Archive: Riding a Wave of Family Success

For National School Choice Week, Capitol Vanguard is featuring seven Florida students learning in diverse ways.  Here is the third in our series; former JMI intern LaCrai Mitchell contributed to this story.  

When Sue Wainio-Oato wants to compare notes with a fellow student taking college courses, all she has to do is talk to her high school daughter, Emily.  Sue is a small business owner pursuing a marketing degree at the State College of Florida (SCF) after a long hiatus from the classroom.  Emily is a sophomore at Manatee School for the Arts (MSA), a charter school in Palmetto that has a dual enrollment program with SCF.


Mom and daughter aren’t taking any of the same courses – and might not even be simultaneously earning college credit had a program like Emily’s existed when Sue was her age.  (Sue was a strong student who graduated early after her junior year.)  Needless to say, both are glad Emily now has schooling options that didn’t exist in her mother’s day.

Emily has been attending Manatee School for the Arts (MSA) since the sixth grade.  While at MSA, she has developed a keen interest in science and it has become her favorite subject. “I like how science class is structured here,” Emily says, “and I am happy that the school strives for good qualifications like being an A rated school.”  Emily credits her teachers for making the learning environment comfortable with their friendliness and honesty.

Emily plays club volleyball and is a member of the MSA Strikers Ballroom Team, a dance program designed for students interested in competitive and social dancing.  Emily also likes to surf, a passion she picked up from her Hawaiian father.

When asked about her career aspirations, Emily says “I love to dance and teach dance,” and that a career that would enable her to do both would be ideal.