Between the class clowns, the noisy hallways and the lack of personal attention from teachers, Giovanni Llanes said he couldn’t hit his stride like his old night school.
“I dreaded going. They didn’t really help me. It was always fend for yourself,” he says. He had a role, as well. “I never really put forth the effort.”
The school advanced him in grades, but he knew he was failing — and decided it was time for a different approach. He found a better fit at Escambia County Acceleration Academies, which work in partnership with the public school district to offer a personalized, flexible alternative to young learners like Giovanni.
ECAA also provides a quiet, studious environment. “It’s a very calm and chill environment. You can just focus on you,” he says. “It’s very different. I find it way easier to get my work done. I don’t feel constantly pressured and pushed.”
The 18-year-old does, however, feel supported. English content coach Laura Muehl helps break courses down into manageable chunks, helping Giovanni through the thicket of material with clear, straightforward guidance. “I found her very, very helpful.”
He’s always loved theater and music and hopes to study the arts in college. His advice for other students who may find themselves struggling in traditional school environments? Focus less on peer pressure and more on your dreams.
“Just try and focus on yourself more,” he says. “You’re never going to see 90 percent of those people in your future and they shouldn’t dictate your future.”
“You definitely need school to build a career.”