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Written by Jenna Needham

School can change the lives of those students who let it, which is exactly what happened for Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA) fifth grader Hannah.

Virtual schooling has helped Hannah in more ways than one – from escaping bullying at a brick and mortar school to providing the flexible schedule that she needs to do the activities she loves so much.  This is why her family chose to transfer to a K12-powered school when Hannah was in first grade.

“Brick and mortar school just wasn’t for us,” said her grandmother and learning coach.  “At AZVA, it’s a very intensive program. It’s a lot of work, but she really learns there and she actually enjoys it!”

AZVA even stepped in when her grandmother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, which prevented her from going to the blended learning facility.  The administration made sure that Hannah was still getting the education she deserved even without her learning coach.

The flexibility of AZVA allowed Hannah to pursue other interests and gave her the time she needed to become great at them.  Hannah started taking swimming lessons at the age of three.  She picked up skills from the lessons so rapidly that at five years old, swim team coaches began to take notice and wanted her to join their teams. Her guardians were hesitant since they did not want the pressure on her while she was still so young. At age seven, however, Hannah made the choice to join a swim team. She has fallen in love with the sport and is highly competitive, practicing two to four days a week for two hours a day. She recently participated in a meet and placed first in her heat for both breaststroke and freestyle.  Her speedy backstroke has even landed her a spot at a regional swim meet in Arizona that will take place later this year!

Not only does Hannah excel at swimming, she is also mastering the piano very quickly.  She has been playing since she was only four years old.  She plays piano for her church choir and participates in Christmas recitals for senior homes, and she also plays in the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, a rigorous program in which she has achieved First Class Honors.

Hannah dreams of attending Juilliard and becoming a concert pianist, and looking at what has already accomplished at just 10 years old, this dream is completely within her reach with the help of AZVA!

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