#FVHSClassof2023: From Barrel Racing to Pre-Law with Lacie Brownlee
Florida Virtual High School (FVHS) Senior Lacie Brownlee’s love for animals started early in life because she grew up on a farm in the rural community of Indian River County. Feeding and taking care of her horses and cows took up a lot of time after school, so when Lacie’s mom took a remote job working from home before her freshman year of high school, she decided to research schools that would give the flexibility to learn at home on her own time and pace. As soon as Lacie saw the diverse list of courses and the diploma awarded upon completion of high school requirements, she jumped at the opportunity and never looked back.
“I am Thankful I Found FLVS”
The academic opportunities afforded to Lacie throughout her four years at FVHS have been unmatched. By earning college credits through Advanced Placement (AP) and college-level dual enrollment courses through the University of Florida (UF), Lacie has already completed all of her college-level general education courses, before stepping foot on a college campus. She also completed several second-year courses, allowing her to progress toward her bachelor’s degree.
Lacie credits Florida Virtual School (FLVS) courses for helping her find and feel confident in her choice of a college major. When selecting an elective course, Lacie chose accounting because she liked math and wanted to major in business and finance. But while taking the accounting course, she realized that although she loved her teacher, she didn’t like accounting as a career. Later, when taking a UF dual enrollment law class and joining the FLVS debate club her senior year, she found her passion and looks forward to majoring in pre-law in college.
After touring several colleges and universities, she liked the idea of attending a smaller college and is excited to attend Southeastern University next fall.
The Online Community That Helped Lacie Thrive
Besides tending to her animals, Lacie filled her time with FLVS clubs and other leadership and extracurricular activities. As a three-year member of the National Honor Society, she held an officer position and became close with the club’s sponsors, who mentored and encouraged her throughout high school. This year, Lacie was one of 11 class officers who made up the senior class cabinet. Representing more than 950 seniors, the cabinet acts as a resource to fellow seniors and their families. “I loved the feeling of community,” said Lacie. “We really got to know each other during a time of big change and will be there to support one another.”
Lacie has also enjoyed volunteering with the FLVS K-2 gardening club, 3-5 robotics club, 6-8 Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and tutoring middle and high school students through the Science National Honor Society. And, if that wasn’t enough, Lacie also leads her church’s preteen group SALT (Serving and Leading in Truth) and gives horse riding lessons to children and teens in her community.
With all these activities and achievements, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lacie was named Outstanding Senior of the Year for the FVHS Class of 2023 and the National Honor Society Student of the Year. All her hard work has paid off as she has received a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and a Chancellor’s Scholarship from Southeastern University.
“Lacie is a natural leader and steps up to the plate whenever needed. She has consistently demonstrated the four pillars of the National Honor Society (NHS) – scholarship, citizenship, character, and service,” said Regina Hagen, club sponsor of NHS. “Lacie’s positive spirit brings a smile to everyone’s face. I know that after she graduates, she will go on to do great things!”
As Lacie looks forward to her future, she hopes her story will correct misconceptions about online education. “Not only does FLVS break down barriers to further education, but it also provides an engaging and rigorous learning experience to help prepare students for their future,” said Lacie.
Advice to Those Who Will Follow in Her Footsteps
Here are Lacie’s final thoughts as she prepares to cross the graduation stage on May 26.
- “Don’t be afraid to reach out, whether to teachers or peers. While it might seem like the screen is a barrier, it’s not. Teachers want to help us and will go to great lengths to do so – taking screenshots to show step-by-step problem solving or resources.”
- “Organization is the key, whatever or however you choose to do it.” Lacie didn’t have a set schedule, instead, she would make a unique weekly schedule to incorporate homework, projects, dual enrollment lectures, work, clubs, and extracurriculars.
- “Join clubs!” It is there where Lacie met her best friends and made the most of her high school experience.
Make the most of next school year with flexible, full-service online learning at Florida Virtual School. FLVS Full Time enrollment will open on June 5 for the 2023-24 school year. Or if you’re interested in individual online courses, FLVS Flex is open year-round at flvs.net/flex/enroll.
Congratulations, Florida Virtual High School class of 2023! If you’re a senior who would like to be featured, send us a photo and your plans after graduation via our share your story page or share your photos with us on social media using #FVHSClassof2023.
I also love FLVS to because it’s more flexable.