Editor:

My name is Grace Belize Anderson, and I’m excited to be starting my senior year at Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA). I’ve attended virtual school my whole life, and it’s an environment in which I have thrived – in fact, when I started high school, my parents gave me the choice to continue my education with WYVA or attend the local brick-and-mortar school – I chose WYVA.

WYVA has given me the best education I could ask for with the flexibility I need to participate in so many extracurricular activities, give back to my community and learn about the world around me.

I have a passion for helping others. I’ve logged nearly 500 hours of community service over the last four years – there’s no way I could have done that if I was in a brick-and-mortar school. All those hours helped me earn my Gold Congressional Medal and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Recently I was elected to serve as the 2017-18 national president of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). What an honor! As president, I will be traveling around the country to visit various state chapters – but I won’t have to miss any school, as I’ll be able to take it with me wherever I go.

Last spring, I was named one of two delegates from Wyoming to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). I received a $10,000 scholarship and a weeklong trip to our nation’s capital, where I met many government officials – including President Trump himself!

WYVA offers Advanced Placement courses, while none of the schools in my district do. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t been able to take AP government and politics, I would not have been able to pass the exam to be selected for the USSYP.

School choice enables me to partner with great organizations and be a part of something that’s bigger than myself. Education should be molded to fit the needs of the student and create an environment in which we can flourish, because that is what empowers us to be successful.

GRACE BELIZE ANDERSON, Devils Tower

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