“I’m a pediatrician. I can tell you a lot about staying healthy, but when it comes to education, I can only point you in the right direction,” said Dr. Beverly Wilson, mother of three who lives in Orangeburg. The right direction for her family was SC Connections Academy (SCCA), a tuition-free virtual public school serving students in grades K-12 throughout South Carolina.
Beverly’s youngest daughter Sydney, a recent Connections graduate is headed to Wellesley in the fall. Sydney has lived in SC all her life and has glowing things to say about her online experience. “The quality of the online lectures was much higher than anything I got even in private school,” she said. “The longest I ever had to wait to get an answer from a teacher was about a day.”
The Wilson family transitioned to SC Connections Academy several years ago when their family was going through a tough time financially. SCCA not only fit their budget but also their busy schedule. “Sydney had hours of ballet practice every week and the more flexible online schedule enabled her to do everything she wanted,” Beverly shares.
Since transitioning to Connections in 8th grade, Sydney has excelled academically, helped tutor other SCCA students across the nation in math, been president of her national honor society, and actively served in her community.
Sydney wants to become an attorney to combat corruption and stand up for marginalized people who can’t fight for themselves. She credits her SCCA experience as the best college preparation she could have asked for and is thankful that she didn’t have to deal with the bullying, drugs, and alcohol abuse that her older siblings encountered in the high schools they attended.
The Wilson’s emphasize that their experience is anything but isolated children sitting in front of computer screens, with Connections hosts regular events to allow students to interact with their online classmates. Sydney especially enjoyed her SCCA senior prom.