Class Acts: Ohio Honor Student on Target, Jump Starts College
Learning Liftoff’s Class Acts series profiles inspiring online education graduates. Their stories showcase how individualized, award-winning curriculum and technology combine to greatly influence student success and help propel the pursuit of post-graduate dreams.
Jessica Syme received her head start on her college education through K12 and Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) by excelling in the post-secondary enrollment option program, which permits high school students to complete college courses, earning both high school and college credit.
Carrying a 3.98 GPA through high school, she completed her coursework early and plans to do the same in college.
“Because of the flexibility of OHVA, I began my high school courses as an eighth grader, and completed all my required high school courses for the honors diploma by the end of my junior year,” says Jessica, whose hard work was rewarded with the Presidential Scholarship from Ashland (Ohio) University.
“In my senior year (of high school), I was able to take a full freshman course load at Ashland University. I have 32 credit hours completed toward the five-year accounting MBA program. In four years, I hope to graduate with my MBA, then sit for the CPA exam. OHVA and the outstanding K12 curriculum enabled me to have this wonderful opportunity to get a head start on my college journey.”
OHVA’s National Honor Society president and two-time president of student council also happens to be an international level sharpshooter.
A two-time Junior Olympic qualifier in Women’s Air and Sport Pistol, she is part of the Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association’s Junior Pistol team, which has been crowned national champions eight of the last nine years at the National Bull’s-eye Pistol Matches (Camp Perry, Ohio).
Jessica received her introduction to competitive shooting through the 4-H program. She is vice president of administration for the Ohio 4-H Teen Advisory Council, the highest youth-led 4-H group in the state.
For the past four years, Jessica has been an Ohio 4-H shooting sports junior leader, helping youngsters focus on improving their skills while learning firearm safety. Her 4-H club is also devoted to service projects. This May, the club cleaned more than 3,100 gravestones at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery and it regularly assists with activities at the Medina County Fair.
Jessica is also musically talented. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano for elderly residents of the Medina County Home as well as harp for her church congregation.
“4-H has taught me the importance of serving others, and how to become a leader,” she says. “I know that I will use the leadership skills 4-H has taught me for many years to come.
“K12 and OHVA have given me the ability to forge my own path, and the flexibility and encouragement to keep going. I will look back fondly as I move forward to the next adventure in life. Ohio Virtual Academy has given me a love of learning, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!”
Seth Livingstone is a veteran writer and editor who has spent much of his career in sports journalism covering multiple Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Series, and Daytona 500s. He covered the Boston Red Sox throughout the 1980s and 1990s before joining USA Today and Baseball Weekly in 1999. He maintains his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America and is a Hall of Fame voter. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and has also worked as a substitute teacher (all grades and subjects). He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and has two grown children.