The end of February also marks the end of American Heart Month, a time when students and staff are encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular health.
For Jerry Bruce Hennon, a student at The Dalton Academy enrolled in the D3 virtual program, sharing the importance of heart health is second nature.
Jerry Bruce was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a birth defect meaning he was born with half a heart. At the age of 10, Jerry Bruce had a heart transplant.
Lisa Hennon, Jerry Bruce's mom, said he has always been a fighter, pushing through obstacles daily.
"He likes a challenge, and he always rises above," Hennon said. "He stays positive and happy about everything."
Although the Hennons officially celebrate the anniversary of Jerry Bruce's heart transplant in June, they have always partnered with local schools and organizations during American Heart Month to help put a face to the cause they are raising awareness for.
"During their heart challenges, Jerry Bruce was always used as an example to show the students what they were raising money for," Hennon said. "Awareness is necessary because, if it's not you, you're going to know someone with heart issues. It helps students be compassionate to learn about this."
As a D3 Virtual Academy student, Jerry Bruce is completing school work at his own pace. Hennon said the switch to virtual school has been an excellent option for Jerry Bruce who, due to his medical condition, is more susceptible to illness.
"The good thing is that he comprehends everything and has super grades," Hennon said. "When you are medically fragile and challenged, that's a great opportunity to have available."
Recently, Jerry Bruce made the all-A honor roll and attended an awards ceremony at The Dalton Academy where he was recognized for his hard work.
In the future, Jerry Bruce is looking forward to completing dual enrollment courses.
He encourages his fellow classmates to keep working hard and hopes that they will remember to appreciate their health as we wrap up American Heart Month.
"Just keep going no matter what life puts you through," Jerry Bruce said.