AVID Superstars

AVID showcases students who are standouts in their classrooms, schools and communities. These AVID Superstars exemplify what it means to be a leader and an exceptional student. Check back every month to learn about new AVID Superstars.

If you would like to nominate a student to be an AVID Superstar, please fill out the following form and return to Kayla Burrow, kburrow@avidcenter.org, along with a high resolution digital photo and a signed photo release form on page two of the nomination form.

AVID Superstar Student Nomination Form
AVID Superstar Student Nomination Form

March 2014 Superstars

Teresa Rojas Barrera, Finley Middle School
Kennewick, WA

Teresa Rojas BarreraAVID has allowed me to speak up and be heard by my classmates, especially in tutorials. I am so much more organized!”

Teresa excels at Finley Middle School in many different areas. She has a high GPA, takes honors courses, and is deeply involved with AVID. She also participates in sports, including: volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball. Teresa exemplifies all that is good at her school and in her community.

Mikayla Apodaca, Camelback High School
Phoenix, AZ

Mikayla ApodacaAVID helps me be a better student. Before, I was wrapped up in the high school life: the drama, clothes, being popular, but now success in school means graduating with honors and having ribbons dangle as I walk down the aisle at graduation. Because of AVID, I will achieve my life goals, like graduating from law school one day.”

During her time in AVID, Mikayla has consistently exemplified what it means to advance via individual determination. She is a driven and self-motivated young woman who knows her worth, understands her potential, and has the work ethic to make her dreams a reality. While she is always sincere and well-spoken, she communicates best through her actions which constantly send the message, "I can, so I do." She will without a doubt go on to be a leader!


February 2014 Superstars

Stacey Vargas, Holmes High School
San Antonio, TX

Stacey VargasWho would have guessed this one-time foster kid would be leading the way in her senior year of AVID! AVID showed me how bright I could shine.”

Stacey has a genuine and loving nature that everyone can see. She is a phenomenal student and a true visionary in her pursuit of success. She has learned to polish her character and show her peers what she is truly made of. Stacey has natural enthusiasm that others are drawn to and an authentic love for AVID. She recently received her first scholarship from AES Engineering!

Ana Blanco, T.C. Williams High School
Alexandria, VA

Ana BlancoAVID has made me ready for college. If I weren’t in this class, I wouldn’t even know how to apply. I am the first one in my family to graduate from high school and attend college. If I didn’t have this class, I may not have applied to college because my parents are resistant to the idea. I want to major in criminal justice and do something to impact people and the world in a positive way. AVID has been the tool and resource to get me there.”

Ana is a natural leader. During tutorials, she engages her peers in critical inquiry. Through her time in AVID, Ana has grown into a mature and confident individual, who is also incredibly thoughtful and selfless. She participated in Alexandria's Relay for Life, raising funds for cancer research. She genuinely cares about other people, and desires to give back to her community. In college, Ana wants to study criminal justice with hopes of one day working for the FBI. She will excel in all she pursues!


January 2014 Superstars

Vincent Ryan, Brookfield East High School
Brookfield, WI

Vincent RyanAVID has been essential in helping me stay organized and on track so that I can turn in completed homework on time. My locker no longer holds on to my homework! I am doing much better in school.”

Vincent is a third-year AVID student at “B’East,” and he has come into his own academically because of AVID. He is more focused and willing to push himself and others to do well. He now challenges his teachers and engages with his peers to get the help he needs. He is also much more organized and demonstrates leadership.

Billie Asing, R.L. Stevenson Middle School
Honolulu, HI

Billie AsingAVID is an amazing program. It has made such a big difference in my life since the 6th grade. Being organized keeps me up-to-date, and WICOR helps me excel. AVID supports me in my goal of attending college. I’m a proud student of Stevenson Middle, and I represent the determination in AVID.”

Billie is one in a million! Her positive energy and smile are infectious. Billie is a native Hawaiian student and comes from a single-parent home. She has overcome many obstacles to be where she is today. She has shown immense growth, both academically and emotionally, since joining AVID in grade 6. Now in grade 8, she has taken initiative to track her grades and work collaboratively with teachers to reach their expectations and go beyond. She shows maturity beyond her young age. Billie also assists in recruiting students into AVID by visiting her former elementary school and presenting AVID in a way students can understand and appreciate. She is focused and determined to have a brighter future for herself and her family.


December 2013 Superstars

Juan Ortiz, Grand Prairie High School

Juan OrtizAVID has impacted me by providing support that I never had at home. Now I have all the support that I need.”

Senior Juan Ortiz has reached his goal of being in the top 10 percent of his graduating class. He is determined to raise the bar for his family and younger siblings by showing them how important education is. Juan is always focused and determined to succeed in everything he does. He is a tremendous leader in AVID, acting as the AVID role model and big brother for his school’s program. He shares his testimony with younger students at AVID functions as well. Juan will accomplish many great things after high school.

Hailey Larkin, Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center

Hailey LarkinAVID has impacted my life by keeping me organized and helping me learn key concepts during AVID tutorials. Tutorials allow me to master the things that I didn’t understand in class.”

Hailey is an outstanding AVID student. She is extremely organized and her binder is immaculate – there is a place for everything. Hailey is a role model for younger AVID students too; she is volunteering during her individual study time to model the tutorial process and to help with binder set-ups and checks. Outside of the school day, Hailey participates in two different dance teams with an average of twelve hours of practice time per week. Hailey is not only involved with extracurricular activities, she also is a successful student. Hailey’s success is directly connected to
her participation in class, her ability to ask good
questions, and her personal dedication.


November 2013 Superstars

Aaliya Casados, Pojoaque Valley High School

Aaliya CasadosMy AVID class is like a family. We trust each other, learn from each other, and help each other up when we are down. Through AVID, I believe that I can get to college and graduate from a four-year university. With the help of my AVID teacher and my peers, my dream will be made a reality.”

Aaliya is an AVID Superstar because she embodies all that AVID stands for! She is determined, dedicated, enthusiastic, hardworking, and incredibly goal-driven. She completely understands that education is the key to the future and desires to achieve great things. She understands that working hard gets people places, and she also knows that no matter how hard someone works, they still need to collaborate and function as part of a team. She holds her classmates to the same high standards. She is always on time to class, has her work done, and manages her time to the best of her ability. She is a terrific leader in and out of class and AVID is lucky to have her.

London Newton, Bradley Middle School

London NewtonAVID has helped me be more humble, encouraged me to work as a volunteer, and has taught me specifics about college. I have found a career path for my future.”

London is a third-year AVID student that has shown tremendous growth in and out of the classroom. She uses AVID strategies in her core classes and is an integral part of the AVID family. She is motivated and determined to do well, go to college, and lead others. The future holds great things for her!


October 2013 Superstars

Anil Cole-John, Fort Campbell High School

Anil Cole-JohnAVID has been designed to point us to the top but it’s up to us to make that happen. The doors have been opened; it is up to us whether we walk in or not."

Anil is a true superstar! His mom urged him to join AVID last year, and he struggled in the beginning, but now he supports his AVID family and encourages others to join the school’s AVID club. He is proof that AVID can help determined students achieve their goals!

Lucy Rudder, South-Doyle Middle School

Lucy RudderAVID has been a wild ride full of new experiences and surprises. AVID has made me a better student an opened my eyes to new exciting opportunities. I do not know where I would be without this special program.”

Lucy always goes above and beyond on every assignment she does. She has become an excellent writer and does a wonderful job taking Cornell notes in her classes. She is also a leader in all group projects. Lucy was a big part of a recent fundraiser, raising money for Muscular Dystrophy research.


September 2013 Superstars

Brenda Villareal, Grand Prairie High School

Brenda VillarealAVID has made me realize that life is not going to be easy, but if you try your best, your dreams can come true. It has taught me to be organized, so I can graduate from a four-year university. When someone tells you that you can’t do something, don’t do it for them, do it for you. Proving them wrong is just a bonus.”

Brenda has truly learned time management, organization, and determination. She is a varsity volleyball and soccer athlete, plays in a league outside of school for both sports, and takes multiple AP courses. She set a goal last year to be in the top 10% of her class and moved from a class rank of 146 to 38 by the end of the school year. She set her mind to it and accomplished her goal, and she is so excited to start applying for colleges. Brenda also completed six hours of dual credit this summer. She is always willing to assist with mentoring younger AVID students and participates consistently with community service locally. Brenda is a true superstar!


Akealy Moton, Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center

Akealy MotonTo me AVID is family. We all stick together. We become close, like brothers and sisters, and we ready ourselves for college. Together, we learn what it takes to be organized and how to study. I know my AVID family will always be there for me. Someday, I want to go to Duke University and with the support from my AVID family, that dream will become a reality.”

Akealy is a kind young woman who has set high, yet attainable goals for herself. After graduating from high school, Akealy would like to go to Duke University —and she is working daily to turn that goal into a reality. At home, Akealy helps care for three younger siblings, yet she makes time to complete her school work. She is involved in extracurricular activities such as basketball, fast pitch softball, and track and field, and still academics are her priority. It is easy to see that Akealy has learned to manage her time well and is determined to see that her grades are maintained.

Akealy is also someone who helps others. She is quick to volunteer to work with our sixth grade AVID students as a tutor, mentor, and binder checker. Young students look up to her and she is a tremendous example. Akealy is the embodiment of what an AVID Superstar should be.


July 2013 Superstars

Jennifer Hernandez, Golden Gate High School

Jennifer HernandezAVID has helped me face challenges and has built my confidence. Being a part of AVID has made me discover my true potential in life. AVID has pushed me to always strive for the best. Without AVID, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Jennifer is a perfect AVID success story. She overcame a rough start of her high school career to become an outstanding student. She embodies the mission of AVID and is a true leader. With the help of AVID, Jennifer has learned how to shine!



Taryne Hu, Kapolei Middle School

Taryne HuAVID has impacted my life by allowing me to be organized and confident. In AVID, I am surrounded by other students who want to learn and my opinions count.”

Taryne is highly motivated in all of her classes. She truly values her education and always seeks out extra help when needed. She lives the values that the AVID program desires: high motivation, the thirst for knowledge, work ethic, drive, and determination to one day graduate from a university. She is a model AVID student!



June 2013 Superstars

Chanda Carvalho, The Harbor School

Chanda CarvalhoAVID helps you in life! I enjoy AVID because it helps me pass my classes and earn good grades. Since I became an AVID Student, I have improved in everything. It’s hard to describe, but AVID helps me be me and myself.”

Chanda meets all the expectations of an AVID student and completes everything with a high degree of quality.  No matter what is going on around her, she stays true to herself and her academic goals, using what she’s learned in AVID including Cornell Notes, tutorials and organization of her binder to help her be successful.  At the end of the year, Chanda has also demonstrated her leadership by successfully advocating for her classmates to have a traditional cap and gown graduation ceremony to celebrate their 8th grade year and gathered a group of her classmates to create a digital yearbook.  Chanda also helped her classmates create song and video about AVID, “Show Me How You Fix Your Binder.” 


Marlyn Guzman, Inver Grove Heights Middle School

Marlyn GuzmanAVID has made me a strong student and person. It has also made me feel like I belong somewhere. My grades have improved immensely. I have never been a confident person, but AVID has helped me change my view of myself. AVID is now a big part of my life because of the people, the things I learn, and the support I receive. I am glad to say I have the best AVID teacher who will always believe and have faith in me.”

Marlyn is one of the hardest working students her AVID teacher has ever taught.  She is constantly striving to be better in all of her classes and is never satisfied with earning a “B” in a class, because she pushes herself to do her best work all the time.  She is a role model for other 8th grade AVID students because she is constantly showing her determination to be successful and never settles for something that she feels she could do better.  She stays after class with teachers to check her grades, she asks questions during all of her classes that benefit her peers, and steps up as a leader during tutorial sessions in an effort to help her group members work through their confusion in other classes.  She often spends a lot of her time helping others before she completes her own work!  Marlyn embodies all that AVID stands for; her outstanding character, determination and her hard work will get her into any college she wants to attend in five short years!


May 2013 Superstars

Tyrese Beards-Borney, Simley High School

Tyrese Beards-BorneyThroughout my time in AVID, I have had the chance to work with tremendous people who care enough to motivate me and encourage me to always live up to my full potential. I have learned that education is a key aspect in life, opening doors to phenomenal opportunities. My sense of individual determination has been realized because of AVID. The guidance I’ve received in this program has given me a solid foundation, which allows me to look forward to a future filled with success.”

