Student Spotlight: Finding Light in the Dark

When Emily B. was in third grade, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and ulcerative colitis. Over the next five years, Emily and her mom, Heidi, would be in and out of hospitals trying to find the right doctors, medications, and support for Emily’s conditions.

As she navigated her health issues, Emily missed school on and off, and her grades began to decline to the point where she was failing most of her classes. Despite her situation, Emily’s school at the time was unwilling to make accommodations or provide the family with additional support. As Emily got older, Heidi knew that the best thing for her daughter was to find a school that would allow them to prioritize Emily’s health while also providing a high-quality education.

At first, Heidi struggled to find the right alternative to Emily’s traditional public school. Eventually, she met a woman who told her that she was working as a nurse and had gone through Visions to get her education. As a mother who had spent the past five years in hospitals, Heidi said, “You rely on good nurses.” This was the moment she knew Visions was the right school for them.

A Perfect Match

Heidi finally enrolled Emily in our Home School Academy when she was in eighth grade. Although Emily continued to struggle in the beginning, with support from her credentialed teacher and resources like a free Chromebook, a budget for learning materials, and access to tutoring services, she was able to turn her grades around and continue to find success in our 9-12 Independent Study program.

“Eighth grade was tough. Going from failing to passing in six weeks was a miracle,” says Heidi. “This year she is a freshman and thriving. Her illness is in remission and she is able to focus on school finally.”

Although she made significant strides with her grades, Emily still needed additional help in subjects like science, math, and language arts. After talking to Emily’s credentialed teacher about her academic struggles, Heidi was referred to A+ Tutoring, one of the 600+ Enrichment Vendors that Visions partners with to provide services to our students. A+ Tutoring was able to connect Emily with Brooke Fallas, one of their tutors, and assist Emily on her path to success.

“With Visions, they have so many tools to make your child succeed,” says Heidi. “I read a lot of great reviews and decided to give A+ a shot. I’m so glad we did.”

A+ Tutoring makes it a priority to understand each student’s unique learning style. Their tutors teach in a way that students understand, meeting them where they are and finding points of connection to facilitate effective instruction. In Brooke and Emily’s case, that connection was evident from their very first meeting.

“Brooke and I hit it off, she was so understanding and kind and also patient. I told her about the anime I watch and the video games I play. We had a great conversation. She is a great tutor,” Emily shares.

“When we first started, she [Emily] was a little apprehensive and had some really negative feelings about her schoolwork — just super overwhelmed and had a ton on her plate,” says Brooke. “I think when she noticed that we, as a team, were there to support her no matter what was going on was when she really got invested in herself. It’s awesome to see her show up for herself and overcome the barriers she had!”

Brooke has had such a profound impact on Emily that when she was told that Brooke would be going on vacation for a few weeks and that A+ would provide her with a different tutor, Emily declined.

“My daughter and her tutor have such a connection. They understand each other and click. I’m so thankful that we found A+ Tutoring,” says Heidi.

Bright Futures

Through her time at Visions and with A+ Tutoring, Emily has become more confident in herself and her abilities, and has overcome her health battles and educational setbacks. As Brooke says, “It really feels like she’s taken the power back in her own hands and is ready to face whatever is thrown at her.”

“Thank you so much to our Visions team and to our A+ team for helping our daughter succeed in life,” says Heidi. “There truly is light at the end of a dark tunnel.”

Enrichment Vendors

Visions is proud to partner with hundreds of Enrichment Vendors that help students, like Emily, supplement their education, expand their learning, and nourish their growth. Check out all of our vendors here!

About A+ Tutoring

A+ Tutoring prioritizes understanding each student’s unique learning style and needs. Through comprehensive assessments, they determine whether students respond best to visual, auditory, or kinesthetic methods. Their tutors then customize their teaching approach, integrating relevant materials and interactive exercises tailored to enhance comprehension and engagement. Continuous monitoring of progress allows them to fine-tune their strategies, ensuring optimal learning outcomes for every student.

A+ Tutoring also caters to the specific needs of charter school and homeschool families by providing tailored support. They align their tutoring with the curriculum and collaborate with educators to offer flexible, personalized instruction that complements their curriculum and learning goals. Their goal is to empower all students with the support they need to succeed academically.