Originally published in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – June 11, 2019
As a teen mother, many people look down on you. I know this because I experienced it when I became pregnant at the age of 15.
Sadly, one of the few places I expected to have my back didn’t: my brick-and-mortar high school. Even though I was pregnant, I was determined to earn my diploma in the traditional way. The school, however, wanted to move me to a program that didn’t offer advanced classes.
That’s not what I wanted.
So I decided to find an academic option that would help me reach my full potential. That’s why I enrolled in online school.
After joining Arkansas Virtual Academy, I was encouraged at every step along the way. My teachers were supportive and understood the unique schedule I needed to take care of my child. The school also encouraged me to stay in honors classes. This was important to me because I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could still earn high grades and raise a child.
It was difficult at times to manage it all, but I knew that it would all be worth it.
I saw the results of my hard work come to life during my graduation a few weeks ago when I walked across the stage as valedictorian. Despite the odds being stacked against me, I took hold of my future and delivered success. Online school helped me make the seemingly impossible a reality, and I’m grateful that this option was available for me.
To learn more about Arkansas Virtual Academy, visit https://arva.k12.com/