Tyrese is an AVID superstar because he goes above and beyond the normal expectations on a daily basis. He is a leader in AVID by serving as a role model for his peers, always working hard to ensure his best effort goes into all assignments. Tyrese doesn’t settle for anything he knows could be better. He has even spent time convincing his peers to take Cornell notes in their classes and showing them how to improve their notes in an effort to help them learn better!


Brenda Luna, West Phoenix High School

Brenda LunaI’ve always been devoted to my education since day one. AVID has helped me challenge myself by pushing me to reach my goals and become something in my life.”

Brenda is an honor roll student who has taken part in a variety of different community service activities, including writing letters of appreciation to WWII veterans while she was in the Ambassadors of Compassion program. She is devoted to her academic success and always takes advantage of extra credit. Brenda also offers extraordinary help as a teaching assistant for her AVID elective teacher, Mr. Fusco.


March 2013 Superstars

Relius Johnson, James Bowie High School

Relius JohnsonAVID put me into some of the most rigorous classes offered at school and gave me the resources I needed to succeed: time management, Cornell notes, study skills, and higher-level thinking skills. AVID also challenged me to be involved and lead. AVID has become my support system. Not having strong support outside of school was tough, but my AVID family rallied behind me and gave me the push I needed to succeed. I love AVID and I know I will do well because AVID was in my life.”

Relius stands out in all he does. Academically he is at the top of his graduating class. He is conscientious about his work and desires to understand the concepts at a deeper level. Relius is also a leader in the school community. He is captain of the cross-country and track teams and counsels younger athletes on balancing academics and athletics. Relius also serves as president of his school’s AVID AAMI (African American Male Initiative) group, and he established a mentoring program for the incoming freshmen members. Relius is an awesome young man who has a positive impact on all who know him! Bowie High School is a better place because of him!


Brianna Gardiner, North Peace Secondary School

Brianna GardinerAVID has helped me all through high school. My note-taking skills, organization, questioning, and presentation skills have all improved significantly. I’m confident in my grades now, and I want to learn and achieve my goals. I’m prepared for college and very eager to attend thanks to AVID!”

Brianna has become 100 percent dedicated to her learning and improvement. She utilizes the skills and tools from AVID in all areas of her life and works hard to always better herself and her work. Everything Brianna does is of the highest quality thanks to her dedication and use of AVID strategies. She uses self-assessment and constructive criticism to hold herself to a high standard. Brianna applied early to college and was accepted by her first choice! She continues to work hard towards her goals and is an excellent representation of AVID in her school community.


January 2013 Superstars

Fidel Campuzano, John H. Reagan Early College High School

Fidel CampuzanoAVID has not only helped me educationally, but also socially. In AVID we care for each other because we are a family.”

Fidel waits on no one to offer him success – he goes and gets it. While other students are taking information as it comes to them, Fidel is processing that information and seeking more. This attribute and mind-set will serve Fidel well as he ventures into college and the work world. He will be the type of leader who is projecting into the future and is already confronting future obstacle and setbacks in his mind. This quality is rare in high school students. Also, Fidel is an extremely hard-worker. He is not afraid of a challenge and he does not shy away from difficult work. Fidel is the kind of student who surprises and inspires. He embodies all we desire our AVID students to be!


Khairi Harris, North Garland High School

Khairi HarrisThrough AVID I’ve been able to organize everything – not just my binder – but my life. AVID taught me structure and time management. If it wasn’t for AVID I would have waited too late to submit my college information, and I would not have known about all the colleges! AVID also pushed me to volunteer my time, and now I enjoy being involved. The AVID site team guided me throughout my high school career. The AVID classroom was a place I could come by and always feel welcome. ”

Khairi is an exceptional student who demonstrates excellence in everything he does. He established a Facebook page for all North Garland AVID students, so they could be made aware of upcoming events. He was elected President of AVID and takes the responsibility seriously. With humility and persistence, he leads others to accomplish great things. He is mature, respectful, and thoughtful; however, the most outstanding quality in Khairi is his kindness. His hardships are many, but Khairi has a smile on his face and a tender heart every day! He is the person everyone can count on. He is an outstanding individual and an ideal AVID student.


October 2012 Superstars

Angeles Rodas, Pflugerville Middle School

Angeles RodasWhen we moved to my new school, my parents told me that they wanted a better life for me.  AVID has helped me realize that I can have a better life.  I want to be a pediatrician, and AVID is helping me succeed in harder classes and learn how to study and work with people.  Basically, AVID is helping me prove that I can be a doctor.  I’ll give my AVID teacher a discount when I’m a doctor!”

Angeles has a remarkable drive.  When presented with the idea of going from a “grade level math class” to Algebra, she was honored that I saw her potential.  Her Algebra teacher is impressed with her willingness to learn new concepts, work collaboratively, and complete all of her work with detail and pride.  She is performing comparably to students who have been in Pre-AP classes for two years.  After attending tutoring on most days after school, she walks to pick up her brother from a nearby elementary school. Her mother relies on Angeles to help clean and prepare dinner for her siblings and will often require Angeles’ assistance in the evening with cleaning jobs.  In spite of the additional responsibilities she has outside of school, Angeles manages to be an exemplary AVID student. She is truly an AVID Superstar!


Elizabeth Lorenzano, West Phoenix High School

Elizabeth LorenzanoAVID has persuaded me to pursue my future ambitions with rigor, poise, and determination. Because of AVID, I realized the importance of a college education, and throughout this process, AVID has helped me find my voice.”

Elizabeth is a student who stands out in her courses, her school, and her community.  Academically, she excels by going above and beyond as an Honor Roll student. Elizabeth has an exceptional GPA, uses scholarship opportunities, participates in competitions, and has amazing intellectual curiosity.   She is in the National Honors Society and student council, plays softball, and has been a part of the Ambassadors of Compassion program.  Elizabeth has also volunteered for St. Mary’s Food Bank and a number of community service projects for WPHS. Her positive convictions make her shine.


August 2012 Superstars

Amber Darlington, Healdsburg Jr. HS

Amber DarlingtonWithout the extra support AVID has given me, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the high level of success I have experienced this year."

Amber personifies AVID through her work ethic and determination to be a successful, high performing student. She has been accepted into the Upward Bound program and plans on being the first person in her family to receive a college degree. I believe she will accomplish that goal.



Adela Yepiz, Camelback HS

Adela YepizEvery student should become an AVID student because you’ll be a part of a family that sticks together through whatever. AVID is also like a step to the future. It prepares you for college and it also gives you hope."

Adela is an incredible young woman. She is only a freshman this year, but speaks and acts with the intelligence, kindness, dependability, and strength of the wisest. She invites the new challenges and experiences that AVID offers without letting fear or the temptation of mediocrity get in the way. She is her own standard-setter, knowing that at the end of the day it is up to her to become the woman she wants to become and achieve the life and success she has set out for. She takes risks because she has learned that she can, and she pushes both herself and those around her to be more and do more. She epitomizes what it is to be an AVID student. Her example has inspired her peers as well as me to more closely follow the AVID creed- Advance Via Individual Determination.

Wisdom Ryan, Eau Gallie HS

Wisdom RyanAVID has helped me throughout my school years and has pulled me out of a lot of sticky situation. I wouldn’t be where I am not if I had not joined!"

Wisdom Ryan is truly an example of AVID college readiness. She is a hardworking student, taking many college prep courses in just her sophomore year. She is working toward a dual degree with a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree upon graduation. Wisdom is a great student on her own but also as a group member. She plays in the orchestra at our high school where she is constantly facing the demands of performing. She is a great help at school but also in her community. She is bright, caring, hard working and full of integrity. Best of all, she knows what it takes daily to set a goal and work toward it even when the going gets tough. Wisdom is truly one of our best AVID students in the class of 2014.

Au’Bryanna Clayton, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental MS

Au'Bryanna ClaytonAVID has helped me be prepared for classes, stay organized, and make good grades. Being a part of AVID helps me be the best I can be in and outside of school.”

I’m proud to nominate Au’Bryanna Clayton as an AVID Superstar because she exemplifies everything an AVID student stands for. Each week in our AVID class, we do a competition to see who has the most A’s in all their classes. The winner’s name goes on a chart so the whole class can see. For the past few grading periods, Au’Bryanna has been the consistent winner every single week. She has accomplished this through dedication and determination to complete her school work and classwork with excellent effort. Au’Bryanna is a wonderful young lady and is a fabulous representative for our AVID program.


July 2012 Superstars

Kate Yamauchi, Zama American MS

Kate YamauchiI have learned many useful study skills, such as taking Cornell notes and studying in various ways. Before I was in AVID, I did not take the time to think about what college I wanted to attend or how to prepare for it. Now, I realize the importance of thinking and preparing ahead of time. AVID has also exposed me to the world - I have learned about several job opportunities, the significance of community service, expectations of colleges, and so much more. I really appreciate AVID for giving me the opportunities and knowledge that can positively influence my life."

Kate exemplifies the skills students are able to gain from being in AVID. Her Cornell notes are always turned in on time, or ahead of time if she won't be in class. She uses higher-level questions consistently; has good revision techniques; and her summaries are concise, yet complete. Kate also receives the highest binder score of her class each week. She looks forward to the "ah ha" moment in Tutorials.

Kate is helpful to others and constantly strives to improve all aspects of life. She takes excellent notes in all her classes, and as a result, her grades are representative of her efforts. It is a pleasure to have Kate in AVID.

Alesha Cooper, Richardson HS

Alesha CooperIf I could sum up AVID in three words it would be support, opportunity and unity. Without AVID I would not be where I am today. AVID is my family! My classmates are my brothers and sisters and my teachers are my parents. AVID opened the door for my success and it was up to me to work through it. AVID has laid the foundation for my success. It is the backbone to my success. The program taught me to define my own future and to lead with my actions rather than words. It has taught me to be more open-minded and versatile."

Alesha Cooper is a phenomenal young lady who has risen from homelessness and poverty starting from the age of 13. She has independently provided for herself the basic needs one would expect a parent to provide. She has even become a parent to her mother and father, both ofwhom are additcts.As Alesha has matured, she has become a cheerleader for her peers and the beating heart of her Richardson HS AVID family. She has proven to her peers and teachers across the district that where you come from does not define who you will become. This is evident through her high GPA, consistent rigorous class load and involvement with her community. She voluntarily speaks at AA meetings as a child of addicts, helping others see a bit of hope for their future. Alesha has been accepted to numerous prestigious universities, and has decided to attend the University of Virginia and study mathematics. She has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar and a Dell Scholar, and has earned more than $670,000 in academic scholarships.

Chantel Gallagher, Eau Gallie HS

Chantel GallagherAVID has helped me become more confident in myself. It has taught me that every day is an opportunity to learn something new."

Chantel Gallagher is a hidden gem. In the classroom she is a model student always pushing the thinking of the collective group but never rocking the boat. She can be so insightful that she ignites discussions and probes the thinking of other students to the boundaries of their beliefs. She is an academic dynamo effortlessly completing many college-level classes in just her sophomore year Outside ofacademics Chantel is a well-rounded leader.She is an active member of the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club. She is a driving force for the club's community involvement and other functions that serve others. None shine brighter than she!

Darian Williams, Scotts Hill HS

Darian WilliamsAVID has changed my life in many ways. However, AVID has shown me how much potential I have and has shown me I can excel in all of my classes more than I have ever thought possible.”

“Darian comes to me every Tuesday and Thursday to be tutored in Biology,” says her AVID tutor Sarah Johnson. “When she first started, Darian was not in the top ten of her Biology class. After working together for just 11 weeks, Darian went form not rating in her class to now having the second highest grade in her class. She has worked so hard and I am so proud of her. I believe she has tried her hardest and should be recognized.”


June 2012 Superstars

Adriana Alfaro, Calistoga Jr/Sr HS

Adriana AlfaroAVID proved to me that I can do advanced classes and I proved to myself that I can do a lot of things if I put my mind to it.”

