SJVS Monthly Virtual Family Spotlight
May 2016: Brooke Bernstein
Brooke Bernstein is a full time sophomore student at St. Johns Virtual School. She is enrolled exclusively in honors and Advanced Placement classes. While she is technically classified as a sophomore, she has completed sufficient classes to be considered a junior and has the option to graduate a year early. She focuses her studies in the STEM fields as she looks to pursue a career in the medical sciences or environmental sciences. She furthers her knowledge by taking as many science courses as are available to her such as honors Biology, honors Chemistry, honors Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Placement Biology, and Advanced Placement Environmental Science. She will continue her progress next year by taking honors Physics, Advanced Placement Psychology, and Latin as her third language to aid in her understanding of medical terminology. Brooke has continued to maintain an “A” grade status in all of her classes during her high school career.
While Brooke puts a large emphasis on her studies, she also continually looks for opportunities in the STEM fields outside of the classroom.
This previous fall, Brooke attended Mayo Clinic’s Heath Care Boot Camp where she was selectively chosen as one of the 46 students to represent their school from Northeast Florida. At this program she was able to experience hands on different specialties in the medical field such as performing a mock plastic surgery, performing an ultrasound, and suturing prosthetic skin. She has also been chosen to volunteer at Mayo Clinic this summer and will be volunteering in the transplant clinic and hospital. She hopes to continue volunteering at Mayo Clinic next school year. Recently she was chosen to attend The Perry Initiative’s Perry Outreach Program. The Perry Outreach Program is a highly selective program. Only 40 young women from local high schools are selected to attend based on their responses to two essay questions asking about why they want to attend the program and their short term and long term educational goals. The Perry Outreach Program is an event focused on young women who are interested in pursuing careers in orthopedics or engineering. At this program she will perform six hands-on “mock surgical” exercises and will hear lectures from local female surgeons and engineers.
Brooke is also involved in many clubs. She is currently the vice president of FLVS’s STEM club, vice president of FLVS’s Science Club, vice president of FLVS’s Science National Honor Society, and the treasurer of St. Johns Virtual School’s National Honor Society. She has been involved and organized many of these FLVS club activities such as Hour of Code, STEM canned food drive, Earth Day Pledge, and Family Science Night. She has made comprehensive presentations to other students looking to pursue a job in the medical field on how they can start gaining an advantage now in high school. She was featured on FLVS’s social media and news brief for her canned food sculpture, which spelled out “STEM”. She and a FLVS Global Science Teacher are proposing and looking to organize FLVS’s first medical related club. She has been nominated as FLVS’s STEM and Science Club’s Student of the Year and will be attending the award ceremony this May in Orlando. She has also continued to be a member of St. Johns Virtual School’s School Advisory Council.
When Brooke is not in the classroom or pursuing other STEM opportunities she is in the pool. She has lettered as a varsity swimmer for Ponte Vedra High School’s Swim Team during her freshman and sophomore year. She is also a swimmer for the Ponte Vedra YMCA Flyers team. This is a USA Swimming club team. Her best stokes are freestyle and breaststroke. She hopes to swim the 500 free and the 100 breaststroke at districts next year.
Brooke has been a full time St. Johns Virtual School student since her 8th grade year. She not only loves the flexibility of being a full time St. Johns Virtual School student but also being able to form close relationships with her teachers. Throughout her three years as being a full time St. Johns Virtual School student, her teachers have been exceptionally supportive of her interest of the sciences. They have also been very understanding of difficulties that have arisen outside of the classroom, such as pneumonia during her freshman year. Her teachers are always one call, text, or email way and are always there to lend a hand whether that be in her studies or looking for opportunities outside of the classroom.