Content for portions of this article are sourced from The Blade
Meet Anthony Richardson Jr., a senior from Ohio Virtual Academy!
Whether he’s programming in his computer science courses, working his part-time job, or writing ingenious raps, Anthony exemplifies what it means to explore your passions in high school.
By day, Anthony is a computer programmer who explores coding through his elective game design courses. Since discovering coding and enrolling in OHVA’s Destinations Career Program, Anthony has learned to create websites and to program using Java. When asked to recall a favorite coding project, he described a designing a game using Unity 3D. He recalls the project saying, “I learned how to program the character to move, to run, and to jump. We had to make enemy structures and create a map. It was fun to adjust the mass of the enemies. I would adjust the mass so that if the character ran into one of them, he would go flying backward. LOL!” What a way to add creativity to his project! Through dynamic projects like this and the support of OHVA teachers who “want him to succeed,” Anthony’s confident that he’s gaining professional skills that will help him pursue computer science after high school.
However, there’s much more to Anthony than his coding.
By night, Anthony is a rapper, using his music to spread his Christian faith. Anthony recognized early on that many young people listen to rap, but fewer are avid church goers. By creating Christian raps that are an alternative to music “that glorifies drug use, demeans women, and promotes violence,” Anthony hopes to reach and inspire a new generation of Christians. But don’t be fooled, Anthony isn’t desperate to be famous. He says that, “the goal isn’t to make my name popular; it isn’t about the money but trying to share the gospel through this music.” Whether he’s producing beats or writing lyrics, Anthony is passionate about his craft. He says that, “Christian rap was combining two things for me. It was combining my faith and music that I thought was awesome and it clicked for me.” If you’re interested in listening to some of his work, here’s a rap that Anthony wrote about his experience as a student at OHVA.
So, what’s next for Anthony?
The flexibility of online school has allowed Anthony to hold a part-time job at Chic-Fil-A, giving him valuable work experience in high school that has helped him build his resume. In addition, as a part of OHVA’s College-Credit Plus Program, Anthony has been gaining college credits by taking courses at his local community college. As a result, he’s well on his way to completing an associate’s degree! After his graduation from OHVA in the spring of 2021, he plans to complete this degree, before going on to pursue a four-year degree in computer science. With this strong post-graduation plan and his ample work experience, Anthony’s ready for anything that comes his way!
Anthony, thanks for showing us what it means to explore your passions and plan for life after graduation! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!
To learn more about Ohio Virtual Academy, visit https://ohva.k12.com/.