We were so happy to have our hootworthy Valedictorian, Matthew, come on the show to discuss his time at Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA), his accomplishments, and life outside of school. Matthew has attended GCA since Kindergarten, and he topped off his education with the highest honor. He shared that becoming Valedictorian validated the idea that hard work pays off. From the time he was 15 years old, he has worked 40-hour weeks at Chick-fil-A and played competitive tennis, all the while excelling in his academics.
One of his favorite memories at GCA was the time he was able to spend with his family in the mornings. He appreciated the convenience of GCA and the ability to do school from home. Two role models came to mind when Matthew thought about the people he looked up to. First, he shared about one of his bosses at Chick-fil-A who had taught him many leadership skills, life lessons, and time management. The other role model he could not leave out was his favorite tennis player, Rafael Nadal. He admires Nadal’s fighting spirit and success on the court.
Matthew highlighted that a challenge he has overcome would be affording college and being able to graduate college without significant debt. Thanks to working hard, saving, and earning scholarships, he believes he has positioned himself to be more financially stable after college. One of his favorite hobbies is tennis, which he has been playing since he was six years old. He enjoys how it challenges him because he has no teammates to count on, and how it blends mental, physical, and tactical components to the game. Matthew also emphasized how he formed many friendships and met tons of great people through the sport.
Out of all the opportunities that GCA afforded Matthew—the convenience—was his favorite part. Specifically, he noted that he did not believe he would have been able to work as a supervisor at Chick-fil-A for 40-hours per week, training and competing as a division 1 tennis player, while completing school anywhere else. The advice he would give new students to GCA would be to give it a chance and to stick with it. He mentioned that a lot of good things can come if you do it effectively—certainly shows from his experience! Along the same lines, he advised current students to maximize their school time while at home, so they can be as efficient as possible.
After GCA, Matthew plans to pursue a degree in Business Management with a minor in Music at Georgia Southern University (Southern). He will be playing tennis at Southern as a walk-on, with hopes of achieving a scholarship. After college, he would like to own and operate a Chick-fil-A.
We are so incredibly proud of Matthew’s hootworthy drive and Valedictorian achievement! We cannot wait to see what is next for him—stay hootworthy, Matthew!