Providing students with an opportunity to personalize their education has proven to benefit those who choose to enroll in courses at virtual schools. This is part one of our two-part series that demonstrates how full-time students at VLACS have optimized their education by taking courses online.
Students who pursue their passions at a very young age often find themselves missing out on crucial class time. Whether these students are missing school because they are traveling, practicing, or performing, they end up falling behind their classmates. They come back to school with loads of makeup work, in addition to new assignments to complete. Without discouraging students from giving up on their dreams, or having to leave school altogether, what if there was a way they could do both?
Ben Gloddy envisioned a dream for himself – he wanted to become a professional motorcycle racer. To test the waters of racing, he started riding four-wheelers when he was just three years old. A year later, his parents surprised him with the first dirt bike that would inspire him to enter his first race. After ending that race with a win, Ben knew he wanted to pursue his dream of racing professionally.
Balancing School & Racing
Last spring, at the age of 14, Ben began his first season as a professional racer. Much of the season consisted of training and traveling across the country to compete, often causing him to miss days of school.
Up until 8th grade, Ben attended a traditional public school. After carefully considering his options, Ben asked his mother if he could leave the classroom setting and start taking classes online. Ben's mother agreed, under the condition that he begins classes during the peak of the racing season, to see if he could balance his school work with his racing schedule. Once Ben proved that virtual learning could be the right fit for him, he left his traditional school to become a full-time high school student at VLACS. "I was looking at all different programs, and we thought VLACS would be the best decision to try to go that route. With missing so much school, I would be able to take school with me," Ben explained.
As a first-year high school student, Ben is enrolled in core classes, as well as specialized courses that apply to his everyday life as a racer.
In a virtual setting, Ben can do work while he is on an airplane, or at the racetrack. He explained that his assignments translate well into his daily routine, like through his personal training course that allows him to customize workout plans for himself.
Another significant aspect of being a professional racer, he said, is managing sponsorship deals. Ben is responsible for fulfilling sponsorship agreements that often require him to advertise businesses through social media, merchandising, or press releases. His VLACS sports marketing course helps him to manage endorsements and sponsorship deals effectively.
"Sports marketing was a good choice for me because, with sponsors, you have to know how to represent them and figure out how to market their brand so that people will buy their product," Ben said.
Ben plans to finish high school at VLACS and continue his career as a professional motorcycle racer!
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