Vianca-Lee Melendez-Santiago, of Sinking Spring PA enrolled at Achievement House Cyber Charter School in 2012 after moving to PA from Puerto Rico. Through hard work and determination, Vianca-Lee has been named Valedictorian for the Class of 2017!
Vianca-Lee soon realized education in America is very different from schooling where she grew up. In Puerto Rico, schools felt more like communities, with large classrooms where students were engaged and excited to learn. She enrolled in her local district school but felt caged and restricted. Unfortunately, the rich Puerto Rican heritage and culture she was so proud of also made her a target for bullying from other students.
Searching for other options, Vianca-Lee heard a commercial for Cyber School. After researching a number of charter schools, private schools and public cyber schools in Pennsylvania and guidance from her family she chose Achievement House!
Cyber School gave her the ability to learn from the top-notch curriculum provided by Achievement House. The individualized, flexible and self-paced online learning environment allowed her to focus on academics first and socialization second. She loved being able to slow down if she was struggling with a topic or work ahead of the teacher if she had already mastered a particular skill.
From the comfort of her own home, Vianca-Lee, and other AHCCS students have endless resources at their fingertips. She loved the ability to research topics or assignments during classes if she wanted more information. Through video or text chat, teachers were always readily available to help her if needed, and even Principal Slider frequently showed a vested interest in students making himself available online for them to talk to about academics, graduation or their future.
Outside of AHCCS, Vianca-Lee enjoys tutoring other non-native English speakers and photography. She is taking time off after graduation to consider her career options, but enjoys helping others and believes that the medical or human resources fields might be a good fit for her. Cyber School helps develop self-discipline in students, and also taught Vianca-Lee the importance of prioritizing, organization and setting her own personal goals.
Vianca-Lee addressed her fellow graduates on June 17 at the Asplundh Theatre on the campus of West Chester University. AHCCS awarded diplomas to roughly 100 students, and Vianca-Lee thanked the teachers, mentors and principals that made her educational journey possible. She also addressed her fellow graduates with the following words of wisdom: “Let us always remember that the education we have, and are still receiving, is the passport to our future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”