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Annapolis Student Finds Success in Gymnastics, Online Schooling

Stacy M. Brown | 2/17/2017, 6 a.m. | Updated on 2/16/2017, 1:40 p.m.
An Annapolis resident, Sophia credits her flexible school schedule at GWUOHS for allowing her the freedom to practice three hours ...
Sophia Handel, a 12th grader at George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS), has been passionate about gymnastics since she was nine years old. The Russian-born gymnast and her teammates are ranked No. 1 in the United States, No. 2 in Europe, and No. 4 in the world for acrobatic gymnastics. Courtesy Photo

As she looks toward another world ranking in gymnastics, Sophia said others who aspire in her field should consider schools like GWUOHS and follow their hearts.

“If I have learned anything through my acrobatic gymnastics career, it is truly to follow your heart. My coach said to me ‘I can’t make you want it, you have to want it yourself.’ Those words have stuck in my head ever since,” she said. “Acrobatics is a team sport, so it is important that you all strive for the same goals. Never lose sight of what you want and never give up. If you are currently looking at GWUOHS or online schools I highly recommend giving it a try.”

“Joining K12 was one of the best decisions I ever made. It might be scary going from a public school with thousands of people to a computer screen but there are still tons of clubs you can participate in,” Sophia continued. “Also, you are encouraged to make friends and what is even cooler is that some students live overseas. Most important perhaps, you’re constantly reassured that you're on the right path by your teachers and advisors. It is something new and worth it.”