Originally aired on KARK-TV – August 3, 2018
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – This week alone we’ve reported on three deadly shooting in Pine Bluff. So far this year, there have been 11 homicides in that city.
In a community that’s seen a fair share of crime, especially among young people, there is one student that’s finding success.
Cole Parker is going to be a high school junior this year. He’s a student through Arkansas Virtual Academy.
He says through his opportunities, he’s received honors from West Point and hopes to someday join the military.
The soon-to-be junior has attended the K-12 online school since he was in the 6th grade and has done very well. He says he finished with a 4.6 GPA.
Cole’s mom Alexandrina says when he was in middle school he was bullied and that’s when she found out about this program.
“That was the main reason why I looked for something better,” said Alexandrina.
She says through his opportunities online, he’s been able to grow and gain the confidence to join ROTC at Watson Chapel, following in his family’s long military history.
“ROTC really helps me open up more and gain leadership for other opportunities,” said Cole.
He’s received honors, awards and scholarships for his community service and academics from West Point.
Living in Pine Bluff, a community that’s seen violence, Cole says he’s learning to be a leader.
“With me finding so much success in Arkansas Virtual Academy, it’s really great, because it’s hard to see bad things going on,” said Cole.
Even though he has two years left of high school, Cole’s mom is proud of the student he’s become.
Cole hopes to attend either West Point or MIT after graduation.
To learn more about Arkansas Virtual Academy, visit arva.k12.com.