Adriana arrived at Calistoga Jr./Sr. High School directly from Mexico when she was in the 4th grade. She would have liked to join AVID when she came to CJSHS as a 7th grader, but she did not have room for the elective in her schedule. She was enrolled in four English classes—two reading support classes, one ELA 7 class, and a strategic class to support her in ELA 7. By the end of her 7th grade year, however, Adriana managed to have a 3.0 GPA and she scored proficient for the first time on the English/Language Arts portion of the California Standards Test. She was enrolled in a strategic English support class again for her 8th grade year (her choice), but this time she had room for AVID! Through her determination and hard work, Adriana was able to enroll in Honors English, honors Biology, and the first half of a two-year Advanced Placement® World History course. Her first semester GPA for 9th grade was 4.00! Adriana exemplifies the term “AVID Scholar”—organized, determined, motivated. She also tutors junior high students in an afterschool program. “We couldn’t be more pleased with Adriana’s progress,” says AVID Teacher Carla Surber. “We look forward to working with her in the future and can’t wait to see her college acceptance letters hanging on our AVID Wall of Fame!”

Dalvin Armstrong, TL Hanna HS

Dalvin ArmstrongThere once was a time when I thought all of my hard work would not pay off, but ever since AVID came into my life, everything has changed and all my work counts now. I always try my best!”

If you mention Dalvin’s name anywhere on the campus of TL Hanna High School, everyone will not only know to whom you are referring, but will immediately have a smile form on their faces. He is truly a unique and wonderful part of the first AVID senior class. He would never have been considered shy, but he has definitely had a transformation in high school from a somewhat confident freshman to a dynamic class leader of the student body. Mary Nell Anthony, AVID Administrator states, “Dalvin is a perfect example of how the AVID program develops leadership skills in our students. He is a wonderful asset to student government.” Dalvin’s Advanced Placement English Teacher, Anne Harder says, “It only takes a moment with Dalvin Armstrong to discover his charisma, humor and drive. He is possessed by a true willingness to work, along with a creative nature. From his role as Senior Class President to his voyage as an AP English student and Teacher Cadet, Dalvin was born to work with others. He is often the first to formulate new projects and ideas and has an uncanny ability to persuade others to work with him in making these projects come to fruition. What often seems like a large-scale, ambitious aim is always short and almost magical work for him. He makes things happen -- the mark of a born leader.”

Last year, Dalvin’s family suffered a personal loss. It was amazing to see the faculty and students rally to help his family through the rough time and no one was unwilling to help. Through it all, he has maintained his focus of going to college to become a nurse anesthesiologist or a teacher. His joyfulness and enthusiasm toward reaching his goals are infectious! Being near him changes you for the better and it has been a joy to watch him grow into the fine young man he has become with the help and support of the AVID program!

Etta Chavez, East HS

Etta ChavezBeing in AVID has enabled me to find my voice.”

Etta Chavez entered AVID her freshman year. She was painfully quiet. A tiny 14-year-old who looked to be unsure and insecure about where her place in the world was. She was (and is) however, the perfect AVID student – eager to learn and committed to her studies. “Over the past four years, it has been my privilege to watch Etta gain her voice and find her place in the world,” says AVID Teacher Cate Praggastis. As a senior, she is now co-president of the AVID in ACTION service club, she maintains a 3.8 cumulative GPA and has become a wonderful advocate and voice of the AVID program. Etta has challenged herself to extend beyond her comfort zone by speaking on behalf of AVID at several functions. Although Etta’s family is fractured, this alone does not make her unique. But the way she handled her situation, makes her indeed special. When she realized (as a freshman) that she might not be able to continue living with her family and attending school at East High School, she spoke with a friend whose family allowed her to move in with them. It has certainly not been an easy or comfortable situation, but in this home, Etta has found stability and determination. She is now very driven to succeed and be the first in her family to attend college.

Kabreia Kennon, Eau Gallie HS

Kabreia KennonThrough AVID I have taught myself to be skilled, not only academically, but mentally in the decisions I make and the things I endure. I don’t settle for anything less than what I deserves as evidenced in my hard work. Today I can honestly say AVID has not only increased my strength as a student, but also as an individual.”

Kabreia Kennon is an amazing young lady who knows what adversity means. She has struggled academically and personally this year after the loss of her aunt, but she has risen from the ashes thanks to her dedication and hard work. She set lofty goals for herself and has worked tirelessly to achieve them. In return she is proud of the results. Kabreia is a leader in any class she sets foot in, she has a sharp mind for business and never backs down from a challenge. She helps others that are friends, acquaintances and even community members. She lives to give back to her roots. “Kabreia’s positive ideas and never ending excitement for her education inspire me daily,” says AVID Teacher Brandy Griswell.


May 2012 Superstars

Kianna Avilez, Roosevelt MS

Kianna AvilezAVID helped me to become organized and well-equipped to get good grades. I have achieved most of my goals and am ready to face even more challenges. Thank you AVID for helping me move forward to my career."

Kianna Avilez, an 8th grade AVID student at Roosevelt Middle School, exhibits outstanding achievement in all her classes, especially in AVID. She excels at being the best student in all she does, from Cornel notes, career projects, college preparation, and speaking presentations. She is definitely an AVID standout and superstar.

Christian Hutchinson, Dartmouth MS

Christian HutchinsonAVID has helped me improve my school work and my quality as a student. Without AVID, I wouldn't be as organized as I am today. AVID has made my goals in life clear and has made me want to achieve them."

When I think of an AVID student who leads by example and has quietly performed at an excellent level all year long, I think of Christian Hutchinson," says AVID teacher Stephen Rossi. These are just a few reasons that make Christian an AVID Superstar. Not only did Christian start the school year achieving well, he consistently maintained his high standards throughout the year. This is not an easy undertaking to accomplish, but Christian has done it! In addition, Christian has served as a terrific role model for other students in the AVID program. His earnestness and respectful attitude toward others demonstrated daily how an AVID student should conduct themselves. Christian is really the complete package; he has superb academic skills coupled with wonderful people skills. Christian is sure to go far.

Tonjana Brown, Shelby MS

Tonjana BrownAVID has given me the opportunity to help keep my grades up and become a leader to others around me.  It also has focused me on my future!"

Tonjana Brown is an exceptional AVID student. Since joining AVID, she has become an honor roll student. She strives to do her best in the classroom and to be a positive example for others. Other students look to her as a role model. Most importantly, she has grown in confidence and focus. She has a goal and now believes with all her heart she can get there. "Although I am sad to see her go, I can't wait to hear about her success at high school and beyond!" says AVID teacher Amy Allen.

Shayla O'Connell, James Campbell HS

Shayla O'ConnellAVID helped me achieve my college dreams by never allowing me to quit; by pushing me to work harder and teaching me to never settle for anything but the best. Without AVID, I would not be the determined woman I am today."

Shayla O'Connell came to AVID as a freshman with a physical impairment and with a devastating home life. She was told by many (including a teacher) that she would never make it to college. Taking these obstacles as a challenge, she vowed to make school her home and to persevere. Succeed she did. She applied to 21 colleges and was accepted by 20. She earned over $411,000 in scholarships, including the Horatio Alger and is currently attending St. Mary's (Notre Dame) in Indiana.


April 2012 Superstars

Saige Darrow, Dartmouth MS

Saige DarrowAVID has impacted my life in so many ways. AVID makes me excited about going to college in the future."

"When I think of an AVID student who is determined to improve and do her best, I think of Saige Darrow," says AVID teacher Mr. S. Rossi. During the course of the school year in the AVID Elective Class, Saige improved and put more effort into her work. Week after week, Saige was writing more and including more details in her summaries and explanations when writing Cornell notes. By the end of the school year, Saige's Tutorial Request Forms and Cornell Notes served as shining examples of how to get it done for the other 7th Grade AVID students in class. Saige didn't stop there; she was on a mission to keep improving her grade. She continued to turn in wonderfully done Cornell notes on different topics in order to earn extra credit points and ending up earning an A+! More importantly, Saige learned how a strong work ethic and determination can really pay off.

Ngoc Tram (Katie) Pham, James Campbell HS

Ngoc Tram (Katie) PhamAVID encouraged me to challenge myself and expand my skill-set by taking AP classes, which helped prepare me for college. Now that I'm in college and doing well, I'm thankful that I was in AVID because the workload in college would have come to me as a shock had I not been challenged in high school. Besides encouragement and the family-like atmosphere that AVID creates, I also learned to become a solid writer through extensive writing projects in class. These skills shined through during my college application process and scholarship competitions. Oh, and Cornell notes? I'll just say that it's a college student's only knight in shining armor.

AVID taught me everything I needed to know about college. I was well-informed and aware of my options. College didn't seem real until I was in AVID. I'm proud to be an AVID grad. Being in and staying in AVID throughout my high school years was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I would not be attending the college of my choice now if it wasn't for the help and support from AVID."

Ngoc Tram (Katie) Pham came to AVID as an ESL sophomore. She conquered three languages - English, Japanese and Arabic. She traveled to Vietnam on a scholarship in her senior year. Katie became an AP Scholar, won the Dell Scholarship, and finished by amassing $566,000 in scholarships. Most prominent of these scholarships was from Marist College. Furthermore, Katie is attending her freshman year with Marist College's FFE program in Florence Italy. She is the only public school student from Hawaii afforded that honor.

Larrison Black, Page HS

Larrison BlackEvery day I'm in AVID, I'm a step closer to achieving one of my top goals!"

Larrison enters his AVID class every morning with an infectious smile. He exemplifies the best of AVID by sharing that smile and the AVID philosophy as he continues the day - through his honor classes with upper classmen to his leadership class in which he serves as vice-president of his class. He is still smiling when he lugs those books home at night to maintain his perfect 4.0 GPA. What is his goal? To be the valedictorian of his class who can speak at graduation about how AVID strategies and the confidence he has gained from the program will truly help him reach his dream of walking in space!

Jessica Guerrero, Anaheim HS

Jessica GuerreroThanks to all the support and motivation from my AVID teachers, tutors, and counselors, I have been able to build skills that have helped me succeed in high school, and will follow me to college."

Jessica Guerrero is a student who displays all the characteristics of a hard worker. She does not shy away from challenges, instead she excels. Jessica is both inquisitive and methodical when it comes to her education. She displays a combination of persistence and patience and is a part of CSF (California Scholarship Federation). She is a leader in her academic classes as well as the AVID elective. Jessica is polite and respectful to everyone. Jessica's positive attitude about education rubs off on others and she is well-liked by her peers. In addition, Jessica gets involved in school events and activities. Jessica is a member of club G.O.L.D., an on-campus organization that empowers girls to be leaders. Jessica is also a student representative on the Student Advisory Committee. In addition to her regular school schedule, Jessica takes on extra courses at the Tiger Woods Learning Center to further her learning. Furthermore, Jessica is part of a program called Young Senator Program, an innovative program that nurtures young leaders with government officials and community organizations. Jessica is definitely a Superstar Student.


March 2012 Superstars

Tania Amaya, South Garland HS

Tania AmayaAVID has been my right arm since the beginning of high school. It has been my support and guidance, and it has given me another family that I know I can count on."

"Without a doubt, Tania Amaya is the most dedicated and determined student I have ever taught," says AVID Teacher Elizabeth Poe. At the young age of twelve, she came to the United States not knowing or speaking any English. Even with the support of her parents at home, she struggled throughout middle school because she lacked the proper guidance she needed to help her be successful in school. In ninth grade, she was accepted into the AVID program. Within three years of arriving in the United States, she was ranked first in her class. Due to various obstacles she has encountered in high school, she waivered in her class rank; however, with her desire and determination, she has regained and maintained her rank as #1 with the help, support, and love of her AVID peers, tutors, teacher, counselor, and site team members. "Our AVID district director chose Tania to be the first Garland ISD student of the month." Even with her academic success, she continues to be an active student involved in extracurricular activities such as the captain of the JV soccer team, Hispanic Youth Organization, National Honor Society, Academic Decathlon, and UIL Literary Criticism. With AVID, Tania has gained great self-confidence and self-assurance that has enabled her to tutor her peers and encourage them academically. Tania is a true representation of what an AVID student should be!

Juana Garcia, Chaparral Empowerment HS

Juana GarciaAVID is a great program. It helped me to become an organized person and it taught me new ways to study. AVID can help any student achieve their goals by helping with homework. AVID makes sure that each student is on the path to a successful future. Thanks to this amazing and supportive program, I was able to become a good student and valedictorian of my school."

