Student Voice

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


Cooney World Adventures Blog Series

FLVS Cooney World AdventuresIf you’ve ever dreamed of traveling the world, it may not be as complicated as you think.

In 2008, Mike Cooney traveled the world with his wife, Catrell, and three teenage sons, Morgan, Zach, and Harrison, who studied online with FLVS. After selling their home, downsizing, and packing up their belongings, the family traveled across six continents and 22 countries…more than 61,000 miles! Today, Mike shares their experiences at speaking events and talks about his book which details their adventures. As Mike likes to say, “If we can do it, anyone can!”

In a year-long blog series on The Virtual Voice, Morgan, Zach, and Harrison and their parents shared their experience: Continue reading


Meet FLVS Student Lauren Mackey

LaurenMy first course with Florida Virtual School was M/J Language Arts II with Ms. Wilson.

At the time, I was in seventh grade and planning on majoring in English at New York University to pursue a career as an author. One of my Language Arts assignments had me writing a five paragraph essay about the definition of love, which I definitely had enough experience to write about at the age of 13.

When I presented the essay to Ms. Wilson over the phone, I recall her describing my essay as something she expected to hear from an adult, out of a magazine, and encouraging me to join the FLVS Newspaper Club, News In A Click (NIAC). Continue reading