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Donna: Damācia, what does school choice mean to you?

Damācia: Selecting Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) and a K12-powered curriculum was a choice that I believe will best empower me to continue to grow intellectually. My parents had the ability to select the learning approach that worked best for me. I want to succeed in life, as any student does. I believe the American dream should have a variety of means to be achieved. People are different and do not necessarily process information in the same way, as with a standard learning approach at brick and mortar schools.

Donna: Describe the story behind your winning video.

Damācia: My mom was reading the K12 newsletter and noticed the article about the scholarship. I recorded the video on December 1st and I think we got it in about 10 minutes before deadline! I spoke about being bullied at my former brick-and-mortar school. I also discussed my successes as an online student and the work I do in my community.


(Left to right) Foundation for Excellence in Education’s Ryan Mahoney and Adam Peshek, Choices in Ed winners Cabral Clements, Damācia Howard, and Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Benita Dodd.

Donna: How does attending GCA help you in your volunteer work for Books for Africa?

Damācia: The schedule flexibility I have by attending GCA allows me to attend events, host book drives, and personally touch my community. But my mom does try to schedule my events in the evening or on the weekends. We can incorporate my volunteer work into my schedule without getting behind on my studies. K12 also gives me the tools to be organized and manage my time efficiently. I feel these skills will serve me well in the future at college.

Donna: How many books have you collected to date?

Damācia: To date, I have collected over 60,000 books! My teammates and other volunteers over the past year have collected a total of 3.1 million books!

Donna: How was the ‘Choices in Ed’ awards ceremony?

Damācia: Amazing! Not only were the video contest winners acknowledged, but we also learned more about why school choice is critical. It’s about celebrating the ample amount of educational opportunities out there. I’m proud to say this learning style has worked extremely well for me and appreciate the opportunity to lend my voice in support of a growing movement.

About The Author

Donna Savarese

Donna Savarese is Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for K12. Savarese also manages executive speechwriting and internal communications for the company. Previously, she served as a Senior Media Relations Manager within Lockheed Martin’s Worldwide Media Relations (WMR) department. She is a two-time Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and twice won the Edward R. Murrow Award for journalism while serving as the 6 pm nightly news anchor for five years at KMOV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri. Savarese is the recipient of seven Emmy nominations, including a nomination in Sports and as ‘Best On-Air Talent’.

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