‘He was straight A’s, he was thriving’: Richmond teen shares success story of virtual learning

‘He was straight A’s, he was thriving’: Richmond teen shares success story of virtual learning

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As thousands of students in metro Richmond prepare to return to learning for the start of the 2020 school year online, one Richmond teen is sharing his personal success story.

Tre Milana has been learning online for a year, and his family said it changed their lives.

“When he was in mainstream he would fail; literally 50s and 60s from November until May,” said Latoya Milana, Tre’s mother.

Despite those low grades, Milana said her son would still be moved up a grade by the end of the year; something that happened from second until sixth grade.

However, come seventh grade, the full-time working single mom said something had to change, and enrolled Tre in Virginia Virtual Academy.

“He was straight A’s, he was thriving, and I think he finished with all A’s and B’s in 7th grade,” she said. “That has never happened with him.”

Tre has autism, among other cognitive issues. Learning in the typical public school setting just didn’t work for him.

“With the processing delay, you would tell him something and go onto the next subject, and then the next subject, and all the kids are keeping up but Trenell is still trying to figure out the first thing you told him,” Milana said.

“In math, I didn’t really understand it because everyone else had their way of learning math and mine was a little bit different from everyone else’s,” Tre said.

However, since he started learning online, like thousands of other students will do come this week, Tre said he’s found his way.

“You have your own space,” he explained. “All those distractions are zoned out, toned out, and you have your own place to work.”

“Watching him grow in his confidence and watching him grow more motivated every time he was popping out an A or B, and sometimes a C, it just took my burden and my worry for him academically away,” Milana added.

The class has gone on virtual field trips as part of the lessons online and there is socialization with other students as well.

“The teachers have it in a controlled environment,” Milana said. “If the kids are getting rowdy and not paying attention, they shut down the chatbox, shutdown the webcams.”

Overall, Tre feels he’s improved greatly in his schooling.

“It’s a lot easier and it helps me with my individual work,” he said.

The family acknowledged each student’s method of learning is different, however, for Tre he wanted to share his success from learning online.

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