Student Voices: A Conversation with High School Students About What’s Next in Education


Discussions about the fall are continuing to evolve with districts evaluating potential back to school scenarios to keep students safe, but still learning. We all seem to be talking about our students these days, but few are talking to the students themselves. On this episode, we have an opportunity to understand their concerns, their strategies for success and what they believe districts should consider when implementing long-term virtual learning programs. Our first guest, Nicola Peck, is a senior in high school, who recently landed a near perfect SAT score. She will be graduating this summer from Apex Learning Virtual School where she is a full-time virtual student. Nicola has a unique approach to learning that she credits is her father’s influence. She has also adopted many strategies along the way that have made her a very successful online student. Nicola Peck has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky this fall. We also have Ryan Ziyuan Qu, a 16-year old sophomore at San Marino High School in Los Angeles. Ryan grew up in Beijing, China and immigrated to the United States with his mother when he was 10 years-old. In January, he founded a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist and support single families through donations, employment opportunities and legislative reform. He recently led an initiative to support single families impacted by COVID-19 with a care package drive. He gathered individual donors, assembled baskets that included personal protective equipment and delivered care packages to single families in low income neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

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