Achievement House Cyber Charter School graduates have a great appreciation for the academic and personal impact of a cyber school education. These students chose AHCCS for a variety of reasons, such as diverse life challenges that were obstacles to in-person school attendance.
Enrolling in cyber school altered the course of AHCCS alumni Erika Wildermuth’s life drastically. If Erika did not attend high school remotely, she may not have graduated and therefore would not be pursing a nursing degree today.
Erika began her college experience pursuing a psychology degree however during her freshman year, regrettably she was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect. At the age of thirty her life drastically changed after emergency open heart surgery.
Erika said, “During this time my life was saved by an amazing team at Hershey Medical Center who really were my biggest advocates. So, when this all happened, I realized the importance of patient advocacy and as a result giving back and helping others became my passion.”
Erika’s personal diagnosis inspired her to change her career aspirations to pursue a nursing degree at Harrisburg Community College. Erika is currently a leading a very busy life by attending school part time, working, and being a mom. She will hopefully graduate college in two years after she completes her clinicals and other program requirements.
Upon enrolling at Achievement House Cyber Charter School, Erika had to overcome many challenges to get where she is today. Her upbringing did not fit the norm since she grew up in foster and group homes and was eventually homeless. During this time Erika worked a great deal to provide for herself and her child, so her drive to earn her high school diploma led her enrollment in Achievement House Cyber Charter School. Erika finally graduated with her high school diploma in 2007.
Erika said, “High school, and even college, were the biggest challenges of my life because I came from a background where basic educational needs were not given to me early on. I will always be grateful for the support of my AHCCS teachers. Everybody at this school really made it their mission to help me. They could have easily let me fall through the cracks, but they kept reaching out and advocating for me. My teachers were my inspiration to keep going towards my educational pursuits.”
Erika recalls struggling to even meet her basic needs during her high school years and is grateful that she was able to persevere. Her advice to any current AHCCS student is to never give up, even when it seems impossible.
Erika states, “Make sure you stay dedicated and persistent. Life is hard and even if all you can do that day is crawl, you crawl.”
Erika hopes that current students who are facing life challenges realize that they can rely on alumni, like herself, and ACHSS staff and teachers for support. After obtaining her nursing degree, Erika aspires to work in patient advocacy and pursue a master’s degree in health administration.
The AHCCS staff hopes that Alumni stories, like Erika’s, inspires all current students. Achievement House Cyber Charter School commends Erika for her perseverance when faced with adversity when she was a student and is excited to see all that she achieves in the future.