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The Baillie family uses the freedom online schooling gives them to advocate for a cause they believe in.

As a Native American family, the Baillie’s feel it’s important to go to The Standing Rock Indian Reservation to stand up for the Sioux tribe, and being enrolled in Wisconsin Virtual Academy allows them to go without worry.

“Going to Standing Rock really healed our family and brought us back to living the way our ancestors did,” Sanya Baillie said. “We camped and lived there and could truly be exposed to the community. Seeing them welcome everyone from all over the world and all different races was incredible.”

While Sanya was only at Standing Rock for two weeks, her children Patrick Baillie, grade 12, and Garnet Baillie, grade 11, both have continuously traveled to Standing Rock while keeping up with their school work. This is all possible thanks to WIVA.

Recently, Patrick and Garnet attended the Native Nations March in Washington D.C., an event they would not have been able to attend without online schooling.

“My kids would never have been able to go to Standing Rock if they were in brick and mortar school,” Sanya said. “Patrick and Garnet went on and off between school from late September to late November. They spent almost 32 days there. They drove themselves, kept their jobs, school grades were good, and paid for everything on their own.”

Having the ability to go to Standing Rock opened the Ballie family up to incredible experiences that changed their lives. Both Patrick and Garnet were able to help the people of Standing Rock while gaining life-changing experiences.

“The friendships they made there will never go away,” Sanya said. “Garnet helped in the school, worked in the kitchen, and babysat from time to time. Patrick helped in the kitchen, chopped wood, watched over the sacred fire at night, and worked security many nights. It was an amazing way to live.”

The Baillie’s are very thankful to WIVA for allowing them the flexibility to travel and engage in unforgettable experiences.

Sanya said, “They have loved attending WIVA and are both looking forward to graduation and continuing their educations.”

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