Teenage girl with a side ponytail wearing blue reflective sunglasses and a purse diagonally across her body looks down at a pamphlet in her hands.

Student Spotlight: A Chess Star in the Making

Home School Academy student Julie V. has been at Visions for 12 years. A high achieving student and talented chess player, Julie has found a balance between her academic pursuits and pursuit of her passions, made possible by Visions’ unique learning structure. 

“Visions has always allowed me to create my own schedule and make time for pursuing any additional studies,” explains Julie. “I am able to make sufficient time for chess practice and tournaments, alongside all of my other various classes.”

Alec Spencer, founder of Visions vendor Alec’s Chess Club, has worked directly with Julie for three years and has been instrumental in helping her perfect her chess game. An exceptional player, a hard worker and a compassionate student, Julie is in the running to win Alec’s Student of the Year Contest for the third year in a row.

Julie stands in a blue tie-dye sweatshirt holding her Student of the Year award.

“Every year I have a Student of the Year Contest. The more a student plays chess, studies chess online, attends chess tournaments, reads chess books [and] basically anytime they do anything that has to do with chess, they earn points. Whoever accumulates the most points by the end of the year is crowned Student of the Year. They get a personalized trophy, and their name is engraved on a plaque that I keep here at the club with each year’s winner,” explains Alec. “My club has just over 80 students in it, and many badly want this prize, so it is no easy competition to win. Julie has won the competition in 2021, 2022 and she already has so many points this year that it is virtually impossible that anyone will catch her before the end of 2023 as well. She will be the first person to win this contest three years running!”

Julie is able to participate in all the activities that earn points, and that consistently win her the Student of the Year award (pictured right!), thanks to the freedom that she has at Visions. With this flexibility, Julie is able to dedicate her time to becoming a better chess player, and a three-peat winner.

“Visions provides its students with the resources and opportunities needed to find and explore our passions,” Julie shares. “It is wonderful to have achieved the Student of the Year! It is extremely motivating to know that all of my chess practice has not only improved my skills, but has also granted me many opportunities in the club.”

Makin’ Moves

Aside from chess, Julie enjoys swimming, crochet, crafting and reading. A senior here at Visions, she is planning on heading off to college after she graduates.

“I have always strived to do my best and reach the highest level of anything that I attempt,” Julie shares. “Through homeschooling with Visions, I have undoubtedly received the greatest education possible.”

Check out more vendors like Alec’s Chess Club here!