Local tennis champ to attend Emory University after earning online degree - Oconee Enterprise: Lifestyles

     Watkinsville, Oconee County, Georgia

Local tennis champ to attend Emory University after earning online degree

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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:00 pm

When Victor Chatterjee was 15 years old, his family made the decision to pull him out of Athens Academy, enrolling him in an online school so that the blossoming tennis champ could spend the majority of his weekdays on the court.

“It ended up being the best decision we’ve made as a family because online school offers so much flexibility that not only did I get to train for tennis, I discovered my passion to pursue medicine, I was able to devote more time to learning the material than in a typical school,” said Chatterjee, now 18 and poised to attend Emory University in the fall.

“The goal is to become an Orthopedic surgeon and Emory is a great launching pad for it,” he said.

With two parents as educators, it was important to Chatterjee and his family that whichever school he attended could give him a quality education.

They selected Laurel Springs, an accredited, online, private school.

“My sister went through Athens Academy, graduated as valedictorian, did the whole path of regular schooling,” said Chatterjee. “But I wanted to do something different; I really felt that the time on the court was necessary to meeting my goals.”

Chatterjee, who began playing tennis at 9 years old, began training from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. three days a week, catching up on sleep and homework whenever he had a spare moment.

“The uncertainty of where tennis will take you was definitely riding on that because we weren’t so sure about how online school would attribute to my academic success,” he said.

Online classes allowed the teen to focus on tennis and other extra curricular interests.

“My day would be waking up at 6, getting ready, going to tennis practice either from 8a.m. to 12 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then I would intern at Athens Orthopedics, I would come home, do school work until about 11 at night and if I had any more school work I would get up early and finish it,” Chatterjee explained. “To me, it was always about reaching my end goal: I wanted to play collegiate tennis and I wanted to attend a Top 25 University.”

In the mean time, he was also competing in the tennis circuit, entering in state and national tournaments.

When he injured his wrist a few years ago, Chatterjee became interested in orthopedics, eventually shadowing his own doctor in an internship.

Chatterjee is a national merit scholar. When he attends Emory University in the fall, he will also join their tennis team.

“I’ve never gone to a regular high school, so I’ve never had the opportunity of playing on a regular school team,” he said. “It’s a huge thing for me to now be able to; I’m really looking forward to it.”

Attending an online school gave Chatterjee the opportunity to not only have more flexible hours, but to be responsible for his learning.

“In a traditional school nowadays, there’s a lot of hand-holding; it was so methodical,” Chatterjee recalled. “In traditional school, I was just following. When I switched to online school, I had to be on my own. I struggled at first without a teacher, but I saw that I had to take the initiative and that’s what the school was about. We took our own educational path and it worked. I’m a huge advocate of the program; if you have a passion or you don’t like school because you think it wastes too much time, this path is fantastic.”

For the Chatterjees, the results of online schooling exceeded even their wildest expectations.

“When I started online schooling in ninth grade, I didn’t think I would ever make it into a school like Emory,” said Victor. “Now, I’m very proud to say I’m a graduate of an online school and I’m attending one of the top universities.”

For more, see the July 12 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.

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