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PrepNet Virtual Provides Necessary Connection with Instructors

Students struggled to learn throughout the COVID pandemic, and many found themselves stuck in a virtual world without the support they needed. That was the case for Ariauna Black until she found a new path forward with PrepNet Virtual Academy. Black is about to graduate and credits her success largely to her move to PrepNet.

“With that other school, a lot of the work was just piling on me,” Black said. “So, I had a bit of an issue with my elective classes and some of my core classes, but it was a lot of work that I wasn't used to. It was more emailing back and forth, and I would email the teacher and ask what I needed to do. Then I was dealing with late responses, and I was constantly confused. There wasn’t that much explanation.”
What was lacking, she later realized, was one-on-one time with her teachers. In the new world of online learning, that wasn’t happening. She needed a new experience with the convenience of virtual with that support system in place.
“With PrepNet, it was already prepared to be virtual, so I knew what I was getting into,” she said. “I didn't know if it was going to be as much work as that other school, but I knew that they would be prepared because it was already a virtual school. They were set up to be virtual.”
Black found teachers ready to connect with her needs, and they had clear expectations for classwork. It was just what she needed.

Now, as she prepares for graduation, Black looks to her next challenge: attending the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, where she will focus on her dream of becoming a concept designer, likely for comics and games.
“It's an outlet for many different types of things,” she said. “You can do concept design for landscapes, logos, I think about the design in my head. I think about what type of character it is. Are they sweet? Tall? Funny? I take part of the personality and do a spin on it and design their clothes and hair and base it around the personality.”
The strength and experience she built during her senior year at PrepNet helped her receive scholarship offers from Saginaw Valley State University, but the draw for her creative future was too strong to deny an opportunity at CCS.

“For me, I knew I had to change something because I can't force a teacher to teach me in a certain way,” she said. “I could always ask for different types of help, but I need to have that push to learn in a different way.”  
“I had to have the willingness to learn in another way.”
Great work persevering through a challenging time to pursue your dreams, Ariauna!
About PrepNet Virtual Academy:
PrepNet Virtual Academy is a tuition-free, online public charter school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, virtually serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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