Catching the Big One: Searching for a Safe Environment to Learn Leads Student to New Outlook on Life

When a student attends school every day concerned with safety, that student cannot learn. Couple those concerns with the challenges associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that student is set up to fail.

This is precisely how Tyler Silva, an 18-year-old senior from Coral Springs, felt before transferring to Xceed Preparatory Academy three years ago.

He and his family had been looking for a new school because Tyler had been held up at gunpoint at his last school and as you would expect, he and his family no longer felt his school was a safe environment.

So, when Tyler heard about Xceed from a friend, he immediately suggested to his parent that they should check it out.

“The Xceed Coral Springs campus is such a clean and safe campus,” said Tyler. “My parents love it and more importantly, I love it.”

Tyler always felt something was missing at his previous high school. At Xceed, he “found what I needed.”

The quality of education is much higher at Xceed than what he had been exposed to in a traditional school setting and the teachers “are some the best teachers I have ever met.”

Tyler says each of his teachers has a way of conveying information so that he understands it and retains it.

All of Tyler’s teachers are unique to him and he can’t say he has a favorite. “Each of them is special and has helped me succeed.”

“Without ever really saying anything, they give me the courage to excel both academically and personally,” Tyler stated. “They make me want to pursue my goals.”

Xceed allows him to express himself and pursue his interests a lot further than a traditional school would.

Those interests include sport fishing, something that Tyler likes to do to unwind and relax. His passion for fishing began when he was about ten years old; his dad took him fishing on a rock jetty in Miami, where he would catch little Needlefish. Now he goes fishing to catch 200 to 400-pound sharks and most recently, he caught and released a 240-pound Golden Dusky.

Another of Tyler’s interests is growing coral and raising fish at home.

“I will be doing my demonstration of mastery project on coral,” shared Tyler. “I’m going to bring in a little tank with the coral.”

This is a passion that Tyler shares with one of his teachers.

“Ms. Smith [head of school, Coral Springs] brought in a new science teacher. She knows everything about coral. I brought in some samples from my fish tank to look at under the microscope and she told me exactly what it was; I didn’t even know what it was.”

Tyler’s experience at Xceed has been a far cry from his years in a traditional school setting. His ADHD made it difficult for him to focus in the classroom.

“If I were in public school, I wouldn’t be making it,” Tyler stated.

One of the most significant changes that Xceed has helped Tyler make is making better decisions and dealing with his anxiety.

“In the past, if I became overwhelmed, I would shrug off schoolwork, but Xceed has taught me to take personal responsibility for my education and life in general,” says Tyler.

“I don’t think a non-traditional classroom is for everyone,” stated Tyler. “You have to have self-discipline and self-motivation.”

“But for my parents and me,” Tyler said, “Xceed has exceeded all our expectations.”

For more information on Xceed’s innovative model of personalized education, click here.