As a kinship caregiver for her 16-year old niece “T”, Theresa Edwards-Mize’s mission was always to give her the best shot at life.
For starters, Theresa wanted to ensure that “T” had received a top-notch education with ample academic resources to help her niece overcome low self-esteem and anxiety from reading comprehension and spelling difficulties in elementary school. Her efforts were thwarted in the traditional school system as overwhelmed and indifferent teachers allowed “T” to fall through the cracks.
“I was really at a dead end,” said Theresa when describing her frustrations in attempting to navigate the public school system bureaucracy. Theresa said she finally saw a ray of hope when she came across a commercial for the California Virtual Academies. “I said, ‘is this real’?”
Theresa took the leap of faith and enrolled both “T” and her older sister in CAVA. She now credits the academy, which receives its state-of-the-art curriculum, technology and dedicated educators from K12, for “T”’s remarkable academic progress and personal transformation.
“We were very grateful to find CAVA, because I knew right away that a (traditional) public school could not provide her with the individual attention that she needed,” she said. “CAVA was the only place that has offered her an opportunity to excel.”
“T”’s reading comprehension improved dramatically and, more importantly, her confidence soared after receiving one-on-one attention from her CAVA instructors and being able to work at her own pace.
After elementary and middle school at CAVA and having gained improved academic skills and self-confidence, “T” advanced to high school at an earlier stage.
Like most high-schoolers, “T” sought independence and new life experiences, so she attempted to try her hand at returning to a bricks and mortar high school for a more traditional school experience. It became apparent that her decision proved counterproductive, as “T” became quickly discouraged when her academics started to slip.
“I started falling behind in my classes. I wasn’t as focused as when I was in CAVA,” said “T”, now in 11th grade.
“I realized that CAVA helps me stay focused and get better grades,” said “T”. “At CAVA, if I had a problem with the assignment, I can email my teachers or call them. At my former public school, I would wait for the next day or for class to start before asking my questions and they weren’t always answered.”
After electing to return to CAVA, where she is currently studying, “T” began to excel in her education again.
“It was phenomenal,” exclaimed Theresa, proudly.
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