoy teaching iSucceed students?

 I am impressed by so many of my students who have made the proactive decision to seek out a high school situation that works for them, whether it be because of personal or medical challenges, or outside interests that they are pursuing. I am amazed at how so many of our students juggle multiple commitments–work, family, children, health conditions, education—with grace and discipline. I am proud to be a part of that.
4. What are some benefits you see in online education?

Online education isn’t for everyone at all times, but all of us will have times in our lives when it works for us. Traditional high school works great for some students; online education is there for the rest of us.

5. Have you had a moment when you felt you made an impact on a student’s life at iSucceed?

I had a student who was so committed to his English coursework. He took every opportunity to ask for clarification and input, and he revised all of his projects multiple times. He did this while working full time at a meat packing plant on the night shift

When his mom became ill in Mexico, he had to leave the U.S. to visit her and was concerned that he wouldn’t have enough time to maintain his high grades in his courses. Because our system is flexible, I was able to assure him that he could get caught up when he returned two weeks later. Despite my reassurance, he still walked every other day to an internet cafe to log in and complete some coursework.

When he returned, he sent me a beautiful pottery piece he had brought back; more importantly, he caught right up and earned an A in my senior English course. I was so proud to be part of his success. I know without iSucceed, he would not have been able to graduate from high school.

6. Share with us a piece of advice for your iSucceed students: 

Log in every day and read your messages and announcements. Don’t break the chain of doing that one thing every day at around the same time. Once you are in, it’s easier to get some work done; getting started is the hardest part.

  • Do you have an iSucceed teacher you’d like to give a shoutout to? Share with us in the comments below!

20 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidents You Didn't Know

There’s no doubt, being President of the United States is one of the hardest jobs ever. And While we commend our fearless leaders for their outstanding service, there are some strange and funny facts we bet you didn’t know.

We found hundreds of them, but since President’s Day falls on February 20 this year, we picked out 20 weird facts you can use to impress your friends.

While you’re at it, enjoy some curriculum from our American History courses featured in the Bio Card graphics below. It brings the past alive for iSucceed students as they learn about the more serious side of our nation’s history.

20 Surprising U.S. President Facts

1. George Washington (1787–1797)

Our first president gave the shortest inauguration speech. It was only 133 words and lasted less than two minutes! He also didn’t have enough money to get to his inauguration and had to borrow money from a neighbor.

2. John Adams (1797–1801) & Thomas Jefferson (1801–1817)


Presidents Adams and Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826, which happened to be the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. James Monroe (1817-1825) was the last surviving founding father and he died exactly five years later on July 4, 1831.

3. James Monroe (1817–1825)

The capital of Liberia, Monrovia, was named after President James Monroe.

4. Andrew Jackson (1829–1837)

Rumor has it that President Jackson taught his pet parrot how to curse. At his funeral, the bird had to be taken away because it kept swearing!


5. James Buchanan (1857-1861)

To help end the movement, this president bought slaves in Washington D.C. and set them free in Pennsylvania.

6. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

“Honest Abe” was an amazing wrestler. He competed in about 300 matches, and only lost one of them. He was also the tallest president at 6’4”. Learn more about him in this video

7. James Garfield (1881)

Get ready for this odd fact: President Garfield was ambidextrous, meaning he could write with both hands. He could even write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other… at the same time.


8. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

Good ol’ Teddy was shot in the chest while giving a speech. This didn’t stop him from finishing his talk, which lasted an hour and a half!


9. William H. Taft (1909-1913)

President Taft was the largest president weighing in at over 300 pounds. His advisors had to sometimes pull him out of the bathtub. He was also the only president to serve as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.


10. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)

“Silent Cal” liked to press all the buttons on his desk and then hide while his assistants were running in. He would then jump out and say he was just checking to make sure everyone was working.


11. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)

and his wife lived in China before he became elected president. When they wanted to have a private conversation in the White House, they would speak Mandarin.


12. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Also known as FDR, this president married his cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt. The bride was given away by her uncle (and FDR’s other cousin), former president Theodore Roosevelt. FDR was also distantly related to other presidents including Washington, both Adams, Madison, Van Buren, both Harrisons, Taylor, Grant and Taft.


13. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

General Eisenhower served in both World War I and World War II.


14. Gerald R. Ford (1974–1977)

Two people tried to assassinate Ford in less than a three-week span; they were both females!


15. Ronald Regan (1981-1989) would talk with an astrologer before making major decisions or planning events.


16. William J. Clinton (1993-2001) won two Grammy awards for Best Spoken Word Albums.


17. George W. Bush (2001-2009) was the head cheerleader at his high school.


18. Barack Obama (2009-2017) wanted to be featured in a pin-up calendar in his Harvard days, but unfortunately, the ladies in charge didn’t choose him.

19. Mount Rushmore Presidents

Four presidents’ faces grace Mount Rushmore in South Dakota: George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1817), Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). The monument was created to increase tourism in the region. The sculptures are 60 feet high, the equivalent of a five-story building! Read the whole story here.


