Grad Spotlight: Finding the Freedom to Grow

Kaylee G. loves learning TikTok dances and making videos with her mom. As a student, she loved to read, write, and express herself through journaling and poetry. Her creativity and self-expression flourished through her passion for mental health and telling stories about the world.

But it wasn’t always like that for Kaylee. At her previous brick and mortar school, she felt stifled and isolated. Academically, she thrived, but mentally, Kaylee struggled. During her sophomore year, Kaylee decided to enroll in our Independent Study Academy after hearing about Visions from her cousin, who was also a Visions student. Along with the freedom to set her own schedule, Kaylee wanted closer relationships with her teachers, access to mental health resources, and a more personalized learning experience.

“I absolutely loved being in the Independent Student Academy. There was a lot of freedom, I loved going at my own pace, [and] it was also better for me mentally,” says Kaylee.

During her time at Visions, Kaylee formed a special bond with her credentialed teacher, Lauryl Kemp, and her tutor, Robert Boswell. In different ways, both Lauryl and Rob have made a profound impact on Kaylee’s life.

“I absolutely adored my teacher. She was the best thing that happened to me in school. She really helped me not only academically, but mentally as well,” shares Kaylee. “I also want to give a shout out to Rob. I want to say thank you so much for being my tutor. You’ve had a really big impact on me and I just want to say thank you.”

Along with tutoring, Kaylee had access to Enrichment Vendorsstudent clubsin-person events and more to supplement her education and facilitate socialization with other students. Kaylee got to practice her swing at Top Golf, dance with her friends at prom, and go bowling with her peers and Visions staff, all things that contributed to a well-rounded, positive high school experience.

“I…made friends through the BSU [Black Student Union] club, the dances, my classes, and the school events,” shares Kaylee. “Visions gave me opportunities to do things that I like with others, and for that I am very grateful.”

The Next Chapter

One of Kaylee’s biggest passions is writing. Now that she’s out in the world, she’s excited to begin exploring her love of language, story and creative expression with new people and in new places.

“As of now, I want to write stories as I travel the world. I love helping people, so sharing my stories one day and having the opportunity to possibly have people relate would be heartwarming,” shares Kaylee.

Although Kaylee is now officially an alumnus, she will never forget the impact that Visions had on her academically, socially and mentally. For Kaylee, Visions was a critical turning point in her life, and she continued on to her next chapter feeling included, inspired and empowered.

“I just want to say thank you for accepting me into this community when I needed it the most. I would choose Visions over and over again. To my teacher, Ms. Kemp, tutors, and [Principal] Moses, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Visions is the place to be.”

At Visions, Kaylee’s true self has been allowed to shine. Check out the video below to see for yourself.