Taking the Road Less Traveled: Drew Formsma on Blended Learning at Orange Lutheran High School

No one road leads to success. For many people, success can come from following a well-known path,  while others must chart a new path themselves.  Such is the case of Drew Forman. Drew is an outstanding alumnus of Orange Lutheran High School (OLu), having gone through its unique Blended Learning program. He is currently the Creative Director at "I Like Giving," a multimillion-dollar non-profit started by his father that inspires others to give generously. Drew is also a published author and speaker at churches, schools, and organizations nationwide, something he’s been doing since his freshman year at OLu while a part of the Blended Learning program.

Why Blended Learning?

When asked why he chose the Blended Learning program, Drew explained that it was more of the Blended Learning program choosing him. He added that while many parents assume that Blended Learning is only for students who are professional athletes, it is, in fact, much more inclusive. Orange Lutheran’s Blended Learning program is geared toward students who have other objectives beyond academics, have identified their career path, and need the flexibility that the Blended Learning option offers.


 "When you get that impression and feeling, you go for it,” says Drew on selecting OLu as his school. “I don't want to go against what God has for me. I felt peace about the decision, and I went for it." 


Drew was first a full-time on-campus student at OLu before switching to the Blended Learning option. He began to consider the Blended Learning option after his speaking engagements started to gain steam, which created conflicts with his school schedule. Admittedly, Drew loved the change.

OLu’s Blended Learning Program


"I'm a nonconformist,” Drew said. “I like to do things differently. I like to find solutions to problems. In this case, I knew something was not working. I needed to pivot. I started to look around, and I realized there was huge potential with the online department. I started to explore Blended Learning and to understand it some more. I loved everybody in the staff and community.”  


Already combining academics with speaking engagements, Drew set his sights on a new goal. During his time at OLu, Drew wrote and published a book titled “Everyday Generosity: Becoming a Generous Family in a Selfie World.” Given that he now had more control over his schedule,  the flexibility from Blended Learning made it possible for him to pursue this ambitious endeavor. 


"I wrote this book because of the flexibility of the OLu’s online department and the Blended Learning program,” he says.  “I say often that there is not one school in America at this time that offers anything close to Blended Learning. It's a complete miracle that I was in this position." 

The OLu Blended Learning Experience 

The Blended Learning program doesn't take away from the OLu experience that on-campus students have. Blended Learning students also participate in extracurricular activities, mission trips, and more. While at OLu, Drew played varsity golf, went on the OLu Missions Appalachia trip, and even ran for class president. 


OLu also had a positive impact on Drew’s spiritual faith. 


“It's a school where you have a very diverse group of people, a lot of backgrounds, a lot of beliefs,” he said.  “I'm not Lutheran, but I never felt out of place at OLu.” 


Drew now attends Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, applying what he learned from OLu’s Blended Learning program to juggle college classes and his career as a speaker, author, and creative director at I Like Giving.


"OLu has always been supportive of my career, including buying hundreds of copies of my book when it launched.  I remember having podcasts in the afternoon after my classes, the nurse had a little area open and I would sit there and be on radio podcast for months. The staff really cared about my situation, and that felt good." 

Advice for Students Considering Blended Learning 

Drew offered sound advice to anyone considering enrolling in OLu’s Blended Learning program. 


"People often are shocked by my work ethic, and I tell them it stems back from OLu, being able to work at 15 while flying worldwide to speak and combining this with schooling and extracurriculars,” he said.  “If you feel God's got a call in your life, you might as well get prepared. You don't have to wait or choose anymore; you can start already with Blended Learning and keep growing.” 

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