Student Focus: Sports Edition
All of our Florida Virtual School students are each amazing in their own way, and over the years we have had the honor and privilege to teach many young shining stars. (Several names come to mind!)
FLVS is pleased to announce a new blog series titled “Student Focus” that helps showcase some of our incredible students.
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) July 9, 2019
By now you’ve probably heard of the 15-year-old girl who took Wimbledon by storm, but did you know that Coco Gauff is a homeschool student taking her courses with FLVS? Five courses to be exact.
Coco became the youngest tennis player to qualify at Wimbledon in the professional era this past July. The high school sophomore is no stranger to trailblazing. She was a U.S. Open junior runner-up at age 13, and the French Open junior champion at 14.
She was ranked 313th when Wimbledon began and stunned the world with her victory over five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, who is 39. Coco got to the fourth round before losing to former No. 1 Simona Halep.
When not playing tennis, the teenager calls Delray Beach home, where she resides with her family. Athletic roots run deep in her home. Her mom, Candi, ran track at Florida State University, her father, Corey, was a former guard on Georgia State’s basketball team, and her Grandpa Eddie was a pro baseball player.
Coco is driven to excel, both on and off the court, and in addition to knowing she can get better, she has set her goal to win Wimbledon next year.
Sweetlax FL 2021 Reef Kabalin from the Rainbow Nation certainly holds his team together and sticks to his opponent like glue! His quick feet make him a double threat.
✔️2x Varsity player
✔️Sweetlax National Team
— Sweetlax Florida (@Sweetlax_Fla) June 14, 2019
Reef Kabalin is entering 11th grade and like his name implies, he loves the water. His many passions include kite surfing, wake boarding, surfing, swimming, free diving, and fishing. Not sure what kite surfing looks like? Check out his video interview.
Reef describes kite surfing as “a mix of a little bit of surfing, wake boarding, and just knowing how to fly a kite. You have to have balance, know the waves and wind direction, and make sure you don’t get stuck out there.”
In addition to water sports, the high school athlete plays varsity lacrosse for Jupiter High, who were State Champions in 2018. He also plays competitive lacrosse for a club team, Sweetlax, which is currently ranked #3 in the country. He’s already been invited to compete on the Sweetlax National 2021 team.
His mom, Lynda, said she was a huge skeptic of home education/virtual learning when he first asked if he could leave his traditional school for FLVS. She said his success has been amazing; she loves how FLVS challenges him and ensures effective time management.
“FLVS Flex allows Reef the freedom to pursue his dreams; to explore opportunities and travel the world. He knows no limits,” said the proud mom. “And his teachers have been just phenomenal.”
Massi Arbani is 8 years old and this third-grader takes all his courses with FLVS. His mother, Ana, says FLVS has actually helped her son grow as a person, student, and soccer player.
“His character and personality completely changed as soon as I took him out of the brick-and-mortar school—for the better,” she said. She loves how his schedule is more flexible with FLVS and he’s able to practice soccer in the morning with his father “before it gets too hot out and before the rain comes in the afternoon.”
She says his coaches have noticed a big difference on the field as well, describing him as “more relaxed and happier.”
FLVS is so proud of Coco, Reef, and Massi!
Providing our students with a flexible, individualized educational experience that complements their aspirations makes us feel fulfilled—and we are never happier than when we see our students making their dreams come true!
Contributions from Marissa Draeger and Suzan Kurdak, FLVS Marketing & Communications