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The student news site of iUniversity Prep in Grapevine, Texas


The student news site of iUniversity Prep in Grapevine, Texas



A student-athlete’s story serves as a testament to the power of non-traditional schooling
Photo courtesy of Jade Lawson-Ho

In the digital age, where connectivity transcends physical boundaries, the landscape of online education presents unparalleled opportunities for aspiring athletes. At schools like iUPrep, chances arise for not just academic excellence but also the ability to cultivate the athletic prowess of its students. Beyond traditional classrooms, iUPrep stands as a testament to the powerful relationship for many students’ between education and their activities, sports included, offering a tailored approach that empowers student athletes to pursue their dreams without compromise. Through flexible schedules, personalized curriculum, and unwavering support, iUPrep aids in blazing a trail for young athletes, transforming their digital schooling realm into a gateway to sporting triumphs and athletic excellence. Many are reflected by one student’s soccer story, as iUPrep has been instrumental in propelling athlete Jade Lawson-Ho, kicking off her ever-expanding soccer dreams.

Jade’s passion for soccer ignited at the young age of three, sparked by the thrill of chasing a ball across even the most sun-soaked Texas fields in a game that sparked camaraderie amongst her teammates, a game she instantly knew she was good at. Growing up as an already athletic child, she found solace and joy in the rhythm of activity, taking part in both gymnastics and soccer to keep her busy throughout her adolescence. “It wasn’t until I reached sixth grade that I took anything seriously though,” Jade recalls, and after quitting gymnastics, she fully committed to the activity where every kick and sprint felt like a dance of determination. Inspired by the electrifying energy of professional matches and the captivating stories of soccer legends, all of which she’d long been a fan of, she set her sights on a future where she could become involved with all of which she’d admired on the soccer stage. With each practice session and every match played, Jade explains how “my love for soccer slowly deepend”, fueling her ambition to pursue excellence on the field. It wasn’t until she reached the pivotal point of her senior year, however, that she fully uncovered the passion behind the pastime; now, she plans to carve out her own legacy in the world of soccer, starting in Italy.

For Jade, the journey towards sporting excellence began with the realization that traditional schooling structures often posed challenges to her athletic aspirations. “Before coming to iUPrep, I struggled to balance my rigorous training schedule with the demands of a traditional school day,” she reflects. “But here, I found the flexibility I needed to excel both on the field and in the classroom.” With iUPrep’s tailored approach to education, Jade was able to customize her learning schedule, allowing her to dedicate ample time to honing her soccer skills without sacrificing her academic progress.

The support network at iUPrep played a key role in Jade’s athletic development. Resulting from the school’s flexibility, her classes have easily been able to accommodate her training commitments while providing personalized academic guidance. She shares how the school’s faculty and staff ensure that she had the resources and encouragement necessary to thrive, “Having mentors who understood the unique challenges faced by student-athletes makes all the difference,” Jade remarks. “I really appreciate how the teachers genuinely care about me, my schoolwork, and my activities. It has always felt like they truly want the best for me,” she continues. Through their guidance and encouragement, Jade not only excelled on the soccer field but also emerged as a well-rounded student, equipped with the skills and resilience needed to succeed in any endeavor. Even amidst her busy soccer schedule, she’s maintained her place as an honor roll student alongside her membership in the National Honor Society.

Outside of her academics and soccer, Jade still manages to find time for countless extracurriculars, including her six-year membership in the National Charity League and her role in fostering animals while being a volunteer at the SPCA. Additionally, Jade puts her soccer skills to good use, as she spends time coaching both younger and underprivileged aspiring players. She’s a fierce friend who adores the people she surrounds herself with and always makes time to see them over a good brunch or lunch, the first being one of her favorite pastimes. Jade loves to both listen to music and go to the gym, and fills whatever extra time she might have with hobbies like rock-climbing or learning Chinese. 

Getting to where she is now wasn’t the straightest path, however. After switching schools, Jade found the transition from brick-and-mortar to online to be a little more rocky than the seamless switch she was hoping for. Mostly, her social life seemed to flip upside down as she had to adjust to new strategies for making friends and manage her previous friendships all at once. “The switch really pushed me to reach out to people though, and it also helped me realize who is important in my life,” Jade recalls from her schooling transition as an underclassman. Alongside new social challenges, she admits how in iUPrep’s online environment, “sometimes it’s hard to stay accountable and on top of everything.” However, these new trials of time management lead her to discover her own strengths, as she explains, “I now utilize a combination of being self-motivated with support from both my teachers and parents, and I can already see how these skills are going to be so helpful in college.” Amidst this all, Jade has spent the last few years preparing for her future. Knowing that she wanted to study abroad, Jade began to explore the opportunities of schools in Scotland, England, and France. After learning more about a school in Italy via a previous teammate, her recruitment race began to pick up more than ever. Following up by building a greater connection with the Italian institution with support and recommendations from her long-time Coach, Jade’s tumultuous journey outside her schooling seemed to have found its satisfying resolution.

 Now, her future lays out before her as a student athlete at Rome City Institute, with plans to both try out for the Taiwanese National Team and pursue a JD/MBA in international business law. Coming to terms with the change wasn’t easy either, as like anyone planning to move across countries, Jade found the decision to be a slightly difficult one, knowing that she’ll be leaving behind her former friends and community in Houston. “It comes down to the fact that you only have one opportunity to do what you really want, and you have to take it,” Jade expresses. “I’m excited to be truly independent and grow as a person, even more so than I have grown with all of the change from these past few years,” she details. For all those looking to life beyond the nest with uncertainty, Jade offers her final words of encouragement: “You’re going to be ok. You can do this, and you’re going to have so much fun while going after it.”


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Eve Bamber
Eve Bamber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

My name is Eve Bamber, and I’m a senior here at iUniversity Prep. I’ll be one of your Editor-in-Chief's for this year at iHoot! This is my fourth year at iHoot (and iUPrep!) and my third year serving the paper as EIC. After growing up in Australia and then moving halfway across the world to Texas, I'm fortunate enough to have been raised with a unique outlook on the world after seeing it from two different viewpoints, and I’ve developed a love for not only learning in general but further educating myself about the world. Outside of school, I’m further passionate about journalism, activism, and non-profit work and I contribute my time to these causes frequently. I’m so incredibly excited for this year at iHoot Newspaper, and know we’ll accomplish amazing things as a staff!

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