Serena’s Story: How online school has changed her life

Originally aired on WJMN-TV – September 16, 2019

Serena Titsworth is your average teenager, the way she goes to school though is a little different than most high schoolers.

She attends Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy, an online school. She used to go to a brick and mortar school downstate until she was unable to manage her Stress Induced Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

“Being able to learn while I was having that health problem became very distracting and I didn’t know how to manage it at the time,” said Serena.

Serena tried home-bound schooling through that high school.

“That was extremely difficult because I didn’t have the teachers,” said Serena. “It was very hard to learn.”

Serena moved to the Marquette area to live with her aunt and that’s when she decided to take her style of education into her own hands by enrolling in Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy.

“So that I could learn how to manage it but also get the education that I needed,” said Serena. “Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy let me have opportunity to do that. They work really well with you and it’s so flexible that you can get your stuff done. You have more communication with your teachers. Even though you don’t see them, you still get more of a one on one because you email them.”

While in online school, Serena has been able to manage her health condition. She now sits on the Teen Advisory Board at the Peter White Public Library and works at Kohl’s. She is even graduating high school early and has been accepted to NMU where she will start in January. Serena plans on majoring in business.

“I’m really excited about that,” said Serena.

Serena says she’s the only person in the U.P. who attends this school. She hopes other people try it out because it’s changed her life for the better.

“I’m very headstrong and I did not want to leave the brick and mortar school because that was normal for me and I honestly didn’t know that online school was available,” said Serena. “There’s not the stress of I’m going to be late for school, am I going to miss the bus? Am I going to say the wrong thing in the middle of class? Am I going to have to go to the bathroom? That’s never an issue for online school because everything is right there.”

To learn more about Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy, visit https://mglva.k12.com/.

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