By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Long before she stepped on an actual stage, Franki Moscato, 18, was finding ways to sing. Growing up in Oshkosh, Moscato’s backyard was her world and with a little imagination, any rock or wooden plank was a stage.
From kindergarten through seventh grade, Moscato attended public school. But when she sang during a talent show, things began to change. She began losing friends and was bullied for showcasing her talent.
Even the teachers turned on her, so Moscato and her parents decided to switch her over to a private school.
Moscato thought a new school would be more welcoming, but unfortunately, she was mistaken. While she made friends, her presence in the community as a talented singer was becoming more known. She was a star on the rise and her peers weren’t here for it.
Instead of showing support, Moscato’s schoolmates bullied her. Consequently, her grades began to slip, and she dreaded going to school. But then, a solid piece of advice from her softball coach changed everything.
Moscato explained that her softball coach was the one who suggested online school, specifically Wisconsin Connections Academy. So, Moscato and her parents began looking at it as a possibility and within two weeks, Moscato was enrolled and starting classes.
Although the initial adjustment was tough, Moscato found herself thriving in a new and safe environment. There’s no drama at an online school, just learning, she said.
Through WCA, Moscato found the support she needed from her teachers and her peers to not only pursue her education, but her dreams. At 16, Moscato auditioned for “American Idol” where she received the golden ticket.
During her time on the show, Moscato was able to continue her education due to the flexibility WCA offered. In other words, Moscato is able to work her school hours around her other commitments which include her singing career and her foundation, which is committed to preventing teen suicide in Wisconsin.
Moscato explained that despite the flexibility, students and parents should note that a virtual school is different from a traditional brick and mortar school in one key way: the student is in the driver’s seat.
An online education is best suited for students who put their education first, she said. Or for students who need that flexibility.
When she first transitioned to WCA, Moscato quickly realized that to succeed she would have to be more organized. It was up to her to succeed and take on the responsibility and accountability that comes with an online school.
“You to have to be very disciplined,” she said when it comes to online schooling.
She added that the skills she acquired to succeed in her education are also essential skills she uses in the real world.
Moscato encourages anyone who is considering online school to take that leap of faith. The misconceptions surrounding online school are far from the truth, she said. WCA offers a great education and a supportive community.
“I never would have thought I’d do online school, but I love it so much,” she said.
While Moscato’s singing goals are ever evolving, she plans to continue her online education and pursue a bachelor’s degree in business.
Currently, WCA is offering open enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year. Open registration is open from now until Wednesday, April 30. For the application, click here or go to https://www.connectionsacademy.com/wisconsin-virtual-school/enrollment.