20. President Dollar Bills 

Ever seen a $500, $1000 or $5000 bill? If so, you may have noticed the faces of William McKinley (1897-1901), Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897) and James Madison (1809-1817) gracing these bills. Forget the Ben Franklins, and show us the James Madisons, please!


  • Do you know any other surprising U.S. President facts? Share with us in the comments below!

Life of an Online High School Student vs. the Traditional Student

A common question we hear is: “What’s different about online high school?” In a nutshell, the main answer is: the daily routine. Here is how the routine differs for an online high school student.

Life of the Traditional Student vs. an Online High School Student

Let’s start with the morning.

Traditional students need to wake up early, catch the bus, walk or hope mom or dad will give or dad them a ride to school.

An online high school student wakes up, gets ready for the day and log in to start their coursework. There’s also no dress code required, which can be a plus.

Now let’s take a look at what your day will look like.

A traditional student attends school from about 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., listening to teacher lectures and working on assignments. Any assignments not completed in the allotted timeframe becomes homework.

Online school is not easier, and takes the same 30 hours per week to complete. The difference is online students are not tied to a physical classroom or a set schedule. This amount of freedom requires a lot of discipline, as it can be easy to fall behind on coursework. But discipline is an invaluable skill needed in college and careers, so why not start early?

“What would I be doing,” you ask? Read on.

All material—assignments, quizzes, exams and projects—are completed online. Students should complete at least one lesson per class every weekday.

Courses include teacher-led lessons, graphic-novel stories, instructional videos and educational games.
Check out this blog post to learn more about iSucceed’s curriculum.

So you’ve worked hard on your classes and it’s lunch time. Now what?

That’s the benefit of online school. You are not constrained to cafeteria food; you can eat whatever you choose. If it’s the yummy pizza pictured above or a nice bowl of cereal from home, that’s completely up to you!

You might be thinking, “But what if I have a question? Who will help me?” Let’s take a look at teachers:

Teachers hold the same qualifications in both traditional and online school. Online instructors are not less accessible, communication is simply different.Students can receive support through email, instant messaging, a phone call or live online tutoring.

Learn more about iSucceed’s personalized communication model here.

OK, school is great, but what about friends?


Because there is not a physical classroom, online students connect with classmates differently. Interaction happens through the following channels:


  • Group discussions in courses.
  • Staff-monitored community page to “friend” and chat with students.
  • Online student clubs


There are school events (including prom!) and a graduation ceremony, which you can learn more about here.

If you’ve decided the life of an online student is right for you, you can get started


  • Can you think of other comparisons? Share with us in the comments below!


National Inventors Day: 5 Revolutionary Teen Inventions

Today is National Inventor’s Day, which falls on the birthday of America’s most prolific inventor, the late Thomas Edison. While he is America’s most famous historical inventor who held more than 1,000 patents, there are modern-day inventors who continue to transform our world with amazing solutions for our biggest problems. In fact, some of our most brilliant inventions come from teenagers! Check them out…

5 Revolutionary Inventions by Teens


  1. IV Backpack – Kylie Simonds was a cancer survivor and only 11 years old when she invented an IV pediatric backpack for kids with cancer. It was a school assignment that led Kylie to create an alternative to the large IV pack on wheels that is often cumbersome for kids to pull around. Now thanks to Kylie, kids with cancer who need an IV pack can move around easier and in style. Check it out here!
  2. Cancer detection method- It appears teens have made invaluable contributions to preventing/coping with cancer. Janet, 16, and Benjamin, 15, Song developed a urine test for early detection of cancer. Janet and Benjamin hypothesized that certain DNA markers found in urine are altered when cancer is present. While their invention is still undergoing testing before it’s used clinically, it’s well on its way to saving lives. Read their story here.
  3. Sensor to protect Alzheimer’s patients – Determined to help his grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s, Kenneth Shinozuka was just 15 when he invented a device to alert caregivers when their patients with dementia wander. Check out this inspiring TED Talk by Kenneth that has more than 1.4 million views!
  4. Car exhaust filter – After being astonished at the amount of exhaust cars release, 17-year-old Param Jaggi decided to do something about it. For three years, Param worked diligently to create an exhaust filter. The filter basically takes the carbon dioxide released from the car, and then using photosynthesis, converts it to clean, breathable air. He won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for his valiant efforts. Check out the news article here.
  5. Ocean Sweeper – Boyan Slat , 19, developed a plan to potentially remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of several floating booms and processing platforms anchored together that acts as a giant funnel, gathering plastic and packaging it into garbage cubes that can be dispensed to countries throughout the world. Boyan went on to create a non-profit foundation dedicated to the project. Found out more here.

Remember, you are never too young to start making a difference in the world. This Inventor’s Day, we hope you gather some inspiration to try and invent something yourself!

