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Founders Classical Academy of Leander (Class of 2017)

Clara Benefield is finishing up her sophomore year of college at Brigham Young University (BYU)-Idaho and reflects on the difference Founders Classical Academy (FCA) of Leander made on her education and future. Benefield is proud to be a part of the first graduating class. “Everything I learned those last two years was things that I studied during my first year of college. Pushing through the hard times really helped me focus on my goals and get me where I am today,” says Benefield.

Clara (right) poses with her roommate while on the campus of BYU-I.

Benefield transferred to FCA her junior year after attending a traditional high school for the past two years. “By attending this public charter school, I was more prepared for college and I felt more confident when it came to public speaking.” Benefield goes on to say, “The thing that I enjoy most about my time in college is the continued opportunity to grow both mentally and academically. I think it’s always fun to hang out with friends or do the hobbies I love doing. But, I always look forward to going to my classes and really diving into my education. I notice that each semester I become more confident in myself.”

Founders Classical Academy follows a classical, college-preparatory program based in the classical liberal arts and sciences and Benefield’s love of classical literature is continuing to grow. She is involved in a club called, Language and Letters. “It is a place where English majors or any other students may come to if they want to discuss different classical books, for example, Shakespeare. We had a special guest speaker and it was fun being able to see others’ opinions on the book and discuss the overall meanings of it,” says Benefield.

Majoring in English, Benefield hopes to become a writer or editor and has always loved reading and writing, no matter the genre. She says that writing is the way she makes her voice heard.

Clara (left) with her sister at the Founders Classical Academy of Leander graduation.

“I think my greatest success since leaving high school was graduating as a more confident person and really finding myself as a person. I am on a path right now to graduate from my university a year early,” says Benefield. BYU-I offers tri-semesters, which allows dedicated students, like Benefield, to take classes year round and finish the classes required for early graduation.

In her free time, Benefield is also involved in a Mental Health Awareness Club, enjoys reading, writing, photography, playing tennis, dancing and hanging out with friends.

Benefield’s favorite motivational quote is “Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf) “I love this quote because there is no specific time to become better,” she says. “We have the choice, at this moment, to start becoming who we want to be.”

Her advice to students approaching graduation is not to fall into “senioritis” and continue to work hard to become as prepared for the next step as possible.

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