Juana Garcia is an exceptional student. Not only did she achieve academic success with a 4.8 GPA, she was the 2011 Valedictorian. Juana received numerous scholarships and plans to attend college to become a nurse. She has a strong desire to help others and she has excelled in all of her classes, especially her science courses. Juana has always been cheerful and helpful towards others. She has volunteered her time mentoring and tutoring others and has proven to be a positive role model. I have had the pleasure of having Juana for the past two years in AVID, she has always maintained a perfect binder and we frequently used her binders as our example of how to do it right!

Precious Scott, Edgecombe Early College HS

Precious ScottAVID taught me so many life lessons. I like this class because it has helped me grow in life. This class is awesome because I learn and have fun at the same time. I recommend AVID to any freshman because it helps you prosper in life!"

Precious entered AVID being very hesitant. Her work was sloppy and represented an "I don't care" attitude. "As time progressed, I began to see a very different student," says AVID Teacher Jacquie Jeffers.  She started asking more questions if she did not understand. Her suggestions for Paideia Sessions were intriguing! Precious became a leader who was sensitive to the needs of others. As she spoke, she would infuse dialogue that she received from her mother. The students could relate to her mother's advice. This sparked their comments and connected with character education. She has become more involved in her education and in determined to attend college well prepared.

Jenna Ford, Chesapeake Senior HS

Jenna FordAVID has influenced my life in a tremendous way. Since my enrollment in the 6th grade, my confidence has increased, my organization skills have improved, and my determination to attend a four-year university has never been so strong. AVID is a wonderful class and it has changed my life."

Jenna Ford is an AVID Superstar for many reasons. "Since the day Jenna entered my classroom her 9th grade year, she has been that one student who was always ready to learn and yearned for that extra challenge and ready to take on the world," says AVID Teacher Tami Beyer. Jenna acts as a role model not only to the underclass AVID students, but her AVID 11 class as well. This year, Jenna has begun the preparation for the college application process. Jenna took it upon herself to set up a notebook and organized it alphabetically by state with the colleges that she is interested in. Jenna has become a self motivated young lady who will achieve every goal that she sets for herself in the future.


February 2012 Superstars

Tomeka Church, Page HS

Tomeka ChurchAVID has helped me set goals that will help me succeed and become a more organized person who is not afraid to speak in front of a crowd."

Tomeka is a super-AVID Superstar in the true sense of the phrase! She began her academic journey by completing algebra with an A as an eighth-grader. She entered high school as a freshman, taking geometry with traditional sophomores. Hers was one of the few A's in the class. She finished her first semester of her freshman year with a perfect 3.0 - all while serving as a valued member of Page High School's Cross Country Team, which won first in the state of Arizona.

Tomeka has found that AVID helps her keep organized and dedicated to getting her work in on time. She has one of the very few A's in her native Navajo language class, despite finding herself among mostly older students. Tomeka's natural tendency to observe quietly had disappeared in high school and she was even chosen by her AVID classmates to represent them with a recruitment speech to eighth-graders. Her speech was cited as one of the main reasons the eighth-grade class of AVID students for next year has grown from the traditional size of 30, to two classes totaling 60 students. This is the first for Page High School!

Although from a small, rural community in Northern Arizona, Tomeka will use the skills she has learned and demonstrated in AVID to succeed in her chosen field of culinary studies.

Fernando Davalos, Vista Murrieta HS

Fernando DavalosWhen I had the opportunity to join AVID, all I believed was that it was going to be similar to a study hall, but I encountered that it was a life changing experience. Being in AVID made me motivated to achieve great grades, try harder, and, most important, believe in myself. AVID has changed my study habits for the best and has had a great impact in my life. I am proud to say that I am not a student in AVID, but that I am an AVID student."

When AVID was developed, it was for students especially like Fernando. When he transferred to Vista Murrieta HS his sophomore year, not only were his grades from freshman year poor, but he had to make up classes to be both graduation and college eligible. He has completed all of those classes, and excelled at them as well. Fernando is a model AVID student. He does not use his lack of financial resources to deter him from his ultimate goal…to graduate from college. Fernando is never satisfied with just doing work, but truly understanding all of it. He uses all of his resources to excel in his classes and he assists other students without hesitation. He is constantly in the classroom at lunch or before school to continue working and asking questions to make sure his work is completely correct. His tutorials, Cornell notes, and notebook have not only improved from sophomore year (meeting expectations at VMHS), but has bypassed other AVID students and is used as a model.

Teresa Garcia, Santa Fe HS

Teresa GarciaI have this great AVID teacher who has pushed and encouraged me to excel."

Teresa has been in AVID since 8th grade. She is a high achiever in life and school. Teresa's GPA is a 4.28 because she has challenged herself with three AP classes, including physics. She is in National Honor Society, soccer, track and field, technical theater, girl scouts, and she also has a part-time job! As busy as Teresa is, she keeps organized and on top of her school work with perfect binder checks nearly every week. She is conscientious, proactive, and a hard worker."

Deiona Reed, Soldan International Studies HS

Deiona ReedAVID has bettered me as a student in several ways. AVID has helped me become a more organized student by keeping a daily planner and writing down homework and important events. AVID also taught me that you should take advantage of your resources at every chance you get."

Deiona is not only an excellent student but a great athlete to boot. She is a 10th grade AVID student and takes AP Biology, and she is recommended to take two AP classes in her junior year. Deiona has straight A's in her classes, and she hopes to be a doctor someday. When she started AVID, she was a little hesitant to participate in tutorials. Today, Deiona is a leader no matter what group she is with. She shows the other students how to perform, and she is a great role model in academics and as a person. Deiona helps with school functions, and understands how important it is to be a part of a team. Deiona is extremely conscientious and excited about learning. She is a perfect example of what AVID stands for.


January 2012 Superstars

Kent Richie Pardillo, James Campbell HS

Kent Richie PardilloQuite frankly, I would not be able to attend college without the help of AVID. It not only transformed me into a better individual, but it molded me to be a person who's determined to succeed."

Kent Richie Pardillo entered the AVID class as an ESL freshman. He overcame the tragedy of a single-parent family to pursue his dreams. He won $474,000 in scholarships, including the National McDonald's scholarship. Kent won the Pacific Asian Affairs Scholarship for travel to Vietnam. He and another student went to see the results of their work, from Hawaii, establishing a Library in Vietnam. He is currently pursuing his goal of a Medical Degree at Hawaii Pacific University.

Nayelli Lopez, South Garland HS

Nayelli LopezAVID has impacted my life because we are all a family. We all know each other and who to turn to if we need help of any kind."

Nayelli Lopez is truly a leader among her peers. Since she was accepted into AVID in 9th grade, she has actively sought out ways to be involved and give back to her school and community. She positions herself as a role model in the various clubs and organizations she participates in because she desires to make a difference everyday. Even with her deep commitment to volunteer work, she has maintained her rank in the top 10 students in her class since her freshman year. Her love for others is clearly evident in the work she does with the mentally and physically disabled; she arrives before school to spend time with these students, has an entire class devoted to aiding them in their physical activities, and then again helps them after school. "Nayelli inspires me on a daily basis and her peers," says AVID teacher Elizabeth Poe. "Oh how I wish more young people were as selfless and giving as Nayelli is!"

Angela Bolanos, Lindsay HS

Angela BolanosBeing in the AVID program has had an impact on my life by preparing me for college and the future."

Angela understands the benefits that AVID provides and has used the skills and strategies taught to make herself a better student. She has become a true leader on campus and this largely due to the confidence that she gained while being a member of our AVID program. "Angela has been my 'go-to' person over the past four years," says AVID teacher Roger Gonzales. "She is very dependable, responsible and focused."

Zhane Ruffin, Laney HS

Zhane RuffinAVID has helped me stay focused and has opened the door to many great opportunities. I love being in AVID!"

Zhane is the type of student who typifies what all young AVID students should strive to be. She is motivated to be successful, she is unrelenting in her desire to improve herself, and she is dedicated to her school and community endeavors. Based on her outstanding academic performance in her junior year, Zhane Ruffin was selected as a Social Marshall for graduation and was invited to join the National Honor Society organization. Zhane is involved in various clubs and organizations at Laney High School, including Beta Club, Rocame, and FBLA. Outside of school, Zhane is very active in the Young People's Department of her church where she has formerly served as secretary and vice-president and is now serving as the organization's president. She is also a member of the St. James AME usher board and youth choir. Along with these involvements, Zhane's commitment to community service is extremely admirable. Whether donating her time to help improve her school grounds, volunteering her time to help with local triathlons, or helping to mentor and tutor young people in her area, Zhane is unswerving in her desire to assist and be an example to others.


December 2011 Superstars

Veronica Miller, Lebanon HS

Veronica MillerAVID has given me the extra push that I have needed to help reach my academic goals. It has reassured me that dreams are possible if you put in the time and effort. By being a member of this program for the past three years, it has helped to mold me into a well-rounded person. It has inspired me to reach out to others and provide support to my peers so that they can work to accomplish their dreams!"

The AVID program has been a true asset to 11th grade student Veronica Miller. Throughthe transition from middle school to high school it is very easy for students to get "lost" among the shuffle. Veronica made a commitment to herself as an 8th grade student by making the decision to become a part of the AVID program and not to get "lost" among the crowd. Since then, she has not accepted less than the best from herself in everything she has done! Veronica has pushed herself to maintain a rigorous course load, work a part-time job and has served as a leader within a variety of clubs at her high school. She is not afraid to step up and put in the extra effort to get things accomplished! In addition, Veronica followed her interest in the medical field by enrolling in the Health Careers program, where she earned a high grade in the introductory class along with an outstanding teacher recommendation, which helped to earn her a spot in Health Careers 1. Veronica has an understanding of where she has come from and what she has accomplished due to the support and guidance of the AVID program. Through this, Veronica works to motivate her peers to also work to their full potential in order to achieve the dreams they are capable of obtaining.

Taylore Cantu, Dartmouth MS

Taylore CantuAVID has impacted my life in the areas of school, academics, organization, and soon to be, going to college. I love AVID and wouldn't have any other elective in its place. It is always nice to come to my elective class and enjoy the class with the same goals I have in life."

"When I think of an AVID student taking initiative coupled with a strong sense of community, I think of Taylore Cantu," says her teacher Stephen Rossi. Taylore was instrumental in spear-heading the Ramona Humane Society community service project last fall and winter at Dartmouth Middle School. Her earnestness and sense of caring prompted and promoted the ideas on how the project could be implemented through the AVID elective class. "What struck me the most was Taylore's sincerity and strong sense of caring for the animals and her community." In addition, Taylore's people and interaction skills are top-notch. Being able to interact well with adults and people of all ages are her strengths. Taylore possesses the true spirit of AVID and its individual determination.

Atlanta Willis, Edgecombe Early College HS

Atlanta WillisAVID has affected me in so many ways. I have been an AVID student for two years and it had helped me reach a lot of goals. AVID has taught me skills to get ready for college and be successful in my life. As long as I have AVID, I know I am on the right track to a successful future."

Atlanta likes to verify her assignments to make sure that she is doing them correctly. At first, I thought she just wasn't paying attention, but later I understood that this type of learner was striving for an "A" in AVID as well as her other classes. Her enthusiasm for her school work is outstanding. If she is absent from class, she quickly asks for her make-up work. In her other classes, she has continued her concern and responsibility for her assignments. What better way to set an example for her peers. She told me that last year, she didn't care and didn't understand her role as a student. Now, Atlanta realizes that without her concern for academics, success would not happen.

Rachel Raymond, Kohala MS

Rachel RaymondAVID has had a great impact on my life because it provides me with more opportunities to achieve my goals."

Rachel is an accomplished, all-around individual who sets high goals for herself and wants to succeed. This busy student is not only enrolled in her school's AVID elective, she is involved in extracurricular activities like basketball, hula and Tahitian dancing. In addition to keeping her grades up and her active social life, she assists her mom Toma with her daycare business after school. "What I love about Rachel is her aloha spirit," says her teacher Wendy Nickl. Rachel helps others in class, as a student mentor and friend. She volunteers to help with small and large jobs and is an excellent role model for her peers. AVID is helping Rachel with specific, goal-oriented lessons that will help her achieve her college goals. She wants to become a veterinarian or pursue a career in biology or forestry. AVID field trips, guest speakers and resources have really sparked her interest and desire to attend college and achieve her dreams. "I know she will take her aloha spirit and strength to high school and college while pursuing her career in science."


