Homeschool Advocacy Project

at University of Washington

Who We Are

This page will grow as I find more former homeschoolers who are interested in getting involved with leadership roles in this project. I am working with homeschoolers in the community, UW advisers, admissions counselors, and the director of First Year Programs on ways to identify and contact former homeschoolers who are already on campus. I hope that this group will function as a community for incoming homeschoolers who may benefit from the smaller network and the leadership opportunities provided by this initiative.

As an organized group, we can try to improve higher education opportunities for our younger siblings, friends' younger siblings, or any of the 2,000,000+ homeschooled students in the U.S. who may want to go to college someday.

Alaina Woodford

I homeschooled from sixth grade through twelfth, and I had a fantastic time doing it. For those six years, I was part of Seattle Homeschool Group, a local homeschool community with over 500 families. Through homeschooling, I became outgoing and learned to make my own schedule--and I learned that I like my schedules busy. This fact has kept me nice and happy in my freshman year at the University of Washington!

I first attended Homeschool Admissions Day when I was a sophomore in "high school". I helped out at the event for the next two years, and this year, I'm running HAD! I'm so thrilled to be attending the UW, and I'm happy to share the knowledge I've gained of the homeschool-to-college process at Homeschool Admissions Day.

I'm planning on majoring in English and minoring in Gender Studies, and if there were a major for Assorted Geekery, I would have a Master's degree specializing in Joss Whedon.

If you'd like to contact me, feel free to email me at

Nicole Guenther

I homeschooled for the first 18 years of my life. Homeschooling was an amazing educational option for me. It gave me the time to not only participate in ballet, soccer, piano lessons, Science Olympiad, Science Bowl, art classes, cat 4-H, Campfire, drama classes, swimming lessons, martial arts training, writing groups, book discussion groups, a Unitarian church youth group, literary internships, a socially responsible investing club, and countless other activities, but also have enough time left over to wander around in fields writing poetry, to babysit, to work as a writing tutor 17 hours a week, to volunteer at the local primary school and the humane society, and to read as many books as the local public library could supply. I tended towards a variety of homeschooling called unschooling

Being homeschooled has been a primary part of my identity for as long as I can remember, and I have always been passionate about homeschooling rights. My poem about homeschooling, "Fitting Out," appeared in the Home Education Resource Journal in 2006.  I've enjoyed many books about homeschooling, including Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School Tell Their Own Stories, edited by Grace Llewellyn; The Homeschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffeth; The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education, by Grace Llewellyn; Dumbing Us Down, by John Taylor Gatto; and How Children Fail, by John Holt. 

I attended community college through Running Start during my high school years and earned my homeschool high school diploma along with my Associate's Degree from Clark College in 2009. I was a member of Phi Theta Kappa at Clark and co-founded a philosophy club called the Sophonauts.

From 2009 to 2012 I attended University of Washington, majoing in English and minoring in Education. I'm interested in education research and policy, and also in various philosophies of education. My homeschool habit of getting involved whenever possible continued at UW. I volunteered extensively with Dream Project, a student-initiated high school outreach/mentorship program with the goal of increasing college access for disadvantaged students. I volunteered at Ida B. Wells School for Social Justice, an alternative school in Seattle. I was an officer for the club, An Objective University of Washington. For two years, I worked as an editor/proofreader for Disability Resources for Students, providing course documents in accessible formats. I had an internship as a manuscript reader for a publishing agency, Wales Literary Agency. I was the Poetry Editor for the campus literary arts magazine, Bricolage. I  volunteered as a conversation partner with international students through UW's Language Exchange Program and as a public speaking tutor in the Communication department's Speaking Center. I also worked part-time as a peer adviser in the Undergraduate Advising office on campus, as well as the English department advising office. Boredom was not a problem on this campus!

When I graduated in June 2012, I received the President's Transfer MedalThis award is given to the graduating senior with at least 60 credits from a Washington community college with the most distinguished" academic record.  

I am now working on campus full-time as Assistant Director for Curriculum & Student Services for the UW Dream Project, a college access mentoring program. I love being able to bring what I am learning in my job about college access to the homeschooling community. 

Will Mari

I am a first-year (i.e. barely surviving) first-year Ph.D. in the UW's Dept. of Communication, focusing on the intersections of media and history. I also did my undegrad BA's in history and journalism at the UW, after transferring in from Bellevue Community College (now just Bellevue College) in 2006.

 Homeschooled through high school in a nomadic Army family, I credit homeschooling with developing my love of new places, people and ideas (and tracking where those all things came from and why)... Most recently, I finished a year abroad in the UK earning my MPhil in history at the University of Cambridge, where long bouts of reading in the library were balanced by an insane amount of hot, sugared tea and long walks in the country.



Stephen McKeown

I am a first-year graduate student in mathematics here at the University of Washington. I was born in Nevada, where I lived till I was eleven, and then moved to Texas, which I still call home. I was homeschooled all my life through high school.

There are lots of things I loved about homeschooling, but the one that stands out is the freedom. I think the academics were good, but much of what I learned that was useful to me was actually from exploring different fields on my own in my free time. Unlike schoolwork (which I protested against, like any self-respecting teenager), I just thought of these pursuits as reading about things that interested me, not learning per se. Particular interests were computer programming, law, literature, and classical music.

I started college at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, which is where I discovered I loved math. I got degrees in math and physics at the University of North Texas in Denton, which I loved. (Both UNT and
Denton). While there I was very active in the Society of Physics Students and helped restart its annual physics olympics for high schools.

After UNT came the part where I was interested in too many things and couldn't make up my mind. I ended up going to Yale Law School for three years to get a law degree, but by the time I finished there, I knew I wanted to be a mathematician, which is how I come to be doing this. I'm really excited to be able to think about and teach what I love.

Benjamin Janicki

bio coming soon

William Price

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a child, when raised outside the public school setting, must be in want of socialization. By changing this Jane Austen quote I identify myself not only as a literary scholar but also a divine wit, as is so popular with people of our era.

Here’s the long and short of my life. I was born in 1989 and was homeschooled until 16 when I started going to community college through the Running Start program. I participated in homeschool groups and Science Olympiad, going to Nationals once. I participated in the Washington Aerospace Scholars program in its inaugural year. I created an improv. club at my community college. I know how to dance both classical ballroom dance and lindy hop swing, and I occasionally sport fence. I have been trying to learn parkour, but I’m not any good.

Academically, I’m a senior at University of Washington in the Creative Writing major, I’m a bit of a polymath, and I’ve taken way more science and math classes than the average English major. I think that Hip-Hop is a culturally significant way to convey information, emotions, and stories. I think fiction is the art of lying so well that people stop caring that the story never happened.

Rose Beede

Until I started college, I was homeschooled. During my middle school years I was pretty much a completely-at-home student. Plying in the dirt, drawing, and making things out of sticks were some of my favorite pastimes. Whoever started the misnomer that homeschoolers have no lives must have been delusional. During high school I took a lot of classes at Connections Homeschool Co-Op. When I was 17 I enrolled in Running Start at Cascadia Community College. After one year there I was accepted at the University of Washington, Seattle, where I am now a junior. Since my artistic mud and stick days I discovered that I also have a love for mathematics and programming, and am now majoring in Human Centered Design and Engineering. I got involved with Homeschool Advocacy by being the first scholarship winner, and am now serving as president for the 2012 - 2013 school year. I don't have much free time, but when I do I adore hiking, as well as music and finding out geeky facts on the internet.