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When we started Elite, one of the things we wanted to be was a safety net for students who fall behind. Sometimes, a school just isn’t “for them,” and we wanted those students to have options so they can excel and have a great start to their future.

And it’s always such a wholesome thing to see students actually accomplish excellence. Because while our (amazing!) teachers can provide support and reach out, it’s up to the student to work hard.

Angelina Arriola, an Elite Virtual Academy student, has done just that! She came to us from a previous school where she was struggling and lacked motivation. Since March–right through the thick of this crazy year that we call 2020–Angelina has gotten straight A’s!

About Angelina Arriola, future first-generation college student

Angelina ArriolaAngelina is from a big family with six siblings. Her mom just had a baby, so Angelina is busy being a helpful big sister. Between that and other family commitments, it’s time consuming to say the least. She’s a driven student with dreams who didn’t stop when she hit a bump in school.

“Well, the last school I was with was …the support wasn’t really good  there, at least to me. I just didn’t feel very welcomed to ask questions. So, I never really asked for help, which lead me to feeling overwhelmed and then I just started slacking off a lot and I wound up getting to a point where I had all F’s. That’s what lead me to have to change schools, so I came to Elite,” said Angelina.

As we’ve said before (but we’ll say it again), Angelina went from failing to mostly A’s in six months. Even with a brand new baby sister to help out with!

“I think the difference is the teachers at Elite are definitely just nicer for sure. I feel real welcome to ask for help or a retake, or just ask for anything that I need for school. It’s almost as if I’m in an in-person school, I just feel welcome to text them real quick and get the question out of the way,” said Angelina.

“Ms. Lively is the best teacher I’ve ever had for sure. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have the motivation from the start to have good grades. I was defeated. But she’s really rewarding and she makes you feel good for actually working so it’s always a pleasure with Ms. Lively.”

Another small goal Angelina is working on: improving her graffiti art.

“I like drawing graffiti art, it runs on my dad’s side of the family,” said Angelina. “He taught me a lot, so it’s kind of fun and special to me.”

She didn’t want to show us her work yet because she wants to be proud of it, but we’re sure she’s her own worst critic, considering most things she does is amazing!

After graduating Elite, Angelina wants to become the first person in her family to go to college. Where, she’s not sure just yet, but she’s leaning toward San Francisco to be far enough to have her own adventure but still be somewhat close to her family.

“I definitely want to go to a four-year college, I want to be the first one in my family,” said Angelina. “And I have the support from my family to do that, and not only my family, but Elite too. So, it’s making it seem pretty possible, like I think I’m really going to do it.”

Congrats, Angelina. We are so proud of you!

To learn more about the Virtual Academy Angelina’s attending, head here.