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Arkansas ARVA Senior One of Two to Win National Student Advisor Award

Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA), a tuition-free online public school with students in all 75 Arkansas counties, announced that May Litaker, a 17-year-old senior from Floral (Independence County), has earned an Outstanding Student Advisor Award from the national Stride Career and College Prep Student Advisory Council.

Litaker, who will graduate from ARVA in May with honors, is one of only two students in the U.S. — and the only student in Arkansas — to receive the award, which includes a $600 grant. The Student Advisory Council is a 27-member body composed of juniors and seniors from virtual schools across the country affiliated with Stride K12, which provides education for students, schools and districts, including career learning services through middle and high school curricula.

“We are so proud of May, a sharp young woman who has displayed extraordinary leadership, initiative and a spirit of collaboration during her seven-month service on the council,” ARVA Head of School Amy Johnson said. “She has represented ARVA and Arkansas well on this national council, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

The council functions as a paid internship for students, who serve as peer advisors and K12 ambassadors who share insight about their career and college prep experiences. They also work in teams on projects throughout the academic year, gaining a portfolio of work to feature on their resumes or college applications.

Litaker’s projects focused on social media marketing, a good fit for her areas of study at ARVA, which include advertising and graphic design. She also gained insight into large-company product development processes and met with college representatives, company executives and fellow interns from across the country.

“I really wanted to experience what it was like to work for a company because we do live in a rural area and I have always schooled online,” Litaker said. “I want to be able to work online in the future, so this internship helped me gain the skills that I can put on my resume to help me get online jobs in the future.”

Litaker is part of a 150-year-old family farm that raises lambs, quarter horses and chickens in Independence County. She and her mother, Misty, said ARVA has been the perfect K-12 choice for Misty and her younger brother, who balance work on the farm with their academic studies.

ARVA has also been able to offer educational experiences and workforce development opportunities that other local schools might not offer. For example, May Litaker has already received certifications in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and financial planning. And thanks to ARVA’s dual enrollment program, she’ll receive an associate degree in art from National Park College of Hot Springs days before she’ll receive her high school diploma.

ARVA has integrated support teams of school leaders, teachers, academic coaches and counselors that offer unique learning opportunities through personalized education and strong community relationships. Students and families can access the virtual learning system anytime, from anywhere there is an internet connection. And, with ARVA’s methods, students can pair a solid academic foundation with hands-on learning experiences. The school also hosts in-person events and touchpoints to help students stay connected in a digital learning environment. In 2023, ARVA opened its first brick-and-mortar Education Hub in downtown Little Rock and serves as Stride K12’s first in the nation.

Arkansas Virtual Academy has been open in the state since 2003. The school has more than 4,000 students representing all 75 counties. It is a tuition-free, online K-12 public school with personalized educational platforms in multiple career paths and has a robust Career Technical Education (CTE) program.

ARVA’s curriculum is developed by Stride, Inc., an education leader with more than 20 years of experience delivering online education to students nationwide. Stride has worked with schools and districts across all 50 states to help develop local solutions to meet personalized online and blended learning goals.

About Arkansas Virtual Academy

Arkansas Virtual Academy is a full-time public charter school serving students in grades K through 12. ARVA’s Education Hub in Little Rock, Arkansas, opened in the school’s 20th year. The Hub is another facet of student career readiness training and a space for ARVA students to engage in quintessential public school activities. As part of the Arkansas public school system, ARVA is tuition-free and allows families access to engaging curriculum and tools provided by Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN). For more information about ARVA, visit


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