Grad Spotlight: From Foster Care to Future Attorney
At Visions, we empower our students to take ownership and responsibility for their present and future learning. Jalissa Wheeler, an early graduate of our Home School Academy and valedictory medal recipient, is someone who has embodied this mission throughout her life. From an early age, Jalissa was part of the foster care system, and after finding her way to Visions during the COVID-19 pandemic, achieved impressive academic and personal success.
“I chose Visions because of all the amazing opportunities I received,” says Jalissa. “You can do your school work on your own time and there are plenty of resources that you are able to take advantage of.”
Not only did Jalissa excel academically, graduating with a final GPA of 4.14 in the 11th grade, she was heavily involved in many of the extracurricular opportunities that Visions offers, such as clubs and regional events.
“I was able to attend the winter dance and prom with some friends that I made at Visions, and I was able to complete my driver’s education,” shares Jalissa. “I was also able to join Black Student Union and the California Scholarship Federation. I became the secretary of the first year of Black Student Union. I was happy to help Ms. Alexia Thomas and Ms. Dominique Asuncion start up the club with fellow elected officials.”
Jalissa’s stellar academic achievements and all of these extracurricular activities helped her get accepted into UC Davis, where she’ll start in 2024 after finishing her associate’s degree this fall.
Jalissa was able to graduate early thanks to support from her teachers and counselors, as well as her participation in dual enrollment. Her plan is to become a family law attorney, which will let her focus on underrepresented children in the foster care system.
“I must give special thanks to all the teachers and my counselor, Ms. Deanna Stevenson, for helping me achieve my school goals,” shares Jalissa. “I am very thankful for my time at Visions. I do not think I would have accomplished as much as I have without it. Thank you to everyone at Visions that makes everything possible.”