How an online education helped a teen pursue her passions

Originally aired on KTVE-TV – July 31, 2018

It’s not homeschooling in the traditional sense, but we talked to one Arkansas teen who is doing public school online and it’s allowing her to move at her own pace so that she can do what she loves… showing poultry. 

For Sunni Weaver, the day starts at the crack of dawn.

“Wake up pretty early about seven in the morning, drink a cup of coffee and then it’s off to working on the farm,” says Lawren “Sunni” Weaver.

Since a young age, Weaver has taken interest in something that may not be familiar to your average person. It’s called show poultry. Show poultry is an exhibition competition for chickens, water foul and other forms of livestock.

“I’ve always been interested in anything feathered or furred and poultry just sparked my interest and I started showing since I was four snd I’ve loved it ever since,” says Weaver.

But when Sunni was about two years old, she was diagnosed with type one diabetes and she slipped into a coma. Her parents were unsure of what was to come.

“We were terrified when Sunni Deb was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, we had no idea what was wrong,” says Cindy Brooks-Weaver.

Luckily, Sunni survived and she now competes all across the nation in show poultry competitions.

Sunni says it wouldn’t have been possible without the Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA), which is an online public school.

“Our local school district was in academic distress and we had even considered driving 60 miles out of town daily for her to go to a good school,” says Cindy.

Now Sunni is living her dream.

“I’m able to show poultry and my goats, and cattle and also take dance and piano lessons because of Arkansas Virtual Academy’s flexible schedule,” says Sunni.

Sunni’s mother says without ARVA that would have never been possible. 

“She probably wouldn’t be able to go as much and to pursue her dreams as she does with the help of Arkansas Virtual Academy,” says Cindy.

Sunni weaver is heading to the 10th grade this year and she says she wants to major in poultry science in college.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Arkansas Virtual Academy can click here for more information. 

To learn more about Arkansas Virtual Academy, visit

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