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Hunter Powell will follow in his family’s footsteps when he enrolls at the Citadel this fall, but it wasn’t a traditional path that led the recent graduate of Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC) to the military college.

In high school, Hunter’s struggles with ADHD, bullying and fighting were holding him back. After enrolling at CASC, things changed. “It worked out beyond our wildest dreams,” said Hunter’s mom, Jill Powell. “The curriculum was engaging, and the teachers have been really fantastic.”

Jill credits educator excellence and communication with the teachers as key to her son’s success. “They were very responsive – they’d even call to check in on Hunter,” she said.

Able to focus on his coursework more fully, Hunter achieved some remarkable milestones in a short amount of time. In just a year at CASC, Hunter completed seven courses, plus a summer college course. He took two English classes, and when he saw that he would only need three more to graduate, he buckled down and did the work to graduate a year early.

As Hunter hit the books, he set his sights on a future in military service and helping others. Other family members had attended the Citadel, including cousins and a great uncle for whom the cadet store on campus is now named. With an interest in helping people, Hunter plans to pursue a pre-med course of study – also a family tradition. His mother, a certified medical assistant, says he used to read her medical encyclopedia when he was a child.

It won’t be all studying for Hunter when he gets to the Citadel. He learned to play the bagpipes over the last year, and will be joining the Citadel’s regimental pipe band when he moves into cadet housing in Charleston. Hunter looks forward to getting to campus, and describes the ways CASC has prepared him for this next chapter: “If it wasn’t for CASC, I wouldn’t have been able to graduate a year early, and I wouldn’t be going to the Citadel. My time there taught me valuable skills such as being independent and how to manage my own schedule, which is crucial for college.”

About The Author

Emily Riordan

Emily Riordan joined Stride as Senior Manager, Corporate Communications in July 2017. Prior to joining the team, Emily was a founding staff member at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, working with school stakeholders across the country to advocate for healthy, safe and sustainable schools. Emily has also worked with the District of Columbia charter school movement, assisting with charter applications, development and advocacy efforts. Originally from a small town in Massachusetts, Emily has lived in the DC area for half her life, having earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the George Washington University in 2004.

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