Amelia Redding, 16, from Cranberry, Pa., left her local school to escape harassment but found academic success as well as safety at PA Cyber. She already has several college credits, with tuition paid through the NNDS Scholarship Program. Amelia is headed for early graduation from high school and was just named to the President's List at Butler County Community College.
Butler County Community College President Dr. Nicholas Neupauer, Amelia Redding, and BCCC Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Frances Spigelmyer
Cranberry girl, 16, shines in early college program
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - PA Cyber student Amelia Redding never imagined that at age 16 she would already be a high school senior and have completed 15 college credits. She not only passed the college classes, she made the President's List.
Three years ago things were not going so well for Amelia.
A bright student who had rotated between home schooling, the local school district and private school, she was back in their local school. Her grades had declined as she faced continued harassment that became too much to manage. After several meetings with school staff, her parents, Robin and Kevin Redding, pulled Amelia out of the local school and enrolled her in PA Cyber in October of 2009. It has proven to be a good choice.
“Initially, Amelia struggled to manage her time in the program, but after an adjustment period, she obviously has exceled,” said her father. “We notice that not only is she managing her time more effectively, which is going to be very beneficial to her once full-time college begins in the fall, her overall attitude is fantastic. Gone are the significant daily social pressures to fit in. She now has the time to find her own way and we are immensely proud of not only what she has accomplished, but who she is becoming.”
In March 2012, Butler County Community College President Dr. Nicholas Neupauer shook Amelia's hand and presented her with a certificate attesting that she was on the President's List . To make the list, students must maintain a G.P.A. of 3.75 or higher and have earned at least 12 credits.
Amelia successfully completed English 101, English 102, History 201 (early U.S. history), History 202 (recent U.S. history) and one semester of Biology 131 (anatomy and physiology). Credit for those classes transferred back to PA Cyber. Currently Amelia is completing her final requirement for graduation, the second semester of Advanced Calculus through PA Cyber. She also opted to take the second semester of anatomy and physiology (Biology 132) through Butler County Community College.
Amelia had worried that college courses would be too difficult for her. Obviously, they weren't. And she found the students at college to be much better behaved.
Her parents paid nothing in tuition for the college classes because of scholarships Amelia received through the NNDS Scholarship Foundation. Amelia is one of 1,322 PA Cyber high school students who over the past three years have earned 3,989 college credits at 31 participating colleges and universities through the NNDS Scholarship program. The scholarship pays up to $600 per course, for up to two courses per semester per student. (If a college charges more than the scholarship amount, the family is responsible for the difference.)
For information on the NNDS Scholarship program, parents may contact Don W. Herron, Advanced Placement Alternatives Director, at 1-888-PACYBER (1-888-722-9237), extension 1094.
This past fall the Reddings enrolled their son Jeremy in PA Cyber. A freshman, he plans to get a head start on college just like his big sister.
James Eimiller, Amelia's instructional supervisor, said, "It's been a privilege to work with Amelia and witness her many successes over three short years. She has a very bright future ahead. Her story validates what we do at PA Cyber and the need for school choice."
Amelia plans to take her high school diploma early, proudly walking across the stage at PA Cyber Western Commencement exercises on June 9 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh.
She plans to major in pre-medicine and currently is narrowing her choice of colleges.
"When I initially enrolled in PA Cyber, I was worried that the courses would be too easy, and alarmed that I would be on the computer for most of the day,” said Amelia. “However, after the first few months it took to get accustomed to the curriculum, I realized PA Cyber was a great alternative to traditional schooling. My grades improved significantly without the constant distractions around me, and I had plenty of time to do extracurricular activities.
“PA Cyber has provided me with so many opportunities I wouldn't have had at my other schools; I am constantly receiving e-mails from the guidance office and my instructional supervisor, suggesting new activities. I am grateful that this schooling option exists for kids who simply need another, better option."
PA Cyber press release. March 30, 2012. Contact Fred Miller, 724.777.5918