November 2011 Superstars

Barbara Torres, Dartmouth MS

Barbara TorresAVID has changed me in a way nothing else could have. It has taught me new ideas and ways to change for the better in school. AVID is the thing for anybody who wants to go to college."

"When I think of an AVID student who is diligent with a keen attention to detail, I think of Barbara Torres," says AVID teacher Stephen Rossi. These are just two qualities that make Barbara an outstanding AVID student. With any task in class, Barbara is always extremely focused and in tune to what is going on. Teachers will take notice of Barbara because she exemplifies how to use the AVID S.L.A.N.T. during a discussion or lesson. Barbara's attention to detail, accuracy, and neatness makes her Cornell Notes a shining template and example for others in her tutorial sessions. Along with the diligence and detail, Barbara possesses a sweet, earnest disposition which radiates to others in the class. Barbara is a welcomed asset and catalyst in any AVID class.

Jessica Miele, Moyock MS

Jessica MieleAVID has impacted my life by changing the way I think of college. Before AVID, I didn't think about my grades or college. AVID has made me a more determined, goal-oriented individual."

When it was questionable whether her district would continue with AVID, Jessica took on the cause. She circulated a petition that had over 400 signatures by the time she turned it in. In addition, she wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the local paper and she did a story on a local news channel. Partly due to her efforts, AVID will continue to help students throughout her district!

Ana Rocio Sandoval, Firebaugh HS

Ana Rocio SandovalAVID has made an impact in my life by helping me realize that whatever I want is possible through dedication, academic training and college preparation for the next chapter in my life - college. The bonds that I have created with my AVID classmates and staff are similar to ripples in a pond that will create a positive impact throughout my future."

"In the seven years that I have taught Ana Rocio, she has always been an exceptional student who has always excelled in every area of academics," says AVID teacher Brandon Moody. Ana Rocio is a hard worker who will succeed in college and beyond due to her diligence and persistence to complete any given task that is presented to her. "Out of all the students that I have taught in my illustrious teaching career, Ana Rocio stands out as one of the most intelligent, hard-working, best all-around students that I have ever taught." Ana Rocio is extremely dedicated and is respected and liked but all people she encounters.

Ana Rocio has faced the barriers of being a future first generation college student, to achieve a GPA over 4.0 (second in her class) in her time here at Firebaugh High School. Any barriers she will face in the future she will overcome with the greatest of ease. Ana Rocio's potential is limitless, her motivation is very high, her capability for undertaking college work is more than adequate, and her potential to succeed in college is attainable. She is an extremely responsible student who is time-conscious and trustworthy. Her personality lights up a room and her positive attitude is always an inspiration for her teachers, teammates and classmates to respond in the same way.

Taikye Wright-Brown, Cheyenne HS

Taikye Wright-BrownAVID really taught me how to study better and prepare for college level courses."

Taikye, who is carrying a 3.979 GPA on a 4.0 grade scale and a 4.729 weighted GPA, is the the epitome of an academic superstar. He is currently ranked #2 out of 493 students in his senior class, and he is a valedictorian candidate. Even MIT has acknowledged the brightness of his academic abilities. He was one of only 79 talented juniors in the nation out of over 1500 applicants accepted into the 2011 MIT MITES summer program. MITES, a rigorous 6 week immersion into MIT physics, calculus, chemistry, or biology, or biochemistry, genomics or engineering, and the humanities, boosted his desire to study mechanical engineering in college. However, this supernova exploded on the scene in the 9th grade after he took an AVID course at his school. Since the 9th grade he has gotten all A's. In fact, the only blemish on his transcript is the "B" he earned in a first semester high school level class (Algebra I Honors) that he took in the 8th grade. AVID, he proudly proclaims, contributed to his luminous growth as a student.


October 2011 Superstars

Rebeccah Bergman, River View HS

Junive Gill VegaAVID will help me achieve my long and short-term goals and dreams."

Rebeccah Bergman has been in the AVID program since the date of inception, school year 2010-11. Becca is a trooper – helping as her school worked out the kinks and bugs of a new program, without complaining, and remaining optimistic and involved. Rebeccah always gives 110% effort; she is truly a Superstar! She recognizes the benefit of organization, time management and hard work, without expecting instant gratification. She is actively involved in all of the leadership and community service opportunities offered through her AVID class. She is always the first one to say, "How can I help you?" to her classmates and teachers. "She is goal driven, and that makes me VERY happy as an AVID teacher!" says her AVID teacher Jennifer Ward.

Myles Anthony Moore, Kenwood Academy HS

Ismael EstradaAVID has helped me set my goals and gain the tools to achieve them."

Myles is a shining example of an AVID Student. Currently, Myles is a senior who has strived to become an excellent role model for the entire community at Kenwood. Myles is not only a top student, taking AP Classes, but he is also a mentor to the AVID freshman homerooms, where he mentors students on study skills, organization, and academic responsibilities. He is dependable and always willing to help teachers, administrators, and other students in the building. Myles never says no and always goes the extra mile to succeed. Myles, studies hard and has a firm goal of going to college. He wants to become an accountant and would like to attend the University of Michigan. He has already visited the school and knows the requirements – as an AVID student he works hard everyday to make this dream a reality. Myles not only is active at his school, but is a supportive big brother at the Boys and Girls Club of America and has helped fundraise with Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He has traveled abroad (which he fundraised over $2,500 alone) to learn about other cultures and came back and shared his lesson with his entire class! This is why Myles is and always will be an AVID Superstar!

Breana Cunningham, Soldan International Studies HS

Jada WilliamsTo me, AVID is a program that helps those who want to help themselves. It helped me by making sure I am more prepared, prompt, and alert in all my classes. AVID helped me to change my year around and makes me feel like I really can succeed, and that's what I plan to do."

In the beginning of her freshman year, Breana Cunningham was reluctant to show her talents. Maybe it was because, as a newbie 9th grader, she was adapting to high school and finding her place with her peers. Breana was absent a lot the first semester, but then decided to turn it all around and become one of the best students. Breana is a brilliant writer. Some of her works show the maturity of an upper classman. Other adults and teachers ask Breana for advice on books she has read, and relate books that would be a good resource for her. She is always challenging herself to do more, and wants to serve the community. She is an extremely organized and diligent student and highly respected by her peers – a great role model for all students. AVID is a place where Breana can be herself and has helped her show off her talents.

Yvonne Lopez, Lindsay HS

Betty ChengAVID not only helped me succeed in a rigorous curriculum but it also taught me to never give up on my goals. Now thanks to AVID I am proud to say that I am attending a four year university."

Yvonne is a student who has embraced the AVID program. She has used the strategies and skills taught in AIVD to catapult herself from a mediocre student to one who has conquered a rigorous college-prep curriculum and become UC eligible. She is the product of a single parent, migrant home and will not only be the first in her family to attend a university, but is the first to graduate high school.


September 2011 Superstars

Junive Gill Vega, Mesa HS

Junive Gill VegaJust when the caterpillar thought her world was over, AVID came along and turned her into a butterfly. AVID has helped me transform into someone I never thought was possible. Thank you."

Junive has been in AVID since the 7th grade. What has kept her in AVID is the promise that one day her dreams would be possible. She has graduated with honors as well as over 300 hours of service learning recorded on her diploma. Junive certainly lives up to the "Determination" in AVID. Junive has worked effortlessly this year to pursue every opportunity that has come her way. She has applied to several scholarships and was admitted and offered merit scholarships to Drexel, Stephens College, and the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University.

Ismael Estrada, Mark Twain Junior HS

Ismael EstradaAVID has provided me an education that will allow me to thrive the rest of my life. Above all, AVID has made me realize that an education is valuable, and my AVID family has motivated me to be somebody in life."

Ismael Estrada not only works hard every day - whether on class assignments or homework assignments - he is also one of the friendliest and kindest students. There have been two particular occasions where this amazing student demonstrated maturity well beyond his age. At the beginning of the year, when students ran for leadership positions in the AVID program, Ismael, after overhearing another student mentioning she really wanted to run for the same position, walked over to his peer and kindly said, "I'll wait and run the next time around.  Since I'm only a 7th grader, I have time." He and that student were the only two running for the same position. In effect, Ismael purposely and kindly preferred to have his peer - an 8th grader, whose only chance at a leadership position in junior high was this year - run and win.

Another time, Ismael demonstrated kindness and civility when one of his classmates experienced a situation of bullying at school.  Ismael never left this student's side. He walked with her before school, during lunch, and after school.  While the adults around him helped to take care of the situation, Ismael helped to ensure that his peer was never alone outside of class. During the ordeal, Ismael was never rude, nor did he give off negative vibes to the other student involved.  Ismael was simply being a dependable friend to his peer who needed support. He was there every step of the way until administration took care of the problem. This particular student was moved to tears when she spoke of Ismael's kindness towards her. Because of his caring nature, Ismael, noticed a situation and volunteered to be a friend to someone else in time of need.

In AVID, all students are encouraged and reminded almost on a daily basis to work hard, to be kind and caring to others, and to actively step up and take on a leadership role. Ismael mentors and coaches his peers. He has always been the type of individual that steps up and be the person that everyone can depend on and look up to.

Jada Williams, TL Hanna HS

Jada WilliamsI think that AVID has had a positive influence on me. Last year, I had all college preparatory classes, but they weren't challenging for me, so I slacked off. AVID motivated me to challenge my abilities and take higher-level classes."

Jada is one of those students you wish they all could be. Last year was Jada's first year in AVID and she has embraced the challenge with open arms. When looking at Jada's grades her freshman year in high school, her teachers felt deep down that she was misplaced in college preparatory classes - she was capable of so much more. When approached about participating in the AVID program and being pushed into Honors classes, she was genuinely excited! When it came time to make her schedule, she was put in all honors courses except science and English.  Jada requested that adding an Honors science course because, in her words, "I want to push myself this year." The only fine arts course that would then fit into her schedule was guitar class. Having never practiced guitar in her life, her approach to this course was, "I'll do whatever it takes, and it may be fun!" Jada is excelling in everything she is doing, even with this higher level of expectations, earning a GPA of over 4.5. Her AVID elective teachers says of Jada, "She has a great attitude!"

Betty Cheng, Eureka Senior HS

Betty ChengAVID has showed me that college is where dreams come true. It's where you find yourself, in the next ten years. It's where you become strong and more independent as an individual. Being in AVID has changed my perspective dramatically on how I view things. In AVID I have developed, learned and gained strong speaking, organization, and leadership skills, but best of all, I've gained a family. A family in which I know will be there for me through thick and thin. AVID, a big bubble of love."

When Betty Cheng was a 9th grade AVID student, she wrote an essay and filled out an application on her own to Wells Fargo for the stage coach Legacy in Teaching Award Committee. The outcome was that her teacher, Stephanie Jackson won $2,000 to use in their AVID classroom. Betty shows incredible leadership skills and those accompany a personality that can get anyone to put their best foot forward. Her goal is to make sure her class- AVID class of 2013, gets to visit UCLA in their junior year. And, by gosh - she will succeed!


August 2011 Superstars

Guadalupe Rangel-Lemus, Lindsay HS

Guadalupe Rangel-LemusAVID has been such a wonderful resource for me. It has served as a guiding hand toward fulfilling my college requirements. AVID has exposed me to so many opportunities that I had no idea existed. It has provided the additional support to encourage me to pursue a higher education."

Guadalupe has been in the Lindsay High School AVID program for four years. In that time, she has continually proven to be the hardest working, most articulate student in her class. She currently has a 4.2 GPA and will most likely be valedictorian of her class. She is the oldest child of migrant farm workers and will be the first in her family to attend college.

Kyla Haggith, Ferndale HS

Kyla HaggithAVID has given me the skills to be more independent and think outside the box about how the world works. It gave me a different perspective on how I can benefit other people as well as myself."

