VC Student Spotlight- Bekka
Today we are shining a spotlight and giving a shout out to an amazing Virtual Campus student: Bekka!
Tell us some basic info about yourself (school, background, family, future goals).
I LOVE public speaking and science. I LOVE animals of all kinds. I have a mom, dad, and a sister.
What are some challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
I have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) called Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) I got it on April 27th, 2017 from slipping on wet grass at soccer practice. Through this I’ve seen how being a kid is important because I deal with a lot more grown up stuff so that I can learn skills to benefit me now and in the future with my disability. I have many symptoms like dizziness, sleep issues, nausea, concentration, balance, etc. (there’s many more of them) I became visually impaired because of PCS and I have many diagnoses for my vision some doctors are stumped by and trying to figure out still, and I have a cane that to be personalized to me I named Phyllis and am learning how to use Phyllis and also learn Braille. I’m also learning how to cook and much more, but through this I’ve learned that when you have a TBI or PCS everyone who cares about you feels like they have one as well. I’ve also learned to adapt even if it’s hard to a different way of life.
What brings you to Virtual Campus?
My family decided to look into online school at least for this year so I can focus on my health while still doing school. So we found Des Moines Virtual Campus and it has been amazing!
What are your hobbies and interested outside of school?
I love the environment, animals, science, coding/programming, public speaking, being active in the visually impaired and PCS communities, will be starting a public speaking/speech team called forensics in the spring, Will be hopefully starting a new sport for the visually impaired called goalball as soon as a spot opens up, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube and Netflix, reading books, making crafts, yoga, hulahooping, painting (but I may have to stop this if I have eye strain while doing this), and SO much more.
What do you love about Virtual Campus?
I love how you NEVER have homework on the weekends because everything is due on Friday at midnight. This gives me opportunities to be flexible with my health and get done early, this helps me have many opportunities to work ahead and rest for my health as needed. Everyone is kind to everyone and communication is very easy helpful from communicating to teachers or classmates. My family and I can schedule doctors appointments during the week which is more convenient. Online school means that I can wear pajamas to school! I love that the school year isn’t divided into semesters or trimesters it’s divided into terms. There’s 8 or 9 terms in a school year each is about 8 weeks long and this means you only have to take 2 or 3 classes at a time.
What is your favorite VC class or favorite VC teacher and why?
I’m currently taking my first 2 classes now (I had to set up my IEP first) and I have Mrs. Brennan for both and she’s very helpful. I’m taking Personal Health and Development and Future Ready Career Accad Career Planning (both are electives), and I like them about equal because personal health has science and teaches me to make sure my own health is taken care of and Future Ready Career Accad Career Planning helps me explore and plan careers and ways to act in the real world when you get a job.
What is a typical day like for you as a VC student?
I wake up at 8:10AM and get ready for the day. Next I check to see what’s due by Friday in my classes and plan what I need to get done today and this week in order to finish on time. Then I’ll check my grades for what I’ve completed and look at comments on my assignments from my teacher. I take a break for lunch or a snack, and then when I get back to work and finish what I need to do I have the rest of the day to rest for my health and enjoy the afternoon or evening. Lastly I go to bed and start this over except on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning I meet at a local high school even though I don’t attend there, and I learn braille and walk with my mobility instructor. Wednesdays and Fridays I receive additional braille help from the Iowa Department for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, but they also help me to learn things like cooking, laundry, knowing what bills and change are in my purse, etc.
What advice do you have for current and future VC students?
Current students don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers it can be SO beneficial and also make sure to pace yourself with assignments accordingly. Future students everyone here is SO kind and flexible if you have a question or medical needs this is an excellent option so that you can learn and still focus on your health. If you don’t have medical needs it’s still AMAZING! You can work ahead if you’re finished so you could potentially have free weeks like you do for summer vacation or our winter and fall breaks. Also like I said you can have a pajama day every day if you want!