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Project for Alternative Learning graduate Cody Boster plans to study biology at University of Montana Western in Dillon next year.

Project for Alternative Learning has been more than a good fit for Cody Boster, who graduates from PAL on Friday. It’s been a life-changing experience.

The 18-year-old is convinced he wouldn’t have graduated if he hadn’t transferred from Helena High School to PAL.

At HHS “I was failing. I wasn’t doing good,” Boster said. His grade point average was .87. At PAL, it hasn’t been lower than 3.25.

“It was actually my father,” Boster said of why he transferred to PAL. His father had gone to PAL and talked to Boster’s school counselor. They both thought it might be a good idea.

“It’s been a wonderful idea,” agreed Boster.

“It’s a good fit because the teachers and students make it feel like it’s a family. That’s basically what it is -- a family.

“The teachers will help you and support you every step of the way. Students will too. ... Everyone supports each other. Everyone’s friendly.

“Teachers take time to get to know you. PAL’s gotten me through all my credits,” he said. “I haven’t failed a single class.”

“It became easier,” he said. “Because all the work is in class. Attendance is a big thing in the school. If you’re not there, you’re going to fail.”

Since the classes are small, the teachers can help one-on-one, he said.

One of the highlights of his 2½ years at PAL was a Jobs for Montana Graduates trip to Missoula, when they toured the UM campus and attended the JMG convention.

“It was a wonderful time,” said Boster. “I enjoyed it.”

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In the fall, he will be attending University of Montana Western, where he’s already been accepted.

“I’m going to be studying wildlife biology,” said Boster. “I love the outdoors. I love wildlife and want to help it as much as I can. And I’m very interested in working with Fish, Wildlife and Parks.”

At PAL, Boster got to job shadow and do an internship with FWP, he said, working with both a game warden and with a fish biologist.

“PAL’s helped me a lot. It’s changed my entire attitude. ... Without them, I don’t think I would have graduated.

“I also met new people through that school that I’m so grateful to meet. It’s been wonderful.”

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083 marga.lincoln@helenair.com

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