  • Which is your favorite teen invention? Share with us in the comments below!


School Event: Cupcake Wars February 23

If we had to guess, it’s your absolute dream to become the greatest cupcake decorator the world has ever seen.

OK, maybe not, but how does meeting new friends, eating desserts and possibly wining an Amazon gift card sound?

Come to the iSucceed Office on Thursday, February 23 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. and participate in our Cupcake Wars! Meet fellow classmates, make friends and eat delicious, beautifully decorated cupcakes. Three students will even walk away with a $10 gift card! Here are the full details:

iSucceed Cupcake Wars 

February 23, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Study Labs at the iSucceed building in Boise (6148 N. Discovery Way Suite 120
Boise, ID 83713)

We will provide the cupcakes, you only need bring yourself (and a friend, if you’d like)! Each student will be given a cupcake with frosting and other random toppings, then provided a theme. Students will then have 20 minutes to decorate their cupcake according to the assigned theme. There will be three rounds total, and students can participate in each round.

Cupcakes will be judged by our “Cupcake Experts” (iSucceed staff), and the winner from each round will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

Not in the Mood to Decorate? Come Anyway! There’s Free Food.

If you’re not exactly “artistic,” we hope to see you there anyway! Students can come enjoy free snacks like chips, popcorn and sodas, sit back and enjoy watching the ‘war.’ Plus, your counselor and principal will be onsite for you to meet your teachers, or get help in your coursework.

Come Early for Homework Help

We encourage all students attending the event to come early to work on coursework. Staff will be onsite and available for homework help, so we hope you take advantage of this great opportunity.

An RSVP is required for all attendees. Students can bring one non-iSucceed student as a guest. To RSVP, email

National School Counselor Week Featuring iSucceed's Guidance Counselor!

Behind every graduated high school student is a number of dedicated teachers and counselors.

February 6–10 is National School Counselor Week. To celebrate, we want to spotlight iSucceed’s Guidance Counselor, Crystal Sistoni. Learn more about her below.

Crystal Sistoni, iSucceed Guidance Counselor

Ms. Sistoni is an outdoors enthusiast who has been a resident of Idaho for over 20 years, and a teacher at iSucceed for about three years. Some of her hobbies include camping, fishing, backpacking, rafting and being with friends and family.

“I have lived in the Boise area for the last 20 years and fall in love with this city more and more each day,” said Ms. Sistoni. “I am so fortunate to live in an area where I can do so many of my favorite things.”

Ms. Sistoni said that she became a counselor to fulfill her greatest passion—to help others succeed.

“I became a school counselor to help Idaho’s youth through this huge step in their lives,” said Ms. Sistoni. “I have had many of the same struggles that my students have and if I was able to get through this, I want to help others succeed, so they can move on to bigger and better things this life has to offer.”

As the main guidance counselor for iSucceed, Ms. Sistoni connects with each student personally to promote their academic, social and personal development. Her favorite part about counseling iSucceed students is that she gets to work with unique individuals.

“I like that we have different ways of communication [at iSucceed],” said Ms. Sistoni. “Most people think I can’t develop a relationship with students online, but I have developed some of the best relationships this way. I commend these students for going to school despite challenges that they might deal with on a daily basis. I work with students on all areas of the spectrum, so that makes every day different. Each one of my students is unique and special and I love getting the opportunity to learn about them.”

One of the most rewarding things about being a counselor to Ms. Sistoni is those moments when she empowers students graduate who otherwise may not have finished high school, as she recalls in this story:

“There was a student who was scheduled to graduate this year who was  focusing too much on what was going wrong with in life and not focusing on school,” said Ms. Sistoni. “We were able to discuss this student’s concerns and issues and with time and a solid plan, this student ended up graduating. It’s impacting students on this level, the level that will help them move forward in life that I value and cherish the most. The caveat with this student was this was their last shot at graduation because they were going to age out of the public school system, so this was definitely a highlight for this student and myself.”

What Does a Guidance Counselor Do?

The real question is, what can’t Ms. Sistoni do?  At iSucceed, our counselor works with students individually to map out graduation plans, provide support for academic and personal needs, and help prepare for life after high school, including applying for colleges, interview tips or obtaining financial aid. Whenever students have a need, they can always turn to Ms. Sistoni for help.

How Do I Communicate With Counselors and Staff at iSucceed?

We often hear this question, and we’re proud to say you are likely to receive more personalized support here at iSucceed than at your traditional school. You can learn more about it in this blog.

Because we have one devoted counselor, getting help is simple at iSucceed! Ms. Sistoni’s contact info is accessible straight from the Parent Student Portal (PSP) homepage, the main page students and parents use to log into their classes. Ms. Sistoni and your teachers are all available via phone calls, emails and instant messaging, so that you can get quick responses to your questions.

This week, we hope you take some time to thank the school counselors who have helped you! Send them an email, or even give them a shoutout in the comments below! Either way, we hope you make them feel appreciated.