Student Finds Hope in Online Education While Fighting Muscular Disease


Amanda StarrantinoThe Indy Channel 

One teen who struggled in a traditional school setting due to physical disability, found hope that his future would be bright after enrolling in an online homeschooling program.

Tenth grader Andrew Rusk has battled Mitochondrial Myopathy, a disease that causes prominent muscular problems, his entire life. His diagnosis prevented him from experiencing a traditional six-hour school day as he requires lot of rest and medications.

“My doctor told me that I have that my lungs look like the lungs of an 85-year-old man, so they are not very well. My muscles are really weak all the time,” said Rusk.

The teen’s classroom is now in his dining room and is powered by Hoosier Academies’ K-12 program.

“We just were exhausted. We tried absolutely everything that we could,” said Karen Rusk, Andrew’s mother. “I had heard about K-12 through just different people that I have worked with and had heard about Hoosier Academy.  And I said let’s give it a shot, we can always go back to brick and mortar if this doesn’t work.”

Karen said she had always hoped her son would graduate high school, attend college and get a job.

“It is sometimes hard as a parent, that this is such great change for him, we should have done it years ago. Because he has thrived so much,” she said. “His teacher knows exactly who he is. Our goal for him is he is just like everybody else, and he is going to get an education just like everybody else.”

Rusk hopes in the future he will attend University of Indianapolis and eventually work for Disney.

“It is going to take me awhile to get there, but I will eventually,” he said.


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