Creative Graduate Follows Blueprint to Architecture School
Jun 27, 2022
PA Cyber alumna Chloe Perko, 19, is a bright, curious person who is anxiously awaiting to begin her first year at Marywood University’s School of Architecture this fall. After graduating from PA Cyber in 2021 in the top 1% of her class, she took a gap year to flex her entrepreneurial and creative skills. During that time, she started her own online business and became an Instagram ambassador for multiple companies. Being a student at PA Cyber helped her understand her personal work style and empowered her to teach herself how to do anything she chooses.
Chloe has been awarded Marywood University’s Presidential Scholarship for all five years of architecture school. She first became interested in architecture when she and her parents were looking for a new home during her freshman year. “We really wanted to find our dream house,” she said. After searching and searching, they finally found a house designed by Peter Bohlin, an internationally recognized architect and one of the most celebrated architects of this century. “It’s such a unique house. Just seeing the materials, the layout, and how it communicates with nature outside. It’s breathtaking. I’ve been focused on researching architecture because of this house. Now, I’m obsessed with architecture, and how architecture and nature work together to create a masterpiece.”
In the summers of 2020 and 2021, Chloe attended a two-week architecture summer program for high school students at Marywood University. She gained hands-on experience and made connections with other participants that she still maintains today. She has interviewed architects local to her home in Bear Creek Village to better understand the different types of architecture and to create a blueprint for her own career path.
During her gap year, Chloe seized the opportunity to take her creative interests and business skills to the next level. She has built her own online vintage clothing business, Precociously Chic (precociouslychic.com). She is also an Instagram brand ambassador, where she gets paid commission to post photos, videos, and product reviews for clothing and jewelry companies.
Chloe grew up in a creative environment with her parents, Rhonda and Wyatt, who met in art school. “They have done everything creatively,” she said. “It’s been wonderful to have that exposure. It has made me want to have my own business, create things, and go into a field where I’m creating buildings and structures.”
Chloe’s other interests lie in nail art as well as photography and video editing, and she has gained commercial experience by helping her mother who is vice president of marketing for a mobility products company. When Rhonda directs commercials, sometimes Chloe acts in them, and she often helps edit the raw footage in Final Cut Pro.
Her father, Wyatt, works from home as an entrepreneur and as a talent manager in the music industry. “He has started many unique businesses,” she said. “We are extremely similar.” She is thankful to have had her father at home while she was in cyber school. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Chloe sometimes became frustrated if she didn’t get a high grade on an assignment, so it was helpful to have someone nearby to work through issues and help her see the bigger picture.
The PA Cyber Difference
Chloe enrolled at PA Cyber for ninth grade in anticipation of moving for her mother’s new job. She also remembers discussing with her parents that her brick-and-mortar school didn’t feel safe, and the curriculum and schedule didn’t match the path she wanted. Her family moved from Pittsburgh to their current home in Bear Creek Village without having to change schools.
“I could still attend my classes,” Chloe said. “All my work was still there. Nothing had to be transferred.”
She loved the flexibility of online learning over the next four years. She was able to have experiences that she wouldn’t have had if she attended a brick-and-mortar school. She spoke fondly of being able to travel out of state to trade shows for her mom’s job.
Chloe primarily took blended classes while at PA Cyber, which are self-paced but provide a live classroom experience one day per week. The blended classroom format granted Chloe the most flexibility over her schedule. For example, during her senior year she completed six classes in two or three months so she could then focus solely on AP Calculus AB. She was later recognized by the principal of grades 11-12, the dean of mathematics, and AP Calculus teacher Bradley Chrisman for receiving a final grade of 100% in the class, which remains the highest grade in the nine years that Mr. Chrisman has instructed the course.
“Chloe is a brilliant young mind,” Mr. Chrisman said. “Her drive and dedication in AP Calculus brought her to the forefront of the class. As a teacher, it is refreshing to work with students like Chloe who prioritize their education. She demonstrated incredible growth, critical thinking, and creativity throughout the year. Students like her make teachers enjoy their career every day.”
Chloe made time for extracurriculars as well. “I loved being in the Photography Club and French Club,” she said. She was the President of the Photography Club for two years and a member of the French Honors Society for three years.
Attending PA Cyber was the right fit for Chloe. She graduated with As in all of her classes, including two Advanced Placement classes. She raved about her AP English Language and Composition class. “It was by far my favorite class that I ever took. I loved every moment of it. The teacher [Bryan Davidson] was so fun!”
Ready for The Next Challenge
Our future architect feels that PA Cyber has prepared her well for university. Being a cyber school student taught her how to manage time and has made her aware of her work style and flow. “You learn how to govern yourself and gain a sense of independence,” Chloe said.
Cyber students often must be self-starters and teach themselves material, especially if they take blended or asynchronous courses. Chloe finds it easier to teach herself material instead of attending a live classroom, and this skill translated into her forming an online clothing business. She taught herself how to build a website and manage the backend for shipping and packing items.
“I believe my education at university is going to be even more self-paced,” Chloe said. “I’ll be working on projects and able to do many creative things. Brick-and-mortar schools are more by the books. It’s been wonderful to learn at PA Cyber.”
PA Cyber is proud to have been an integral part of Chloe’s education. With a solid foundation, Chloe is ready to build her future, like the architecture she admires, with balance and integrity.
Connect with Chloe
Precociously Chic Website: precociouslychic.com
Nail Art Instagram: instagram.com/nailsbygreengirl13131313
Architecture Instagram: instagram.com/chloemperko
Fashion Instagram: instagram.com/fashionbygreengirl
Jennie Harris / firstname.lastname@example.org
About PA Cyber
Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instruction methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families.