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Published: November 19, 2019

Meet Sarah Lessard - an IVLA Student Stationed on a Military Base

Interview with Distance Learning Student Sarah Lessard

Completing your high school education through a distance learning environment allows for quite a bit of flexibility in your time management, lifestyle, and ability to live/work anywhere in the world (literally!) Sarah Lessard, a current IVLA student, knows this first hand, particularly when she moved to a military base in North Carolina. Learn more about her experience with IVLA as her chosen online school.

Where are you stationed and what is your military story?

Sarah Lessard on distance learningMy husband is currently stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We are both from Washington State. I moved to North Carolina with him in September (about a month after we got married). We met in December 2018 when he came home from boot camp, he took me to dinner then a movie and we hit it off instantly. For the next couple of weeks, we were nearly inseparable spending every moment we could together. He was home until January 2nd when he left for military combat training (MCT). That’s when we learned how much we truly cared about each other.
If anyone were to ask us if “distance makes the heart grow fonder” was true, we would both agree that it is. The distance was hard but our love grew stronger every day.
During a visit in May, where I flew down to his military schooling in California, he proposed to me. (I said yes, duh, and cried!)

How has distance learning as a high school student affected your life while being stationed on base?

When I found out we had a house (on base), it was a month or so before our wedding so I knew I had to start packing. Attending IVLA helped me for those late nights I had to stay up and pack, and so that I could take that road trip in September across country! My husband and I drove 3,000+ miles from Washington State to North Carolina. It was an amazing experience and a fun road trip with my best friend. Once we got to our new home, I was able to take some days to recuperate then return to my studies. But without IVLA, I would have had to stay home until I finished my schooling or transferred last minute which wouldn’t have made much sense considering how close I am to graduating.

Do you enjoy having your high school education available virtually?

I love IVLA. I have been with them since around 2009 and I couldn’t be happier. My teachers are wonderful and like family to me. I love the flexibility to work, travel, vacation and still be able to study. It helps on those days I'm sick and I don’t want to study much but I can read some lessons.
If my husband stays in the military, I may consider having our child attend IVLA.  I love having the same school through middle and high school, it’s definitely helped me bond with my teachers.

Would you recommend other military families to try distance learning?

I definitely would. It’s honestly so much easier because of my lifestyle. There’s a lot of people who question the quality of distance education, but IVLA provides competitive, interactive and engaging content that will prepare you for distance learning or in-person learning in college. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything from studying online. And IVLA has a special place in my heart because of the friends I’ve made and how fun the lessons are.

There are some military spouses who can’t move in with their significant others because they’re still in school, but distance learning school gives you the freedom to not only move somewhere entirely new without interrupting your studies, but it gives you freedom to drop everything and move quickly like we had to do.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experience with distance learning?

On a personal note, I’ve had a very busy life, there have been a lot of points where life got in the way of studies. IVLA gave me the chance recover from losing my father in 2014 and showed me that my teachers were there through the hardest moments in my life. In a way, I feel like I’ve grown up with IVLA and I would encourage present and future students to consider IVLA their new family and safe haven. I will forever love and appreciate everything IVLA has done to shape the young woman I am today.

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