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With online learning, students are able to adjust their classes and schedules in a way that sets them up for success. That is exactly what Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA) senior Lydia England did. By taking the reins of her education, Lydia was named an Academic All-state by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

The Academic All-state award is provided to individuals across the state of Oklahoma for academic success, community involvement and participation in extracurricular activities. Lydia is one of 100 students to receive Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic award. Each year, award winners receive a $1,000 merit-based scholarship and medallion.

Lydia said that she is honored to receive this award and appreciates the opportunities she’s had to be successful. She does not take credit alone for her achievements. “I am so thankful to all my teachers who have helped me get to where I am today,” she said. “It feels like my hard work has paid off, and that’s a good feeling.”

Prior to enrolling at OVCA, Lydia was homeschooled. She enrolled in OVCA in 8th grade in order to take on a more challenging course load. Throughout high school, Lydia has taken multiple dual enrollment courses, earning both high school and college credits in chemistry, math courses, and even history of medieval Europe.

“I’ve had the opportunity to take multiple college-level classes, which has been some of the best preparation for college that I could ask for,” she said.

With the opportunity to personalize her schedule, Lydia was involved in several extracurricular activities and held jobs to give herself a well-rounded experience. Lydia held leadership positions within academic clubs at OVCA and was president of the student council during 9th and 10th grade. She was also a member of the National Honor Society all four years of high school.

“I have lots of interests outside school, and because of OVCA I was able to pursue all of those,” she said. “And in school, controlling my schedule helped me learn more thoroughly and deeply the topics we covered, because I had the time to do my own research, and the opportunity to discuss those topics with other students in my classes.” 

Despite her rigorous schedule with dual enrollment college classes and extracurriculars, Lydia excelled academically and earned above a 4.0 GPA. Lydia worked hard to achieve her goals and receive academic awards. Lydia’s mom, Cheryl, is happy she enrolled Lydia in online school to give her the best opportunities and is proud of her daughter’s accomplishments.

“OVCA provided academic rigor along with excellent teachers and counselors to guide Lydia through her high school years,” Cheryl said. “Their interest, like they show all of the students at OVCA, is to give them the tools to succeed.”

This fall, Lydia will continue her education by attending the University of Oklahoma’s Honors College to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

“I’ve always been interested in pursuing engineering, but it wasn’t until I started taking concurrent classes through the University of Oklahoma that I realized that if I wanted to pursue it, I could,” she said. “I’m thankful to OVCA for empowering me to pursue my dreams, especially those which I used to think I could never do, or never be good at.”

Most importantly, she feels confident that she is ready for the next chapter in her life. Lydia said that her teachers and counselors gave her the resources and support to prepare her for college.

“The teachers at OVCA encouraged me to pursue my education as far as possible,” she said. Now, she is ready to see where the path of education takes her next.

To learn more about Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, visit https://ovca.k12.com/