Akyra Carter is known as many things in her household: an actress, a model, a pageant princess, an anti-bullying advocate, and also a 2nd grader at California Virtual Academy (CAVA).
Her mother, Diana Carter, enrolled Akyra in CAVA this past August to help her receive a proper education and support while she pursued her passion of acting.
Diana appreciates the “24/7 support” from teachers as well as school advisors.
“Time is so important for any mom, but when you’re a ‘Hollywood Mom’ on such a tight schedule it is critical,” Diana said.
Akyra’s life in the spotlight first began when she started doing pageants when she was 11 months old. This soon evolved into modeling in print and on runways.
“She loved being on stage from the moment we started,” Diana said. “In 2014, we started working with Jody Taylor of Sixty5 Media who packaged Akyra and walked us to the next level. Like any mom, I was nervous, but Jody was very intuitive on Akyra’s strengths and limits and showed us what Akyra was capable of.”
“It is one thing to watch your daughter love being on stage and succeeding in our little corner of the world and an entirely different thing to try something new and be progressing, and Akyra starting to actually have fans,” Diana added. “It’s a little surreal.”
Some of Akyra’s acting jobs have included a PSA for the Hispanic College Fund and a few indie films.
Her favorite acting job so far was participating in a music video for comedian and actress Margaret Cho’s song called “I Want To.”
“She was really nice and super funny,” Akyra said. “The whole day was fun because we filmed at a summer camp; plus I met my best friend, Paris.”
Akyra loves putting herself in someone else’s shoes when she portrays a character. “I get to pretend to do and be so many different things,” Akyra said. “Every time it is different. Plus I like meeting all of the different people.”
While Akyra loves pretending to be other people in front of a camera, she also is very aware of others behind the camera. She is an anti-bullying advocate.
“It started from her pageant days, where unfortunately we witnessed and experienced a lot of bullying,” Diana said. “When she was five she came to me and said ‘Mom, I’m gonna show people how easy it is to be nice.’”
Akyra has never been afraid to walk up to someone and give them encouraging words.
“She would walk into a room and literally just go up to kids and say, ‘You’re pretty,’ or ‘Wow, you are smart!’” Diana said. “As the adult, what I saw were kids that were shocked getting compliments and comfortable when mean things were said to them.”
At the young age of 7, Akyra is doing what she can to help end bullying simply by giving out compliments and spreading positivity into her friends’ – and strangers’ – lives.
“For all our kids, it is a culture we need to change,” Diana said. “When she turned six on her birthday she decided that every birthday she would pick out one of her presents and donate it to someone she had witnessed getting bullied and tell them it was their birthday and starting today, they will no longer listen to mean things.
“It is incredible how in-tune she is to others’ feelings at such a young age,” Diana added. “We are also working with Jody on a new pageant format that is bullying-free and pageant winners are selected by what they give to others and their inner beauty.”
Diana explained that learning through online school goes perfectly hand-in-hand with Akyra pursuing her acting and modeling dreams.
“Now that we have more time thanks to CAVA, she is starting her new acting and vocal training,” Diana said. “We have her new YouTube channel show, Akyra & Co-Co, and of course continuing her acting and modeling career.”
Not only is CAVA great for Akyra’s future career, but she also enjoys learning the material on her own computer.
“I like that I get to play games and the lessons have a lot of audio and visuals to help me learn but not feel like school,” Akyra said.
She explained that her favorite subject is science because of all the experiments she gets to try out.
“I can make volcanos that explode!” she said.
Akyra has some exciting projects coming up soon. We will certainly be keeping an eye out for her on our TVs!
Akyra hugging her Mom, Diana.