Jessica Taylor is a recent graduate from South Carolina Connections Academy (SCCA). Jessica aspires to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Taekwondo. Jessica was happy at SCCA because she easily balanced her schoolwork with the time she spent training and competing. Jessica shares her story below.
"My family and I were interested in SCCA because of the flexible schedule and the multitude of class options. Because of the amount of time I spend training and competing in Taekwondo, the flexibility of the program really worked well for me. I also liked the commitment of the teachers to help each individual student succeed academically. When I needed help, I knew that my teachers would do everything they could to allow me to understand the material. Also, unlike bricks-and-mortar public school, I feel as though my teachers at SCCA truly cared for my education as well as my dreams for the future.
SCCA is different from my previous school because I learned and retained information at my own pace. At SCCA, the lessons are directed toward preparing you for real-life situations, instead of a test at the end of the year. They went out of their way to help me understand the material. With SCCA, I understand the material and I am confident it will allow me to succeed in any future career I may choose.
Outside of SCCA, my passion is Taekwondo. I started training and competing at the age of 12. I have competed and won in state and regional level competitions for years. Some of my recent big competitions have included the 2014 Jr. World Team Trials, 2014 Youth Olympic Team Trials, 2014 U.S. National Championship, and the 2015 U.S. Open. I secured my titles of North Carolina AAU State Champion and South Carolina USA Taekwondo State Champion. My overall goal in Taekwondo is to compete in the 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympics. In order to improve and evolve in the sport of Taekwondo, I train many hours at my house, in my TKD gym, and at a local Crossfit gym. SCCA allows me to complete my schoolwork on my own time and at my own pace. When I am not training or traveling, I am either doing schoolwork or hanging out with friends and family.
I love SCCA because I pursued my dream of competing in the 2020 Olympics, while excelling in school and paving a future for myself in the field of sports medicine.
When I spend time with my friends, we like to hang out at the mall, visit the beach, or go to the water park. Though sometimes it is hard to stay in contact and spend time with my friends because of constant training and traveling, I make it a priority to talk with them through social media and text messaging. I always have at least one weekend out of the month where my friends and I can get together, and I take advantage of that time with them. I also spend quite a bit of time with my teammates. We have sleepovers a lot, and when we are away competing, sometimes we spend time with each other while visiting different attractions.
My goals for the future are to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. However, while I am living my Olympic dream, I will be in college studying to pursue my future as a sports medicine doctor. SCCA has allowed me to realize that with commitment and passion, I can reach my goals. SCCA has also given me real life skills that will help me succeed in college and later in life."