Newest Eagle Rock Grads ‘Do a Geographic’ and Find Success

There’s a term for people who pack up and move away from home in order to escape their problems and attempt to bring order back into their lives. It’s called “doing a geographic,” and it’s where a person won’t change themselves, but choose instead to change their address.

While our five newest graduates all arrived at Eagle Rock from distant hometowns and situations, it’s quite apparent they all turned their “geographics” into positive experiences. Instead of blaming the people around them, or their schools, or their parents, these high schoolers accepted their part in their particular situation.


That’s why we’ve set aside this entire blog post to highlight the Eagle Rock experiences of our five latest grads — Chance Lyons, Tobee Malinzak, Derik Bernardez, Ashley Hernandez and Amelia Horne. Here are their stories:

Chance Lyons grew up within a tight-knit family in Littleton, Colorado. But once he reached high school, he drifted away from that upbringing, becoming more “independent in the wrong way.” After performing poorly at two other high schools, he realized that he needed a change.

“Eagle Rock’s philosophy of 8+5=10 was really appealing,” Lyons explained. “I realized I could come out of this place a better person.”

When he joined the campus community, Chance struggled with some of the common challenges of a new student. He had to overcome his loss of personal space and relearn the advantages of living in a close-knit family. “Instead of withdrawing into myself, I’d put myself further out there and it would offer me more space to work on myself,” Lyons said. “I was starting to develop self awareness, which grew into self control.”

Music played an important role in Chance’s personal growth. In learning how to collaborate with other musicians, he saw how it could give him an “immediate look at yourself, an insight into who you are and who they are.” He started to play everything, beginning with the piano but soon expanding to accordion, synthesizer, bass, guitar, vocals, and drums. “I played the trumpet last night,” he said, laughing.

He learned a different type of self-reflection in the classroom, particularly through Societies & Cultures Instructor Berta Guillen’s “Facing History, Face Yourself.” Lyons reflected that “Bee’s classroom provided a place to look at myself, race, culture, and the realities of the world with open eyes.”

Chance wants to go into the healing arts, explore Canada and Iceland, and get involved with the hip-hop community in Denver. He acknowledges that he has come a long way since arriving at Eagle Rock.

“I feel way more centered. I definitely have a better idea of what my place is in the grand scheme of things,” he said. “Before it was all about me, and now life is not all about me. Once you start taking responsibility for your own stuff, it’s easier to walk the path.”

In some ways, Tobee Malinzak’s background is not so different from that of his friend, Chance. While he grew up far away in Continue reading…