Student Life

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


Holiday Truths

This is the sixth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

Winter Break ReflectionsThe holiday season is upon us, which means two things. One, the holidays are almost here, but more importantly, winter break is closer than you think.

Let this winter break be one that will go down in history as one of your most productive times of the year. After your finals or year-end assignments, sit back and relax and hangout with those who mean something special to you.

The past year may have been rough, and at times like this, it is perfect to reflect on those who have stuck by your side through thick and thin. And for those who haven’t, maybe this is the perfect time to let go so you can start fresh in the new year. Weed out the negative people in your life, and appreciate the right ones.

Take time this holiday season to learn and reflect on the things you wish you could have changed, like relationships and other endeavors…or even if you procrastinated a little too much. But wait – if you are focused on becoming better next year (which is so close), you may wonder “What did I do wrong?” Well, we all do things wrong. No one is perfect and now is a great time to realize that. Continue reading


Twins Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

blog_cover_bottom_160805-copyJonathan and Christopher Collins, FLVS Full Time students in Ocala, were recently honored for their exemplary volunteer service with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The twins, currently in 10th grade, have participated in more than 100 hours of service during the past 12 months.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is bestowed upon Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time in service to their community and their country. The Collins twins were presented with the award by Center Point Community Church in Naples.

“I have a passion for helping others and for making a difference in my community,” Jonathan said. “It was an honor to be able to assist children grow and learn; however, I discovered in this process that I was the one who was being richly blessed. Although it was hard work and many days I left tired, I was excited that I knew I made a difference that day.” Continue reading


Ups and Downs of Friendship

This is the fifth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

blog_thankful_friendsIt’s finally November, a time to be grateful for everything that we have. I am grateful for so much in my life: my family, pets, opportunities, and friends.

However, in this particular case, I am so grateful for my friends.

I haven’t always had the best of luck when it comes to lasting friendships. When we are young, we want to believe that every relationship we form will last forever, and clearly, that just isn’t the case. At first it hurts, realizing that someone will not always be there for you. Unfortunately, that is what happens when it comes to life. But I have learned that people come into your life with a purpose; once fulfilled, they have done their part in making you, you.

This isn’t to say that you will not find your forever friends – rest assured you will have a few. Continue reading


No Bull

This is the fourth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

great-american-no-bull-challengeDid you know October is National Anti-Bullying Month?

Let’s be honest. How many of you have suffered at the hands of a bully but chose to do nothing about it?

I’ve been there too.

As a matter of fact, when I was 14, I was bullied unmercifully.

It all started when I began modeling and I had to lose weight. At 5’11 and a weight of 135 pounds, one wouldn’t expect to be told to “lose 10.” But, I had to – and let me start off by saying it was beyond difficult.

I no longer could eat potato chips, ice cream, or other foods I once loved so dearly. Instead, I munched on veggies, protein, and more veggies. I was proud of myself for establishing some self-control and saw the pounds melting off, but my peers thought I was crazy. My once former “friends” (and I use that term loosely) became some of my biggest opponents. Continue reading


The Best Day of My Life

This is the third post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

teen-shares-anti-bullying-storyToday will go down as one of the best days of my life.

On this very day, my pride and joy officially comes into the world, which just so happens to be a book, my first book:

Blatantly Honest: Normal Teen Abnormal Life

Below you will find a short snippit on a topic that may have touched you in your life.

I can promise that the rest of the book will have content just like this, so please enjoy a selection from chapter one. Continue reading


What Models Don’t Say

This is the second post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

makaila-nyfwHey everyone, Mak here. If you missed my first post, this year I will be writing about my experiences as a student and in the modeling industry. This week, I wanted to inform you on what the fashion industry is really like – and how it changed my life for the better…but also the worst.

Fashion is the most cut-throat business. One day you feel like the most wanted person in the world, and the next you question what made you join the business in the first place. Many people assume that it’s just fun and glamorous all the time, but it’s not.

When I 14, I was told to look and act a certain way (more on that in a later post), but the point is, I was asked to become someone I was not. I shouldn’t have let them change me, but how was I supposed to know? Continue reading