Kyla has been an AVID student since she started high school four years ago. She is the epitome of what AVID can do. Kyla is a Superstar for many reasons. Her ambition is to be a helicopter emergency nurse and has already begun the process by taking health care services and CNA classes (certified nurses assistant) at the local hospital. She is also taking running start and AP classes. Kyla is the most positive, encouraging student in her senior AVID elective class. She is the first one to tell other students they can do it. She encourages, but she mostly leads by example. Even though the college and scholarship process can be challenging, she does it with a smile. Kyla gives constantly to both her school and local community. "She is exactly what we want our AVID students to become," says AVID teacher Wendy Rice. "(Honestly, I want my own child to be like her.) She is a wonderful young woman who is going to change the world for the better."

Quen Wrighting, Ozen HS

Quen WrightingI am a firm believer that if you want something, you have to work for it. AVID has taught me that my life will be defined by the path I choose in life, not by the destruction of the environment I live in. Thanks to AVID, regardless of what happens to me or around me, I will not give up and allow it to break my spirit and let me give up."

Quen has been a part of AVID for two years and has developed/maintained a 4.1 GPA. Quen's life has been rather hard. She has moved at least five times since her 9th grade year but she continues to persevere. She has exhibited unquestionable abilities in her studies in the midst of the hardships within her home. She has a strong desire to overcome the "terrible hand she has been dealt thus far" rather than give up. Although her environment has not been a positive one, she has chosen to try to do the right things in spite of others around her that do not set good examples. She is a representative for Student Council, is on the gymnastics team, is a member of Top Teens of America, the top scorer as member of Academic Decathlon, and was recently inducted into the National Honor Society. In addition, she is very active in the community with The Oaks Center, Food Bank, Walking Santa's Project, HEB Feast of Sharing and Teen Court. Quen understands the true meaning of responsibility. She continues to successfully manage a rigorous class schedule while juggling a troubled home life and keeping busy in the community. "I feel that with the support from AVID, Quen will continue to take control of her life and not let circumstances beyond her control hinder her," says AVID teacher Kim Dixon.

Alejandro Beltran, McLaughlin MS

Alejandro BeltranAlex has defined what it means to be an AVID student, talking to parents about the program and translating for those in need. He wrote an AVID rap and has performed it for many adults with confidence and pride. As he continues with his scholastic success, there is no doubt that he will use his knowledge to make a permanent and positive mark on this world. Success in school has given him an additional sense of confidence with a charming attitude. He has the ability to succeed in his curricular areas, along with an ability to transfer his learning and knowledge to others. His willingness to help those around him, in and out of his school community, sets him apart from most. He has continued to use this talent across content areas and connecting others' learning through his music. The confidence and poise that Alex holds translates into natural leadership abilities and inhibitions.


July 2011 Superstars

Joycelin Orellana, Palmdale HS

Joycelin OrellanaI started in AVID not having any idea what I got myself into. Yet, as time progressed, I realized AVID was changing who I was. I learned to be dedicated, organized and ambitious."

Joyce is an extraordinary student who goes above others in her performance. She fits all the AVID protocols for entry into the program as a first-generation student who comes from inner-city, low-socioeconomic demographics. Yet, Joyce takes all AP classes, is enrolled in classes at the college simultaneously, belongs to an elite orchestra program, and volunteers her time at the Red Cross. Despite her tremendous scholastic success, Joyce has been discouraged repeatedly by her family to attend a four-year college, even this year - her senior year. Nonetheless, she still defies expectations by applying to prestigious universities, gaining admissions, and working by herself to both demand more of herself and figure out how she will fund her way to and in college.

Andrea Ramirez, Healdsburg Junior HS

Andrea RamirezAVID inspires me to stay on track and to keep getting good grades so that I can have a brighter future. It also makes me want to be an example for all of my classmates and friends. I feel extremely lucky to be in AVID."

Andrea is an amazing student who personifies everything an AVID student can be. She maintains a 4.0 GPA while enrolled in advanced placement classes, and is incredibly dedicated to being the best she can be. She is involved in school sports, participates in other school activities, and has many friends who love her dearly. Andrea arrived into the United States at the age of five. Her family is from the Honduras. She made amazing progress and quickly adapted to a whole new environment. Her leadership qualities are clearly evident. Her future is as bright as her ready smile. Thanks to AVID, Andrea has begun her journey to success.

Albert Tapia, Saddleback HS

Albert TapiaAVID is a great program that puts my fellow classmates and me on the right path toward our dreams of success during high school and going to college. AVID has taught me to follow my dreams and always give my best."

Albert is the President of his Junior AVID class and he is "so AVID." He consistently goes above and beyond what is required from him both as a student and as an officer. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership and has maintained a clear sense of purpose, to do his best work and go to college. He has been more than the ideal AVID student; he is a role model in the community, earning more than 300 hours of service at the Delhi Center. He is one-of-a-kind and a superstar!

Rickalya Mitchell, Conyers MS

Rickalya MitchellFor two years I have been an AVID student here at CMS and in Mr. Ford's AVID class. It is good to have a teacher like Mr. Ford that pushes you to do more. It's hard living up to his expectations, but it feels good when I see an "A" on my report card or I leave tutorials, go to my PC English, and I can answer questions. I have learned that I control my path to college and a successful life. As the old saying goes, 'If it will be, it's up to me!"

"In my eighteen years of being involved with AVID, I never worked with a student that embodies the essence of AVID," says AVID teacher Diron Ford. "I have had the pleasure of teaching and mentoring Rickalya for the past two years as her AVID teacher here at Conyers Middle School and her academic and social growth has been astounding." Her hard work, dedication, and embracement of the "AVID-Way" has set the stage for her to be a member of Program Challenge; taking classes in Honors English and Science, serving as a Conyers Middle School AVID Ambassador, being a stellar member of the girl's track team, and be involved in a host of extracurricular and academic activities.  Her teachers rave about her determination, efficacy, and tenacity to strive to be the best AVID student that she can become. "Without reservation, this AVID Scholar the shining star of our program here at Conyers Middle School... She is truly an AVID-Fanatic!"


June 2011 Superstars

Lourdes Arreola, Storm Lake Senior HS

Lourdes ArreolaThe biggest thing that AVID has done for me was open so many more doors and provide me with more opportunities than I would have had without AVID."

Lourdes is an amazing young woman. She came to Iowa in Middle School from Mexico and did not speak any English. She was selected to be part of AVID her freshman year in high school and has grown in so many ways. In the past 4 years she has become active in Dance Squad, Cheerleading, DECA, and this year was nominated as Student Body Social Chairperson for Student Council. Lourdes takes her academics very seriously as well. Lourdes is ranked 14th out of 182 students in her graduating class and currently has a 3.798 GPA. Lourdes has taken many rigorous classes throughout her high school career. She will finish high school with 12 credit hours for college. I am not Lourdes' AVID teacher but I do teach AVID and I can personally say the Lourdes is the poster child for AVID.

Roselli Guerrero, Riverglen Junior HS

Roselli GuerreroAVID has been a great benefit to me! I've been in AVID for three years and it has not only helped me with my education career, but also in my personal life. AVID is a great motivation to me and my ticket for college. It has helped me with my organization and note taking skills. Thanks to this class, I have developed my communication skills and I am able to help others in the tutorial sessions. Nobody in my family has gone to college, and I am willing to make the difference and be a motivation as well s a role model to my sisters. I know that with the skills and preparation AVID has taught me, I will be able to succeed in anything I set my mind to."

As her AVID and Speech teacher at Riverglen Junior High School, I have had the opportunity to observe Roselli as a student and friend to her peers; she is an asset to our school. She has excellent written and verbal communication skills, is extremely organized, and has the ability to work independently and follow through to ensure any task is complete. Roselli has a desire to learn, teach, and present herself to the world in a positive and enthusiastic way. With a 3.79 GPA, she desires to make a difference in whatever position she holds, and to become a successful citizen. Roselli is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and though service, she continually motivates her peers to achieve their utmost capabilities. Roselli has made the most of opportunities to learn and she possesses a great amount of skill and eagerness. She understands the value of challenge. Roselli must be commended for her dedication in preparing herself for the scholastic world. She is an outstanding student and a positive influence. I recommend her for any endeavor she chooses to pursue.


May 2011 Superstars

Justin R. Davis, Benjamin Tasker MS

Kevin R. DavisAVID is a great program that helped me develop my organizational skills and eliminate bad habits. AVID may keep me busy sometimes, but that's just getting me ready for college. Life is not about coming home from school, playing games, and then going to bed. There's more to becoming successful and AVID gets you started. Try AVID, it's a great program for kids who want to achieve more!"

Justin Davis is a 7th grade honors student enrolled in advanced-level courses (e.g., Algebra 1), and also is an active participant with the school's technology club, member of a local science and engineering club, a participant of Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), a University of Maryland Young Scholar, and a published writer. He is a high-achieving student who also appreciates learning on a national platform. This is illustrated by his participation in academic competitions in Pittsburgh, PA, and St. Louis, MO. Extracurricular activities include chess club, oratory league, football, lacrosse, as well as an elite track athlete often competing at the USA Track & Field (USATF) Junior Olympic Championships. Despite his involvement in a multitude of activities, he still managed to complete and exceed all of the Maryland state community service graduation requirements by the 7th grade (99 hours to date).

Moreover, in March 2011 and most notably, Justin successfully persuaded the Prince George's County Public Schools Board of Education to actively implement county-wide, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) SeaPerch educational program, a hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program. He already was working with the school's AVID coordinator to start a SeaPerch club at BTMS (i.e., President and Creator).

In my opinion, this type of individual determination, for the advancement of others, is the epitome of an "AVID Superstar Student."

Jasmine Hollis, Valley Center HS

Jasmine HollisAVID has really helped me reach my goal of going to college. It has helped me realize that my dream of college is possible and not just a dream. I don't think I could have gone as far as I have without AVID."

Several years back, Jasmine's father abandoned the family, leaving her mother responsible for raising five children. During Jasmine's junior year of high school, she became ill and had to attend the Independent Study program. Additionally, her mother became ill and she now had to help raise her siblings and help her family survive. After being evicted, her family became homeless and lived out of several motels for almost a year.

What's even more amazing is that she maintained all A's, Bs and one C while she was gone. She has maintained her California "A-G" requirements, earned a 3.67 GPA and has been accepted to CSUSM for fall 2011. "I am blown away," says AVID teacher Susie Britsch-Knoll. "I am truly amazed at her resolve and maturity at such a young age. I admire her tremendously."


April 2011 Superstars

Maria Mungarro, Ferndale HS

Maria MungarroAVID has totally helped me in college. Without AVID, I probably wouldn't have applied to college or for scholarships. Today I am at Western Washington with almost a full ride."

Maria Mungarro is an example of how AVID works. Her father was deported before she was born and her mother died when she was just 12. Despite life's hardships, Maria thrived on giving back to her communities. She volunteered countless hours through her church and leadership, all while maintaining a 3.2 GPA. Maria is attending Western Washington University and with all her financial aid and scholarships, Maria's first year is entirely covered. Her hard work paid off.

Eddie Gaumond, Fort Riley MS

Eddie GaumondAVID has changed my life because I was never an A/B Honor Roll student before I was in AVID. It has taught me to focus more and get better scores. The AVID binder has helped me with my organization, and the Cornell notes have helped me focus my studying on the main ideas."

Eddie Gaumond has come a long way this year as a student and a person. Eddie has always been a respectful and polite student, however, he sometimes lacked focus and organizational skills. His teachers recommended him for AVID and his AVID teacher was very grateful that they did. He has determination and he is not afraid of rigor. Eddie goes out of his way to assist his fellow AVID students during tutorials and in any other way they need. "I am mostly proud of Eddie for increasing his reading state test scores by 15 points from last year," says AVID teacher Jason Lubbers. This represents a tremendous amount of hard work on his part. "I believe (and Eddie does as well) that AVID played a role in this increased reading proficiency. When I look back on my first year as an AVID teacher, I will reflect on Eddie as a success story.


March 2011 Superstars

Toddric Logwood, Raleigh Egypt HS

Toddric LogwoodI always tried to take the easy way out of situations and now I know the easy way isn't always the right way. Without AVID I was just a lost kid trying to find the path to success, but now AVID has put me on that path."

