Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) 11th grader, Mary-Kate Billings will have an Associate’s of Science degree before earning a high school diploma! She is a dual enrolled GCA student at Georgia Highlands College and was recently selected to join an honor society called Phi Theta Kappa where she is the Vice President of Public Relations and Social Media.
Last week was Georgia Highlands College’s Honors Night. The 18-year-old was named a new addition to the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and received an award for being a part of the Emerging Leaders program.
“GCA has been nothing short of a dream come true,” Mary-Kate said. “If I were enrolled in a traditional school, I would not have been able to become as engaged with my academics at Georgia Highlands College. Thanks to GCA’s accommodating nature and their willingness to help me succeed, I have been able to take courses at both institutions, truly pushing me to be the very best I can be academically.”
She enrolled at GCA going into 5th grade and has been attending Georgia Highlands College since fall of 2015 when she began with Move On When Ready.
At the time, Mary-Kate was enrolled in a dance conservatory program that allowed her to train in multiple genres of dance for many hours a day. Traditional school wasn’t an option because she wanted to maintain straight A’s while she trained.
Mary-Kate still loves to dance as a hobby but has been putting more time and energy into her studies. She has found that GCA has been exactly the type of education that works best for her and provides the opportunity to let her create her own schedule. She has also been able to pursue her passion for being involved with student organizations.
“From leadership development, to service, to simply engaging with my peers, GCA has allowed me to meet students who are now some of my closest friends,” Mary-Kate said.
Mary-Kate appreciates how GCA offers various Honors, Accelerated, and AP courses in multiple studies.
“Due to these offerings, I have not only been able to enroll in challenging yet enjoyable classes, but I have also been adequately prepared for my future in higher education,” Mary-Kate said.
The online nature of GCA has challenged her academically and has let her grow and develop as a student. She has earned multiple awards and recognition for her devotion to her education including the Janet Walker Award and being named a member of the George Highlands College All-Academic Team.
She is thankful for the support she gets from her Move on When Ready guidance counselor, Ms. Reid.
“She is one of my top support systems at GCA, and through her willingness to assist me I will be earning my Associate’s Degree in May and my high school diploma in June!” Mary-Kate said.
Mary-Kate plans to transfer to Kennesaw State University in the fall, where she will major and earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and minor in English studies. She is currently focusing on Communications with Georgia Highlands College.