#FVHSClassof2023: Meet Lauren B., FLVS Foundation Scholarship Winner!

A family visit to the National Cryptologic Museum in Washington D.C. ignited a love for technology and cybersecurity in Lauren B., a recent Florida Virtual High School (FVHS) graduate. By taking cybersecurity courses through FVHS and enrolling in dual enrollment courses at Valencia College, Lauren accomplished the impressive feat of graduating a year early with a 4.0-grade point average. Plus, she is on track to receive her A.A. degree in Cybersecurity next semester.

As the graduation season for the Class of 2023 ends, we proudly recognize Lauren as one of our exceptional senior scholarship winners from the FLVS Foundation, the philanthropic organization of Florida Virtual School.

Finding Her Passion for Cybersecurity

Lauren made the decision to enroll in a math class with FLVS because she felt unprepared for 7th-grade math in her brick-and-mortar school. While taking the class, she grew fond of the flexibility and time-management advantages of learning online. This is why, the following year,  her family decided to select FLVS as her homeschool curriculum. 

Lauren had already taken multiple computer science courses when she decided to enroll in an FLVS Cybersecurity class in her junior year. After learning more about cybersecurity’s impact on the world, Lauren knew it was the academic major and career she wanted to achieve and said, “My goal is to safeguard our most valuable data, such as personal identifiable information, credit card data, and financial records, against cyber threats.”

As a young woman entering the tech field, Lauren aspires to expand her knowledge and skills while serving as an inspiration for other young women pursuing STEM fields. She emphasizes, “The demand for cyber skills is high and continues to rise, making it necessary for individuals from diverse backgrounds to contribute to these intellectually stimulating areas.”

Facing Adversity Head-on

Resilience in the face of challenges is a familiar terrain for Lauren. Diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age, she endured the physical toll of a 55-degree “S” curve in her back, significantly impacting her quality of life. Fortunately, a newly-approved Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  device offered a glimmer of hope, and Lauren became one of the first pediatric patients to undergo the successful implantation, leading to a full recovery.

Giving Back

Driven by gratitude and a desire to give back, Lauren actively sought opportunities to contribute to her community. As a frequent patient at Orlando Health Hospital, she joined the Orlando Health Teen Volunteer Program. Through this experience, she expanded her understanding of the healthcare system and positively impacted patients and hospital staff. Recognizing her eagerness to learn and proactive nature, the hospital entrusted her with responsibilities in the Laboratory, Pharmacy, and IT support for the Cancer Center. Alongside her significant volunteer hours across multiple organizations, Lauren and her family were named the 2017 Disney VoluntEARS Family of the Year.

FLVS Foundation Scholarship Winner

In recognition of her remarkable achievements, it is no surprise that Lauren was selected as a recipient of the $1,000 FLVS Foundation/Truist STEM Scholarship. Combined with her additional scholarships, she has been awarded over $21,000 to support her future academic endeavors. Her educational journey will continue at Valencia College, where she plans to earn both her Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees in Cybersecurity before transferring to the University of Maine at Augusta to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Remarkably, she aims to complete all four degrees by 2026.

When asked for her advice, Lauren encourages fellow FLVS students to value their schoolwork, emphasizing its potential to open doors to unlimited opportunities. She reassures them, “Although challenges may seem daunting or even frightening at times, they ultimately make the journey all the more rewarding.”

Congratulations to Lauren and all the FLVS Foundation Scholarship recipients. We extend our gratitude to the FLVS Foundation and all the generous donors who make these scholarships possible.

Interested in joining Florida Virtual School for the 2023-24 school year? Enrollment is now open for FLVS Full Time, our full-time online public school. Apply today at flvs.net/full-time/enrollment. If you’re interested in individual online courses or homeschool, FLVS Flex is open year-round at flvs.net/flex/enroll

Katie HodginsKatie Hodgins brings her wealth of experience and passion to the FLVS team, assuming the role of Content and Public Relations Specialist. A military veteran and lifelong learner, Katie enjoys communicating unique and innovative stories about people, places, and opportunities to inspire and engage the next generation. Having traveled throughout the world, she is excited to plant roots here in Florida and with Florida Virtual School.

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