AVID has greatly affected Toddric Logwood. Before AVID, he was just the regular academic student with a GPA around 2.5 and rarely made the honor roll. Toddric had never visited a college and didn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up. But since joining AVID, his determination for success has soared and his GPA has gone up to a 3.75.  With the help of AVID field trips, Toddric has visited over 10 colleges and now knows that he would like to become a computer engineer. The challenge to take rigorous classes, including AP, paid off because Toddric has already earned a college credit.

Raleigh Egypt High School
Memphis, TN

Emily Chavez, Washington Union HS

Emily ChavezAVID has made me a better student. I have more organizational skills, and I even know how to dress for an interview. It's nice to know that I have my AVID family to look forward to seeing."

"Emily is why we have AVID," says AVID teacher Grant Thor. She is a student that works for her grades. She does not shy away from rigor. In fact, her personality and work ethic comes out when she is challenged. Emily is a leader in class, not because she talks the loudest or gets the best grades, but because she shares, helps, and interacts with everybody.  Emily's positive attitude about education rubs off on others. She does a great job of balancing AP classes and other higher level courses along with being social and participating in campus events and activities.


February 2011 Superstars

Kendall Hodges, Pedro Menendez HS

Kendall HodgesAVID is about taking advantage of every opportunity and resource in order to reach success."

Kendall Hodges is an excellent example of what can be achievedi when a dedicated and hard working student is matched with appropriate teaching strategies. She is an AVID success student. Kendall's strong organizational skills and time management abilities enable her to achieve success in all of her classes. Most importantly, she is a leader in the classroom. She takes an active role in the AVID tutorial process on a regular basis. Additionally, she is a leader in classroom discussions from history to the sciences. Other students look to her for guidance in the areas of academic study.

Fiona Imarhia, South Grand Prairie HS

Fiona ImarhiaAVID has provided me with the inspiration and hope of being able to accomplish my future goals and has made the impossible, possible."

"I met Fiona in May of 2008 when I interviewed her for the AVID program, and I have had the opportunity to watch her flourished ever since," says Fiona's AVID teacher Kristy Dozier. "I have witnessed Fiona's commitment to her classes and grades." As she enters the 2nd semester of her junior year, she has managed to maintain straight A's in all of her classes throughout her first two and a half years of high school! She is a respectful person who gets along well with her teachers and classmates. She is actively involved at the school as well, and is currently the Vice President of the French Club and a member of the Student Council. Out of the 2,500 students who attend the high school, Fiona was selected as the "Student of Character for Trustworthiness" due to her continued display of honesty and integrity this year! This honor is only given out to one student per year.

"Fiona enters my classroom with a smile and a positive attitude daily. She contributes her ideas during daily class discussions and takes an active role when working in groups. She has always produced high-quality work for my class, and has stepped up more as a leader this year. Fiona wants to attend college when she graduates next May and is focused on reaching her goal of becoming a Pharmacist."


January 2011 Superstars

Qwinnterius Copeland, TL Hanna HS

Qwinnterius CopelandIn the four years I have been in AVID, it has been a life-changing journey every year. AVID has made me more determined to do anything I can. I'm becoming more active in my community and I'm a leader and role model to everyone. I'm becoming a responsible adult. With so much AVID has offered me, I'm sure to have a meaningful future."

Qwinn is truly a "student in the middle" who has made maximum use of the strategies taught to him in AVID. Last year, he was named "AVID I Student of the Year," not only for his grades, but also because of his positive attitude and approach toward school. He has a GPA of over 4.0 and pushes himself to take rigorous classes. His AVID teacher says of Qwinn, "He has an excellent work ethic." One thing that really shines about Qwinn is his devotion to serving others. Although five hours of community service are required for each AVID student each nine weeks, Qwinn has completed over 100 hours since June. He is truly an exceptional student!

Anacari Anguiano, Healdsburg Junior HS

Anacari AnguianoI am addicted to AVID. I live and breathe it. When I go home, I am thinking about the projects we are working on. When I am in school, I can hardly wait for my AVID class to start. AVID has become a part of my family, an extension of myself."

Anacari is an inspiration. She comes from a very large family and has gone through many difficult times, yet remains positive and focused no matter what. She maintains a high GPA, participates in school sports, is active in student government, and has served as a safe school ambassador for many years. She is an active member of the community as well and participates in her church choir. She is well-rounded academically and socially. Anacari has applied to the Upward Bound Program and is constantly looking for ways to access a secure future. AVID has become a creative outlet for her both artistically and academically. She is extremely artistic and has an incredible empathy for others. Students like Anacari make teaching a sheer joy!


December 2010 Superstars

Johan Manuel Garcia, Mt. Vernon HS

Johan Manuel GarciaAVID was the avenue through which I was able to see my goals for higher education fulfilled. Had I not been involved in the program, I can only imagine what I could have missed out on both in the years to follow and in my life as a whole.  What AVID has done for me will ultimately be reflected in my future career goals and in my successes in life. I will always be indebted with gratitude for what AVID has done for me."

Manuel Garcia Padilla is intelligent, thoughtful, personable, mature and culturally aware. He will be the first in his family to attend college which is a profound accomplishment considering English is his second language!

Manuel's academic performance is rigorous and includes courses like Honors Physics, AP English, AP American Government, and Human Anatomy and Physiology and is a student of our AVID program. He maintains a 3.9 grade point average while extremely involved in numerous school and community activities. Manuel is an upstanding young man who aspires to make a difference in our world. He leads by example with his strong work ethic, honesty, and compassionate personality. Manuel's career pathway of interest includes government/politics and biological sciences and he has chosen courses wisely to reflect his interests and goals. In school, he is the president of Latin Leaders (LEAP), is a member of 4-H Leadership, and tutors a college student in mathematics. He is a DELL Scholar and QuestBridge Scholar recipient.

In his community and beyond, Manuel testified for a house bill in the Higher Education Committee in Olympia on behalf of migrant students. He has attended several Washington LEAP organization leadership conferences and was the winner of the Alexander Hamilton merit award. Manuel is also employed as a dietary aide at a local retirement facility where he has learned valuable workforce skills. Manuel is a stellar student who focuses on the needs of others; he is a servant leader. He challenges himself in the face of adversity to reach out and share his life struggles and offers himself as a resource of motivation and encouragement to others. An example of this was an invitation from our Superintendent to deliver a motivational speech to over 700 District staff at the opening ceremony for the school year.

Cynthia Jasso, Banning HS

Cynthia JassoAVID is the key to my success. As a student I've learned to be prepared, confident, and fearless. For the first time in my life I can dream big. I know that I will always find an open door because I hold AVID as the master key. A key to a great future enriched with success and a higher education, of course!"

Cynthia is an amazing young lady and her teacher Dan Varney has many great things to say about her. "At 8th grade recruitment I asked the coordinator for a reliable young lady or gentleman to help me organize and lead their peers into the room. I was introduced to 'the first female president of the United States!' She hasn't let me down."

Cynthia has lived up to all the expectations. She assumed leadership roles from the very beginning. "Cynthia embraced all the challenges I threw her way as I tried to mold her natural style into a type of leader that people would want to follow instead of her forcing her will upon them." She has performed at or near the top of everything for all of her four years in the classroom, in extracurricular activities, and in varsity sports. Cynthia is a "dream" student, even for AVID standards!


November 2010 Superstars

Danny Gutierrez, Banning MS

Guillermo GomezAVID has truly enriched my life to the fullest. Coming into high school without many of my friends in my classes, AVID was my place to break out of my comfort zone and meet students of all grade levels. The seniors, juniors, and sophomores that I met as a freshman are still in my life, and if it weren't for the support of my AVID family, I wouldn't know how to enjoy high school like they once did. My relationship with them and the new AVID students supported me to speak up in class discussions, write more in an argumentative sense, and become the leader that I am. AVID was my platform to grow."

Danny may be the most complete student; an emotional young man, extremely passionate about his learning and the learning of others, and immaculately prepared for everything he does. His AVID teacher Dan Varney says, "He is an inspiration to me in the way in which I approach the AVID classroom. Because of this young man, I realize I cannot under prepare for any class." He is an overachiever but in an excellent way. He has proven time and time again to be fearless in the face of any class or assignment. In AP US History, he was often the final voice on facts or clarifications with many of his peers deferring to him for answers. Oh, and he scored a 5 on that AP Exam! Danny will be the first AVID student who is also the class Valedictorian. He has embraced the leadership methods that have been placed before him over the past four years and grown so much from those lessons.

Stephanie Ibarra, Hendrickson HS

Alejandra MedinaAVID has changed my life. It has taught me strategies to improve as a student and it has shown me that I have potential and capability to be successful in life. I have made lifelong friends and have not only grown as a student but as a person as well."

Stephanie has been in the AVID program since she was in the 6th grade. She began the program in California and then transferred to Texas when she was in the 10th grade. What makes Stephanie shine like a star is the amazing "advancement" she has made "Via her Individual and Determination." Her committed efforts to utilize AVID strategies and apply them in her classes have helped her achieve academic success. This success can be seen through her high GPA and her induction into the National Honor Society her junior year. She has served as an officer (President of AVID Club '08-'09 school year) in many various clubs and organizations while balancing a very rigorous course load each year. Through hard work and determination she graduated in the top 10% of her graduating class. Her list of acceptance letters covered more than half of the classroom "Wall of Fame" and includes such universities as University Texas at Austin, Baylor University, and Texas A&M, just to name a few. Along with acceptance to many prestigious universities, she has also been a recipient of many academic scholarships and was a finalist for the Gates Millennium scholarship.

Stephanie truly represents the essence of the AVID student. She will is attending school this year and is interested in pre-med. Her hope is to be the first in her family to graduate from college and someday become a doctor.


October 2010 Superstars

Guillermo Gomez, Meacham MS

Guillermo GomezAVID has impacted my life both in and outside of school. It has helped me with my organizational skills and helped me realize the importance of a college education, being a leader, and the future."

"Guillermo is one of the most exceptional students that I have known in all my years of teaching," says AVID teacher Katherine Van Over. He consistently acts as a role model, demonstrates a focused attitude, and is an eloquent writer and speaker. He is a leader on the basketball team and the president of the AVID Student Leadership Team. He is a higher-level thinker whose ability to lead will take him into the highest position of any career field he desires, including the field he is most interested in: teaching.

Alejandra Medina, Lindsay HS

Alejandra MedinaNo course is too hard or too difficult if you work hard. You work hard to learn how to work hard."

AVID senior student Alejandra is unflappable. A typical C+ in ability student who earns A's in AP courses because of her work ethic. As a sophomore her Honors teacher refused to admit her into Honors English because her skills were too low on her CSTs. Her AVID teacher, Frank Schiro,  intervened even though the English teacher informed the entire class that "Alejandra does not belong here and will earn a D." How wrong was that prediction, Alejandra worked 2-3 hours each day in the class. Schiro proofed all of her work and she ended up with a B+ the first semester and an A- the second with an apology from the teacher.

September 2010 Superstars

Leandra Hernandez, Wellington MS

Leandra HernandezI am going to be in IB and AVID in high school. AVID has helped me know how to write better and ask good questions that will get me good answers. I want to learn. I am going to college. I will be a nurse and will change the world."

Leandra is an amazing girl. She is an 8th grader at Wellington Middle School, where she is an excellent student. She was the first student to be recognized by "United Kids at WMS" social norms campaign as an example of what is best at her school. Leandra cares for others, tutors others, and stands as an excellent example of a great kid and a great AVID student!

Dewan J. Woods, L.V. Berkner HS, Boston College

Dewan J. WoodsInvolvement in the AVID program has helped prepare me for college as well as discover things about myself that were unknown to me. AVID has pushed me to succeed in everything that I do. Without AVID, my former AVID teacher, Mrs. McBroom, and my current AVID teacher, Ms. Wilcots, I would not have seen the potential in myself to even consider doing a fourth of the things that I have done in my high school years."

Dewan was in AVID for five years. He was very active on his campus involving himself not only in all things AVID but in National Honor Society (where he became an officer), Physics Club, Robotics Club and a host of other groups. There is not another student in his school or district that has worked so hard to overcome setbacks, get ahead in their studies, and in general represent AVID. Dewan is not necessarily the smartest, but hard working and willing to go the distance to improve.

