A virtual high school degree prepares one student for college and a career Connections Academy

A virtual high school degree prepares one student for college and a career

SUCCESS STORY

Tori Hornick overcomes health issues to graduate from high school early and pursue college

If I had the chance, I would tell other kids who have daily challenges or health issues never to give up— you can do anything you put your mind to,” said Tori Hornick, student at Connections Academy. Tori would know; she has overcome many challenges herself.

Online high school sophomore Tori Hornick talks about her long fight against cancer and explains why online learning at Connections Academy gives her the flexibility she needs to stay on top of schoolwork while dealing with as many doctors appointments as she has.

After I graduate from Connections Academy I would like to go to college to become a speech pathologist. I would like to help children who have the same challenges as I do.

Tori Hornick

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Me and my friends! We laugh all the time!

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My sister, Sydni, and my dog, Maycee = love!

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Connections Academy provides a clear path to graduation

Tori Hornick, able to progress through her classes at her own pace, was able to graduate six months early.

When Tori was just two years old she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She underwent four intense rounds of chemotherapy to beat the cancer, but she suffered hearing loss and breathing trouble as a result. Her residual health issues made going to a traditional school challenging. She wore hearing aids which made learning in a traditional classroom harder and prompted many uncomfortable students to pick on Tori. She also had lots of doctor appointments, so keeping up with her classes became difficult.

“It was just harder being in a traditional school,” Tori explains. “When I was in middle school my parents and I started looking into an online school that would allow me to graduate with a diploma and prepare me for college.” They chose Connections Academy, a virtual high school that gives Tori the ability to take all of her classes online, work at her own pace, and receive one-on-one attention from her instructors. “What I like most about the online format is the flexibility—having to run back and forth to doctor appointments—it makes it easier being able to do my work ahead of time or when I get home,” she said. The class modules also give Tori the opportunity to work through lessons multiple times if needed to help build full understanding of the course material.

Tori continues, “I also like the online community, where I can interact with other students by email or live sessions and get the one-on-one attention from my teachers. They are great at helping me with lessons or concepts if I get stuck or don’t quite understand something from the online interactive courses. Having access to them has been great. My teachers are very supportive and understanding when I need extra time on my work, but they also encourage me to stay on top of my work. It really helps me not be stressed.

“Going to Connections Academy has allowed me to get ahead on my school work. When I was a sophomore, I took 11th grade courses and now in my senior year I will be able to finish a semester early. After I graduate from Connections Academy I would like to go to college to become a speech pathologist. I would like to help children who have the same challenges as I do. And I would like to receive my certification in American Sign Language. I’m a regular teenager like everyone else—I like to have my friends over on the weekends, go to the movies, hang out by the pool and drive my car.”

Through dedication and hard work Tori has been able to break through many challenges, and with the help of a non-traditional option for high school, she is on her way to fulfilling her dream of helping others who have experienced similar problems as she has.

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Virtual School. Real Learning.

The Connections Academy program is a rapidly growing form of free public school that students in grades K–12 attend outside the walls of a traditional classroom.
Learn more about Connections Academy