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When 16-year-old Hunter Ballard started middle school, he turned into someone his parents did not recognize. Hunter would continuously become angry on the way to school, then come home from school angry as well

With no signs of improvement, Hunter’s mother, Brandy Mull, reached out to Hunter’s principal to see if bullying was the cause. When no sign of bullying could be found, Brandy took Hunter to a therapist to find the true source of the problem.

“Hunter suffers from anxiety and depression,” Brandy said. “The anxiety is the worst. He cannot go to the mall because of all of the people. He’s an introvert, very quiet, and reserved. When he’s in a brick and mortar school, his brain is on overload! Too many people, too much going on around him, too much of everything so he shuts down. His grades were suffering as well.”

Not wanting Hunter’s suffering to continue into high school, Brandy enrolled Hunter at North Carolina Virtual Academy (NCVA). After switching to online schooling, Brandy has seen an immense amount of improvement in Hunter.

“Since being at school through K12, his entire personality has transformed back to my son that smiles, jokes, picks on his siblings, and even hugs his parents!” Brandy said. “His grades are still not where I would like them but he knows what is expected of him and continues to strive to improve.”

Brandy is grateful for NCVA and believes her son would have gone down the wrong path had he continued in a brick and mortar setting.

“K12 has been a true blessing to our family,” Brandy said. “I truly believe in my heart that Hunter would have been a statistic and dropped out of high school. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Hunter is now eager to get involved in clubs and attend socialization events.

“He asked me if I would take him to a club gathering in Raleigh, NC in about a month and for Hunter to want to be around kids he doesn’t know is huge,” Brandy said. “He’s excited about learning, he’s excited about his future, and that equals two happy parents!”

Brandy appreciates the ease of online schooling and the great improvement Hunter has made since his enrollment. Being able to keep track of Hunter’s education and success is something Brandy is also looking to experience with her other children.

“I login daily as his learning coach to keep up with his attendance and progress, and am now going to enroll my other two children for the upcoming school year,” Brandy said. “This has been a true blessing to my little family.”

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