Move over Tony Hawk. At the age of 11, Virginia Virtual Academy (VAVA) student Nate Paugh is well on his way to a professional skateboarding career.

Nate, or Lil Nate, as he’s known in the skateboarding community, got noticed by sponsors when he was just eight years old. And it was his YouTube videos that did it. He now competes in at least six competitions a year—many of them requiring him to travel across the country.

In order to accommodate his busy skating schedule, his mother Toni decided to switch him to an online school. With VAVA, Nate is able to do work on the road and avoid falling behind in school as he travels. He can also skate five to eight hours a day and still make the honor roll.

Nate has aspirations to become a professional skateboarder. Having already secured sponsorships, he’s well on his way. But he isn’t just in it for the money. Mom Toni says her son told her, “I want to be known, I want to be recognized. I want people to know who I am.”

To see some of his moves, check out his video on YouTube.

You can read about other successful online students who have excelled both academically and in their hobbies and future careers.


Image courtesy of the Paugh family.

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