Jaida Ross writes letters to her future self. She’s determined to capture defining moments in her own words and remind tomorrow’s Jaida to keep pursuing her goals—in academics, athletics, the arts and beyond. Remarkably wise for an 18-year-old, she encourages herself and her classmates to be the best possible version of themselves.
And she’s off to a pretty impressive start.
Jaida and her twin sister Jazzlynn are both students at Logos Public Charter School, a high school alternative in which students earn dual college credit on the RCC campus. Jaida will graduate in June with a diploma and an RCC college transfer degree, which will allow her to enter the University of Oregon next fall as a college junior.
They’re darn lucky to have her.
Over the past year, multiple Division I schools recruited Jaida for their track and field teams. Her talent for shot put and discus have garnered quite a spotlight for the high school all-star, whose personal record of 48’ 5″ earned the national best high school throw for shot put. After narrowing her options to four universities including UCLA, Iowa and Arizona, Jaida ultimately settled on her home state of Oregon, where she’s excited to continue her track career and pursue a degree in psychology.
“My mom works as an addictions counselor and my stepdad is a job specialist who helps people with mental disorders get jobs, so growing up I’ve always been aware of mental health and how big and important it is,” Jaida said. Her goal is to get a job in music therapy, using her love of guitar and pop to treat patients with medical brain injuries.
For her senior project with Logos, Jaida wrote her first song. Then she wrote another, and another, and she hasn’t stopped since. “Ed Sheeran is the love of my life,” she said. “Basically I just watched him for a few years on YouTube and learned how to play all his songs. Now I write music, I play guitar, it’s my daily routine. I’m passionate about it.”
The Logos program has proven a supportive environment for Jaida’s well-rounded interests. “I found acceptance of diversity here,” she said. “Being in a class where everyone is motivated to do the work is so helpful and changes the way you approach school. You’ve got to pick up your slack because your classmates are crushing it, and you don’t want to fall behind. Everyone just wants to get better, yet we’re all supportive of one another. There’s so much support at Logos, I love it.”
Unlike a traditional high school schedule, Logos follows a nine-week term calendar in which a whole semester’s worth of learning is condensed into just over two months. Students choose their course schedule and learn to balance it with other activities, which for Jaida includes track practice with the North Medford Black Tornado team. While rigorous academics make the school experience more challenging, it also empowers students to develop life skills they’ll need for college—before they actually move away. Classroom lessons include topics such as time management, personal finance, how to apply for scholarships, and how to plan your future with transferrable credits.
Giving props to Logos staff members Valerie Barr, Melanie Scofield and Kristin Gaylor, Jaida said, “The advisors at Logos are incredible. They tell you straight up, you need to know these skills if you want to be successful.” She is also grateful to her track and field coaches Piet Voskes and Aaron Williams for pushing her to be the best at her sport.
“I’ve been fortunate to have amazing mentors, both in track and academics, and I got the best of both worlds going to school at Logos and competing at North,” she said. “Logos has definitely prepared me for what’s next. It is hands-down my best decision yet. The people here mean it when they say they care.”
Are you ready to be the best version of you? Check out Logos Public Charter School at logoscharter.com.