Dewan was accepted to 8 of 11 universities he applied to, including Boston College, where he is attending this fall to study physics on a full academic ride. Dewan has been awarded some very prestigious scholarships, which are further proof of his willingness to work hard in order to obtain a goal. He is a Dell Scholar, Gates Millennium Scholar, and a Jackie Robinson Scholar. All of the wonderful awards will allow him to continue through post graduate study and earn a PhD in Physics.

Dewan has earned the highest levels of respect and esteem from fellow students, teachers and all others in the community he touches. He takes time to speak to elementary and junior high students and serves as an example to inspire excellence in the younger students at Berkner High School. As an AVID Scholar, Dewan serves to remind us all that life is not easy for anyone but you can have what you want in this world if you want it bad enough.


August 2010 Superstars

Matt Doty, Nicolet Union HS

Matt DotyAVID has empowered me to change the world."

Service has always been an integral part of Nicolet Union High School's AVID program. As a program, teachers started asking students to create their own service project that they could accomplish as a group or individually. Matt Doty took this opportunity and ran with it. This year is the second year that Nicolet High School has hosted "Rock for Rescue." "Rock for Rescue" is a concert that highlights local and regional bands in the name of raising money for various charities. Matt, with the help of another AVID student, has organized this entire event for both years. This year's event quadrupled the amount of attendees and also raised over three times the proceeds for charity compared to last year's event. Both the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and The Invisible Children's group have benefited from the hard work and dedication of one AVID student. Matt is hoping to work with some underclassmen in the AVID program to keep "Rock for Rescue" as an annual event. It is a great example of how one person can make an impact on so many individuals.

Chelsea Nance, Decatur HS

Chelsea NanceAVID has impacted my life by keeping me out of trouble and keeping me on task. These last two years in AVID have been great! It keeps me focused on school and on my work. I'm thankful that my middle school assistant principal (Mrs. Johnnie Renick) got me interested."

Chelsea has successfully contended with negative influences in order to climb the ladder of academic excellence in middle and high school. She transferred to Alabama from Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta, she faced family challenges along with growing discipline problems. In contrast, the AVID program at Brookhaven Middle helped Chelsea develop a positive self-concept. Her assistant principal recognized a significant improvement in Chelsea's discipline challenges. These improvements paved the way for her to excel academically.

Currently, Chelsea's college readiness skills are emerging well in the Decatur High AVID program. She is now determined to be a first-generation college student. Likewise, she regularly receives recruiting notices from colleges nationwide. AVID has fueled her motivation to perform at the top of her class.


July 2010 Superstars

Marian Pavlovich, UCLA

Marian PavlovichAVID, since the seventh grade has armed me with the essential knowledge and resources to help prepare me for college. Had it not been for AVID and its outstanding teachers I would not have been able to reach my dream of pursuing a higher degree at UCLA."

Marian exemplifies the very best of the AVID program. She has taken advantage of opportunities presented her beginning in 7th grade with the San Diego Padres Scholarship. She has maintained her dream of attaining a college education and she is well on her way to fulfilling her career goals as well. She has a sense of purpose and is determined to make a difference in this world.

Cesar Bautista, North Johnston HS

Cesar BautistaAVID has really impacted my life. It has helped improve my grades and my future. I am really thankful to be in AVID. It has changed my outlook toward my education."

With the help of AVID, Cesar will be the first member of his family to go to college and he is proud of that accomplishment. Cesar is a leader in the school. He leads class discussion, plays for the school soccer team, and actively pursues challenging endeavors that will make him better. Cesar chooses to take rigorous honors coursework because he knows that it will help him in college. He is a tremendous classmate, teammate, and school leader.


June 2010 Superstars

Tsion Fikre, Marston MS

Tsion FikreAVID has given me hope and has made me realize that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to!"

Tsion is an overall fabulous student and AVID superstar for many reasons. Tsion comes to class ready to learn and always prepared for the day's events. Her eagerness to learn is phenomenal. Tsion tackles any and all assignments with dedication and passion. She never allows obstacles to slow her down and always remains optimistic about her educational future. Tsion is kind and courteous to her peers and always displays the utmost respect for her educators. She is a leader in her classroom and around campus, setting an example of what it means to be an AVID student.

Christopher Santiago, Steinmetz Academic Centre

Christopher SantiagoAVID gives you the advantages for the future; guides you through the victory road; teaches you how college is going to sharpen your intelligence; and directs our lives to the future, which is the most important thing, after all."

AVID teacher Ralph R. Basile was the person that recruited Chris Santiago into AVID last year. Chirs was reluctant at first to come, but after thinking about, and talking it over with his parent, he decided to join. Since the beginning of the year, he has taken to AVID as a fish in water. He has a superior binder, and maintains it on a daily basis. He is always attentive in class, and curious about information he does not know about. Chris is always helping people out. He sets up the room for tutorials on Tuesdays and Thursdays by moving the desks around and has helped out tutoring the 9th grade class when needed. Chris exhibits an attitude of wanting to learn and is service-oriented. What a combination!


May 2010 Superstars

Heather Arnold, Pedro Menendez HS

Heather ArnoldThe high expectations of the AVID program have created a path that will lead me to success."

Heather Arnold is an inquisitive student who is always polite and respectful. She listens very carefully and thinks about what is said. She exhibits a combination of tenacity and patience that is seldom seen in tenth graders. Heather has demonstrated patience and improved her grades by applying the skills taught in the AVID curriculum. She is a leader in her academic classes as well as the AVID elective. She takes a leadership role in tutorials and the other students look to her for guidance.

Mario Saldivar, Newhart MS

Mario SaldivarAVID has impacted my life by helping me to understand education and my path to college. I have developed relationships with other AVID students and the things I have learned in AVID make me excited about my future."

Mario Saldivar began his sixth grade year at Newhart Middle School failing many of his classes and struggling behaviorally. In the seventh grade, Mario entered the "Interventions Program" and was able to turn it around by achieving all passing grades, and graduating from the "Interventions Program." Mario won the Capistrano Unified School District Award for Outstanding Achievement in March 2009. In addition to that achievement, Mario ran for and became the ASB President for his eighth grade year of 2009-2010. Through Mario's hard work and determination, he was chosen to enter the AVID program and is a successful role model to all students at Newhart Middle School.


April 2010 Superstars

Leticia Granados, Federal Way HS

Leticia GranadosAVID has impacted my life in different ways. Without AVID, I couldn't have survived high school. AVID has prepared me for my future and beyond."

Leticia was an "A" student with a GPA of 3.82, who took Pre-AP Biology, English and World History, and was a leader and inspiration to many! She would have been the first one in her family to attend college! Leticia was a junior who had leukemia. She was treated for this cancer for three years, but this did not interfere with her determination to pursue her dreams and attend college, be a role model for her younger brother, or make her mother proud. Her regular Friday chemotherapy treatments resulted in hair loss, fatigue and general illness, but she was not deterred from making school her top priority. Letty, as she was called by her immediate family as well as her AVID family, maintained an "A" average the last three years, even though her treatments affected her attendance. She was also an honor roll student each year. Letty was an AVID reader, AVID learner, and AVID communicator. Not only did she touch the lives of her family, amazingly she inspired and touched the lives of her Federal Way High School family, as well as her community. Her intrepid demeanor gave numerous students the desire to support her and the hope to fulfill their goals. As the recipient of the Sparrow Club (a project in which students help students with a life-threatening illness by doing community service and fundraising), over 200 students showed up on community service day and donated over 1,300 hours of time to her and her family. The last school week in December, before our holiday break, her doctors were determined that there was nothing else they could do for this 16 year old. An incredible "mock graduation" assembly took place on Friday, December 18, 2009. The superintendent, principal, ASB officers, her AVID class, and the Federal Way High School family wore pink (her favorite color) and packed the gym to graduate Leticia with distinctive cords, an honor roll medallion, leis galore, and her diploma. She was escorted by two of her male classmates to "Pomp and Circumstance" and was surrounded by her AVID class. This incredible event was captured by local TV news media. This was "among the most poignant, inspirational event I ever witnessed," said AVID coordinator, Karin Weberg. Leticia lost her battle on January 13 and though she is gone, she will always be remembered for her determination. Leticia Granados, an AVID Superstar!

Olatunde Oniya, George Bush HS

Olatunde OniyaIn order for you to reach places you have never been, you must do things you have never done."

Last year was the first time that George Bush High School (BHS) had an AVID Club president in the four years AVID has been implemented. The first president had good ideas but they were never implemented. When Olatunde "Tunde" Oniya was elected this year, his teacher Herman Burns was skeptical. "Tunde is a student whose behavior in class did not always demonstrate the qualities of a president to me," says Burns. "I was taken aback by his determination and drive to create a college going culture and to brand AVID as one of the best organizations at BHS." Tunde has set up beatification projects at the school and in the community. At the school, approximately 170 students spent their own time on a Saturday morning cleaning and painting the school. In the community he had AVID partner with Habitat for Humanity to paint a house in the community. He has increased enrollment in the club. The program had an established monthly College T-shirt Day; however, Tunde turned it into a game show with prizes during lunch. Olatunde "Tunde" Oniya has become a great President that is always trying to find new and exciting ways to promote a college going culture at BHS. For the first time in four years, AVID has changed from that college course that "Mr. Burns" teaches to a well know college preparatory course that numerous students want to be in. Tunde is an asset to the AVID Organization and his community.


March 2010 Superstars

Ethan Fowler, Newsome HS

Ethan FowlerThe AVID program has made high school a much easier time in my life. This program has made a difference by requiring me to be more structured in academics. I have also seen a difference outside of school, in my leadership abilities. I will always remember the experiences that I have had as a part of the AVID program."

Ethan is a remarkable student who exemplifies the AVID mentality, Advancement Via Individual Determination. He came into the AVID program as a sophomore and I have watched him develop into a leader over the past two years. He is the AVID Club President, and runs a club with over 80 contributing members. He is an academic leader, who is constantly pushing himself to achieve at higher levels. He is a mentor to other students, helping them whenever possible.

Ieesha Griffin, Harding University HS

Ieesha GriffinAVID has exposed me to options: options for college, study, and professions. It challenged me to dig into my personality and find out what works for me."

Ieesha has a strong work ethic and desire to learn. Ieesha is one of the most intelligent, polite, and responsible students I know. There is no doubt in my mind that she will go far in life. I truly believe that the contributing factors of Ieesha's success are her love for reading and her organizational skills. She also excels in her analytical skills, as I have noticed as her AP English teacher. Ieesha accepts all challenges without complaining and completes all tasks successfully as a result. Ieesha's well-rounded nature makes her the ideal student.


February 2010 Superstars

Melissa Raygoza, Holland MS

Melissa RaygozaWhen I came to a fork in the road, AVID gave me the map I needed to find my path for success."

Melissa is an 8th grade AVID student, who is in her second year in our program. She is caring and selfless, but this year she has gone above and beyond all of my expectations. Melissa was in my Algebra class last year, earned an A and scored proficient (404) on the CST test. She should have been in Geometry this year, but due to a district personnel change, and resulting change in pre-requisites, was returned to Algebra. She was heartbroken, especially as her two best friends were in Geometry, and had every right to complain, feel sorry for herself, and let up. She has, however, done just the opposite. She is a student/peer tutor in this year's 7th grade Algebra class, working with five of my girls. Melissa also volunteers three hours a week in my afterschool Algebra tutoring program, often staying beyond the 3:45 end time to help the girls "get it!" I recently lost two of my college tutors, and knew exactly where to go. Melissa agreed to step into one of our 7th grade AVID classes as a cross-age tutor, and has been exceptional! She is the vice president of our AVID student council, and did a lot of work behind the scenes to help Holland become the newest National Demonstration School on Monday, December 14th. As you can see, Melissa truly is an AVID superstar!

Gonzalo Lopez, O'Banion MS / South Garland HS

Gonzalo LopezAVID believes in me. The high grades are thanks to the AVID strategies that I am being taught. Even though I came from another country seeking a better life, AVID tells me - I will succeed no matter what!"

Gonzalo is an AVID superstar because he uses his quest for excellence to serve his community. Even though he is only a freshman as South Garland, he has accumulated over 43 community service hours. His grades are outstanding and he continuously strives to be a better person and better student. It is as though AVID has provided Gonzalo with the desire to hone his skills and pursue excellence in life, in school, and in his community. He is one of those students who makes you want to be a better teacher.