WILLISTON Like many high school seniors, Schatzi Jore is filled with plans for the future, but she might have a little more time to devote to her dreams than other seniors.
Jore, a semi-finalist for a National Merit Scholarship, has been homeschooled most of her young life.
"It's quite informal," she said of her schooling. "You're required to do a certain number of hours a day ... but if there's something going on from 9 to 2 I can do that and you can do schoolwork in the evening."
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Schatzi Jore, a homeschooled senior from Williston, is a semi-finalist for a National Merit Scholarship Award and has participated in many events during her high school years.
Now 18, she's pretty involved in her own schooling and her interests direct a lot of what she studies and what textbooks are ordered for her classes.
That independence gives her a lot of freedom to participate in different activities, too, like regional, state and international science fairs, where she has been an award winner all through high school.
"I do something new every year," said Jore. "Sometimes my ideas come from personal experience and sometimes they're just out of the blue."
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During her sophomore year, Jore's science fair project was inspired by a personal tragedy. Her aunt and a cousin had been killed in a car accident. Jore invented the Vehicular Line Detection Alert System, a device that would set off an alarm whenever the car crosses the highway's center line.
"I was able to do that and it was pretty exciting," said Jore.
That project took her to the international science fair.
During her freshman year, she built a boiler system for heating a home and ended up installing it in the family home.
She and her father sometimes brainstorm ideas for their projects.
When someone is homeschooled, people sometimes bring up concerns about a student not having a chance to make friends, but Jore said that isn't true of her.
"I meet my friends in other areas," said Jore. "I'm involved in a lot of different activities and organizations. I feel like being homeschooled I'm not as segregated into age groups. I have friends anywhere from 11 years old to 50."
Her parents, Phil and C'Dale Jore, homeschooled both Schatzi and her older sister. C'Dale Jore said last summer that neither she nor her husband are "science geeks" but they worked closely with their daughters.
"I believe children need two basic tools: how to communicate and solve problems," her mother wrote in an e-mail last summer. "Motivation comes from within. It is up to the individual to motivate themselves to use those tools that I teach. If they can read, comprehend, write, speak and compute, they can do anything. These are the keys to preparation for life, not just college. Science Fair and 4-H helped me communicate and solve problems so as the teacher, those are two requirements at our homeschool until graduation."
Jore has participated in drama events with students from Trinity Christian School in Williston since her freshman year in high school and won a superior acting award at a drama competition. Earlier this fall she auditioned for the choir and participated in the Northwest Festival of Music at Minot State University along with high school musicians from across the state.
Jore is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, which meets in Minot, and attended an encampment for the organization last summer at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D.
"It's pretty intense," said Jore. "It's a really good experience. It brought out parts of me that I had never had to use before."
Students in the Civil Air Patrol learn about aerospace, leadership and fitness and learn drill and ceremonies. They also have a chance to have free orientation flights if they're under age 18. Jore had a chance to take a couple of flights before her 18th birthday.
Jore wants to be a pilot, though she isn't sure where her career path will take her, though commercial aviation is a possibility. She has a full tuition scholarship waiting for her at Liberty University in Virginia next year.