FLVS Joins St. Jude’s Walk for Children

st-jude-walkAt FLVS, our teachers and support staff make up the heart and soul of our organization. All of our efforts are centered on the lives of the individual students we serve.

This month, one of our staff members and his daughter (a student at FLVS) are especially representative of this mission as we join the statewide 5k Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mike Smith, FLVS Peer Counseling and Critical Thinking Skills teacher, says that his family has been a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for more than 25 years. His cousin (who happens to be getting married the same day as the walk this year) was treated and cured there in the early 1990s. Now, Mike’s family is once again part of the St. Jude mission to cure all children stricken with cancer. 

He shares:

In June, my eldest daughter Talia was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I spent most of this past summer in Memphis, caring for Talia through her first two rounds of chemotherapy, and just returned in August to get the school year started with my blended learning lab students.

I know there are many faces to this horrible disease, and that families are fighting all over to save their children, but I wanted to share how the fight has come home to our FLVS family. Talia is currently taking full advantage of her access to FLVS classes, and she is so relieved that FLVS is going to help her keep up with school until she returns to the classroom in January.

While receiving treatments over the summer, Talia took World History Honors.  This fall, she’s registered to take Biology, Geometry, and English so that she can keep up with her classmates. Talia has said many times that the work is challenging, but that she is learning quite a bit from her courses. I also see a tremendous improvement in her writing and in her skills when it comes to analyzing and comprehending information.

FLVS teachers and staff consider it a privilege to help and encourage students like Talia – while also showing their support through events like the Walk for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The walk is taking place all around the U.S. and at five locations throughout Florida, including Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.  Participating is a wonderful way for FLVS employees (and their families and friends) to join this community effort that supports children and families who need it the most, something we all aspire to do daily.


Mr. Smith and daughter Talia

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