Student Edition

Making Connections for the Future

FBLALife is about the connections we make. Sometimes these connections come from people we’ve known our entire lives, friends next door, colleagues, or even classmates at school.

Because fitting in is a big part of a student’s success, especially during the teenage years, making these connections and collaborating with others can help students grow and learn. Studies have demonstrated this, but I learned it firsthand when I was still in school.

Transitioning from middle to high school was difficult for me, so the 9th and 10th grade years were a trying time in my life. Luckily, I had some excellent teachers who helped me adjust. One particularly important moment was the day my 11th grade computer teacher encouraged me to attend a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) meeting.

When I finally relented and decided to go, I didn’t yet realize I’d made one of the best decisions of my life. Continue reading


Why Libraries Still Matter

Blog_LibrariesAs a young girl, I always enjoyed visiting my local library.

My librarian, Mrs. Ferris, knew me by name and greeted me with a loving smile. She always had recommendations for great books, from beautiful Caldecott Medal picture books to the latest Newberry Award winners. She knew just the right stories that would captivate me for hours, keeping me up well past my bedtime as I read by the light of a flashlight under my covers.

In the days before the internet became a household staple, the library was my go-to source for answers about life’s most pressing questions. Even with nothing but that clunky card catalog of old, Mrs. Ferris could find resources to answer my many questions within minutes of me asking them. I wanted to know everything there was to know about kangaroos? Got it. Pompeii? Easy. The Holocaust? Let’s try reading Number the Stars and go from there. Continue reading


Be the “Good” Kid

This is the tenth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.

Blog_Peer_PressureHigh school welcomes territories that were once uncharted.

What’s crazy about the media today is that they push the likeness of drugs and drinking on shows geared for young kids, like us. It can be difficult to see things on television or on your favorite show and not wonder what they are. And if we’re going to be honest, sometimes it affects us.

We see some of our favorite celebrities drinking at a party or smoking something they shouldn’t, and we start to think it’s normal…that it is normal to drink and party the way the television portrays people of our age doing.

The line becomes blurred and people start to do things they normally wouldn’t, all because they want to fit in and be “cool.” It’s an interesting way to think about it.

The people you surround yourself with are sure to affect you in one aspect or another and only build upon these existing ideas. Peer pressure surely influences this beast. Continue reading


Mastering Discussion-Based Assessments (DBAs)

Blog_DBA_FollowupIf you missed this week’s Facebook Live Q&A about discussion-based assessments, don’t worry! In this post, we’re sharing a great video recap that covers everything you need to know.

At FLVS, we want students to be successful and completely comfortable when learning online. This includes discussion-based assessments (DBAs).  Even though some students may get nervous or anxious, just remember that DBAs are simply a verbal conversation between you and your teacher.

DBAs are one of the ways we ensure academic integrity (and make sure that it’s actually you doing the work). This is why teachers need to hear directly from you! They will be referencing the work you have done and speaking to students and parents multiple times throughout the course, so there is a common thread of communication that helps teachers connect a face (or voice) to the same student they see (or hear) in live lessons and through submitted work. DBAs are also there for teachers to help you! Continue reading


Aliens and Explosions

This post was written by FLVS student Sarah Weyand about her award-winning research in astrophysics.

Studying ExoplanetsMy science fair journey began about a year ago.

I was approached by a Harvard graduate who wanted to mentor a high school senior in an astrophysics and computer science research project.

I knew nothing about astronomy and I didn’t know a single programming language, but I love space and I plan to major in computer science in college. Naturally, I said yes. This project has taken me to the Science Talent Search, the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and, now, the State Science Fair.

My project is titled Aliens and Explosions: How Supernovae Affect the Habitable Zones of Exoplanets.

The purpose of the project is to calculate the percentage of exoplanets, a planet that does not orbit our Sun, that would no longer be in the habitable zone of their host star due to a supernova, the explosive death of a massive star. Continue reading


Would You Rather…the Dentist or a DBA?

Blog_Public_SpeakingChances are that if you ask someone if they’d rather have dental work done or speak in front of an audience, that person will probably have to take a moment to think about it.

