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It is often difficult for a teen to find a sense of belonging — especially at school. Six years ago, I found my place with online education. I attended Idaho Virtual Academy from middle school up until my high school graduation this spring.

My parents felt like I could learn better in the virtual education environment without the social pressures or bullying often found in brick-and-mortal middle schools. My parents and I also felt that because I was academically advanced, I would be able to maintain my grades in a self-paced environment.

Online school allowed me time to give back to my community, as I was able to volunteer with hospice patients. In addition, I earned college credits throughout high school through dual enrollment with a local college. Because of my high merit, I was selected as the Class of 2018 honors student speaker at my graduation.

Thanks to my academic achievement and successes at IDVA, I’ve been accepted to Utah State University with a full-ride presidential scholarship as a biomedical engineering major. Before that, I will be serving in the Utah Orem Mission, where I will dedicate my time to serve others and share my beliefs with those who are interested.

For any students who are yearning for a change in their education, I urge you to consider the plethora of benefits provided by online education. It changed my life for the better, and it can change yours too.

— Ezra Kennedy, Meridian


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