Meet FLVS Student Samantha Morris
FLVS students are quite amazing, as we all know, but some of them absolutely excel in multiple areas. Samantha Morris, FLVS veteran, is a superstar journalist, scientist, researcher, and leader.
Looking at Samantha’s impressive resume will easily exhaust anyone. She has achieved awards for her academic talents, writing, and interest in science. Samantha was recently named an AP Scholar with Distinction by the College Board and was named a National Gold Key Winner by the Quill and Scroll International Journalism Honor Society for her opinion writing.
At FLVS, she was named “2013 Student of the Year” and “2014 Shining Star.”
In her community, she was awarded first place in the Yom HaShoah Creative Arts Contest for her Holocaust remembrance poetry in both 2013 and 2014. This summer, she was offered two fully-funded scientific research fellowships, one at Florida State University, and one in nanotechnology research at the University of Mississippi. However, due to conflicting schedules, she chose to participate in the Young Scholars Program at FSU to do bioinformatics research.
The Young Scholars Program (YSP) is a residential science training program for the top 40 high school juniors in the state. She was the only homeschool student to be selected for the program this year, and she credits her academic credentials to being actively involved at her FLVS clubs and classes. She participated in three YSP classes: biochemistry of the gene, math modeling, and advanced computer science. She wrote a research paper on the project her team completed on single nucleotide polymorphism calling in three European water frogs. She assembled a reference transcriptome using various digital tools and looked for evolutionary relationships among frogs. Upon completion of the project, she and her research partner presented a poster at the capstone poster session to various faculty members at FSU and in the Tallahassee area.
Samantha and her family have been a part of FLVS for 11 years. She says:
“Homeschooling was going really well for both of us, but when my mom found Florida Virtual School years ago, she believed it would be the best option for us academically.”
When students are homeschooled, a common concern is that they will not have as much interaction with their peers. Samantha has proven that wrong in her club involvement for sure!
“I have been homeschooled since second grade and I realized in middle school that I really wanted to get involved in clubs and make friends with similar interests to me. I did ballet at a local studio for eight years, but I began to notice that I had a gift for writing and science, and the best opportunity to learn in those fields as a homeschooler would be in FLVS’s online clubs!”
She started with newspaper club in 2009 and since then has joined the literary magazine team of VIRGE, yearbook staff of Unbound, and academic clubs such as National English Honor Society, Peer Tutors, Model United Nations, Science Club, and Math Club. She has been Editor-in-Chief of newspaper club for the last two years and has had the opportunity to go to journalism conventions, as well as compete in statewide and national contests. She also has also been an officer in National English Honor Society for three years and holds leadership positions in Unbound and Model UN. Now, she is on the Student Council and is hoping to bring back the book drive for the third year at Club Day 2015!
When asked about what is in the future, it’s difficult for this girl with so many interests to nail down a plan. “Right now I really like computer science and medicine, so I am hoping to cross those two disciplines in my career. I plan to study computer science and go to graduate school for either bioinformatics/epidemiology or medical school. I definitely hope to work in the science and computing fields.”
Samantha is an avid supporter of FLVS and attributes so much of her success to her studies with the school.
“FLVS has shaped me into the determined woman I am today, and my family and I are very grateful for their support these past 11 years.”
We are grateful to have you, as well, Samantha!
Post by FLVS Instructor / Former Student Activities Coordinator Christin Wheeler