A Great Education Doesn’t Stay In The Classroom

Jeffrey Fleurimond


ORLANDO – As many Central Florida students prepare to round out the first nine weeks of school, it’s important to remember that a great education goes beyond the classroom.

My family moved to Central Florida from Georgia last year, and I transferred into the 8th grade at Legends Academy, a STEM charter school in Washington Shores. Moving was a big transition.

I found myself struggling with math. Luckily, my Algebra teacher Mrs. Greenwood took notice. She saw me staring into space, not following along, or getting frustrated, and she cared enough to talk to me about it. Not only did she explain the concepts in a way that was easier for me to understand, but she renewed my love for math.

Dedicated teachers inspire you to explore new ideas, challenge you to overcome obstacles and get you excited about finding something you love to learn.

After winter break, I joined what I thought was simply a robotics program at Frontline Innovation Studios, an after-school enrichment program for middle school students – but I discovered so much more.

In addition to having hands-on experience with engineering, coding and digital media projects, I also learned why it’s important to eat right and exercise from Coach D. Fueling up on miracle foods like fruits, veggies and protein will ensure a healthy body and mind, and allow me to chase after my dreams.

We all have potential inside of us, but you can’t find it until you’ve discovered something you really care about and have the freedom to pursue it. Frontline gives me that chance – and teaches me that when I dream big, I can achieve big things. Those lessons will stay with me throughout my life, just as much as anything I learned in the classroom.

If you don’t know the answer to “what’s one plus one,” you won’t be able to get to “two plus two.” In the same way, school gives us the fundamentals we need to progress through life and tackle bigger problems as adults – whether we’re starting a new business, exploring new frontiers in science, or solving our nation’s social and economic challenges.

Programs like Frontline Innovation Studios set up students like me to seek greater educational opportunities and a brighter future. And you can help: Whether by volunteering as a mentor, donating equipment or school supplies, or helping raise funds to keep these opportunities alive, you’ll be making a difference not just for a day, but for a lifetime.

Jeffrey Fleurimond recently started his freshman year at Dr. Phillips High School.