Today, he and his mom travel the country in an RV, raising money for social causes. His nonprofit foundation, appropriately named Little Red Wagon, is widely recognized for its work with homeless youth.
Now, there’s even a movie about him playing in theaters. Not bad for a 14-year-old, but Zach, like other teenagers, still has to go to school.
Zach is enrolled in Florida Virtual School, the largest, state-funded public online education program in the nation. It offers students free courses taught by certified teachers. And, for students like Zach, who has become famous for his awareness-raising, cross-country walks, it offers flexibility.
“I have great teachers who understand what I’m doing,’’ said Zach, a freshman this year. “They know I travel around the country to help the homeless.’’
We caught up with Zach recently in Phoenix, where the film “Little Red Wagon” was premiering, and talked about how this nontraditional school setting enabled him to pursue his passion for philanthropy.
Florida Virtual, one of the state’s many school choice options, gave him the freedom to set his own schedule and take classes from home – or from any place that had a computer connection. Two years ago, he received school credits while he and his family spent six months on the road during a 2,478-mile trek that ended at the Santa Monica Pier in California.
Twelve at the time, Zach said he started the hike during winter break in December so he wouldn’t miss too much school. There were a few late nights, when Zach got back to the RV and had to fire up his computer to do homework. But because he could take courses at his own pace, Zach said he could easily take time off when he needed and make up work later.