CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Zachery Miller said he never realized what he was capable of until a break from graduate school led him to start a small farm just outside of Asheville, N.C.
"I grew up here on the West Side. I'd never seen an animal besides a dog or a cat. I never thought twice about where my food came from. All of a sudden, I was out there being a farmer," Miller said.
"All it took was for me to just do it."
Helping students realize their potential is part of the mission of Kanawha Individual Development Solutions, a learning center that Miller opened on Charleston's West Side earlier this month.
Miller's philosophies on education focus on working with individual students to develop plans that are catered to their learning and academic needs, he said. Miller, 28, holds an undergraduate degree from Marshall University and a master's in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Having worked in various learning environments, such as schools and literacy programs, Miller said he knew the school system wasn't where he wanted it to be.
"The bureaucratic system gets trickled down, and students are really at a disadvantage," Miller said of curriculum requirements. "They're not learning one-on-one, and they're pushed through the system to meet these percentages that each school has been divvied out."
Students can easily fall behind in objective-focused learning, Miller said. K.I.D.S. is trying to teach them how to learn, he said.
"We're trying to teach that each person is an individual and they are capable of achieving their goals based on who they are," Miller said.
The center's goal is to determine learning styles, and provide resources "to make it easier to tackle those challenges in the classroom."