Student Voice

Kick the New Year’s Resolution for Something Better

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

New Year ResolutionsAh…the New Year. It seems to be that every New Year, we set our expectations so high we surely cannot keep them.

Well, not this year!

Instead, set the bar high for yourself in 2017– but keep it attainable. Better yet, instead of having some New Year’s resolution that we both know won’t last, focus on something that matters – your dreams.

Ask yourself, what is it that you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to chase your dreams and be the best you can in school? Maybe your vision is elsewhere, America’s Next Top Model…or perhaps an X-Games stunt driver?

No matter what your dream is, focus your efforts on how to get there.

When I was younger, New Year’s became my “crunch time.” 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


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


Meet our 2016 Photo Contest Winners

flvs-photo-contestOver the last several weeks, FLVS students have been sharing what makes them unique in our fall photo contest on social media.

Using Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, participants were asked to submit a photo showing what makes them one-of-a-kind using #IAMFLVS.

It was truly inspiring to see so many entries (including many of our new elementary students!) and hear all of your stories. We also enjoyed following the journey of several students who participated in our contest in years past!

We loved hearing how the flexibility of FLVS allows you to be yourself and follow your dreams.

As we have in previous contests, three winners were selected…one at random, one by our judges, and one by popular vote.

And now, we’re excited to present them to you!

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


FLVS Student Pursues her Passion for Animals

This post was written by tenth grade high school student Madison Toonder. Read about Maddie’s oyster research in a previous blog post here

madison-toonderIn October 2015, I was awarded a scholarship to attend any pre-collegiate program of my choice for winning second place in the nation in STEM mathematics at the Broadcom MASTERS national science fair competition in San Francisco, California.

I chose the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University’s two-week summer intensive in Massachusetts because it is directly related to my career path.

Tufts’ program is designed to give high school students insight into the rigors of veterinary school. During the program, we attended lectures, studied animal anatomy through fascinating dissections and hands-on palpitations, completed hospital rounds with fourth-year veterinary students, and explored the many different possible career paths within veterinary medicine. My daily agenda was varied and included activities such as learning proper techniques for handling animals, observing surgical procedures, and learning how to perform routine check-ups on a variety of different animals. One of my favorite activities was suturing bananas to practice proper technique. Continue reading


FLVS Yearbook Club: Unbound

FLVS Yearbook ClubNearly five years ago, the first edition of the Florida Virtual School yearbook, Unbound, was published.

Many things have changed since then, but one thing has not – this is a yearbook created by and for “unbound” students. At FLVS, students are not bound to four walls of a classroom, nor are they bound to lectures that feel endless. Unbound was created to show off these exemplary students and our exemplary school.

My name is Scott Schneider and I am the Editor-in-Chief of this year’s Unbound yearbook. I am a Junior at FLVS Full Time, and I can testify to the unbound feeling that FLVS provides. Our goal is to provide that same feeling to students in the yearbook. We have created many ways to get involved this year without being bound to deadlines, countless hours of work, etc.

One of the ways to get involved is through the Summer Cover Challenge! Continue reading


Meet FLVS Alumna Makaila Nichols

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

Mak Nichols FLVS Alumna and AuthorHey blog readers! I’m the new kid on “The Virtual Voice” block.

My name is Makaila, but all my friends call me Mak and I’m 18 years young. I was once an FLVS Flex student and attended a small private school in Windermere, Florida. So why did I take classes from FLVS when I was already in school full time?

Opportunity.

I started modeling when I was 14 with Wilhelmina Models and had to spend a lot of time in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York (and not at school).

I found myself on a plane quite often and was always told the same thing by the people I worked with, “take classes online.” So I did – and by the time I completed high school, I applied 18 credits from FLVS to the final total that resulted in my diploma from Windermere Preparatory School. Continue reading