According to many studies, the idea of speaking in public or making a presentation ranks extremely high on the anxiety scale.

Along those lines, we’ve heard from many of our students that they are apprehensive when it comes to their discussion-based assessment, commonly known as a DBA. For those not familiar with the DBA, it is a verbal conversation between a student and teacher to discuss what he/she has learned in the modules.

If this is you, you can take some comfort in the simple fact you are not alone.

Have you ever watched someone talk in public and think, “Man, they are great—so relaxed and natural. I wish I could speak like that.” While it’s true that some have a natural gift for gab and their conversations seem effortless, it is quite possible that they had to learn to overcome their nervousness. Speaking professionally in a public setting, is a skill that must be developed and fine-tuned. And this takes time.

Here’s a secret… Continue reading


FLVS Corkboard: March Highlights

corkboard-coverIt’s March, and minus the cold snap madness, spring has sprung—and FLVS continues to sow seeds of learning!

While you may be rooted in the “here and now” of schoolwork and tasks to accomplish this semester, we understand that some of you may already be thinking of life after high school. For many, that may mean college. Or, maybe you think you’d like to go to college but aren’t sure if you “have what it takes” or if you can afford it.

Great news! If you are a student in Florida, you can learn how to prepare for college without leaving your home. (But we do recognize that leaving the home is ultimately the goal of every child—and their parents.)

Virtual College Week

You can explore the notion of college all from your living room if you make plans now to participate in Virtual College Week, April 4-6. Presented by FloridaShines, students and parents can get free expert advice on all things college-related, including the admissions process and financial aid. Gather important information, ask questions, hear from others—demystify college at no cost. Continue reading


Donuts, Desserts, and Dieting

This is the ninth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and student advocate.

TeenTips_Blog_170302Fun fact:

You just so happen to only have one body and the way you treat it will follow you for the rest of your life.

As kids, I know we like to sit down on the couch and pop open a bottle of Coke and binge on potato chips, but let me tell you: those days are dwindling. And by dwindling, I don’t mean that you couldn’t eat this way as an adult, because the truth is, you can. But your metabolism won’t be as great as it used to be.

Growing up in the entertainment industry, and especially as a model, I always had to watch what I ate. I never had a stage where I was so privileged enough to eat McDonalds or swing by Cold Stone every day. I was the kid who packed celery and rolled meats. Gross, I know.

I guess I never really knew anything different. While my friends went out to eat junk food, I sat at the same table and watched. So my perspective is a little different when it comes to what you eat. There were times I was jealous. I wanted to eat junk food like the rest of my friends and be a normal teen. Continue reading


My Writing Timeline

This post was written by Natalie, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.

Blog_Creative_WritingWhen I was much, much younger, I saw writing as a chore. There’s not a lot a 7-year-old girl being homeschooled in southwest Florida had to write about, and I certainly didn’t do much of it.

As I grew older, the process of writing morphed from a chore into a helpful emotional outlet and then into a hobby. Although I’ve never been a serious, hardcore dedicated writer, I can say that writing definitely should be credited for its impact in my life.

The earliest I can remember writing would be in my tween years. As most people behave when going through that time in their lives, I could get quite emotional and crave an outlet to vent my frustrations or just write a poem expressing my honest feelings.

I read a ton of books back then and can attribute a lot of my literacy skills to my reading. I kept diary after diary for a few years and grew my writing skills without even realizing it. Writing about anything going on in my life made me think about events and interactions more deeply than I ever had before. Continue reading


The Beauty of Letting Go

Change

Do you order the same exact dish from your favorite restaurant every single time? Do you listen to the same music or watch the same movies? Yep, that was me – same dish, same style of dress in multiple colors, and 20 bottles of nail polish in similar shades of pink.

Yes, I was in the dreaded comfort zone, and loving every minute of it. But as wonderful and safe as comfort zones are, they can also be dangerous.

If we stay in our comfort zones for too long, we fail to grow – both personally and professionally – which is never a good thing.

A totally unexpected thing happened this past October. Continue reading