AVID speakers deliver important, motivating messages for educators and students. Whether for a districtwide administrator launch to the new school year or a student assembly, our speakers will inspire your audience to recommit themselves to education. They provide how-tos that create a successful college- and career-ready campus. Moreover, they share personal stories of adversity and triumph that all AVID educators and students can relate to. Check out our roster of AVID speakers below. Click here to submit your speaker requests and to inquire about pricing.

    Chief Divisions Support Officer

    Title: “First-Generation College-Goers: Advocating for Latino Students”Dr. Aliber Lozano

    Description: As a first-generation Latino college student, Aliber knows firsthand the journey to successfully navigate through the educational system. He embeds his personal and professional experiences into his captivating speech about starting off as a migrant student farm worker. He provides national data and statistics, and his motivational message addresses the needs of Latinos.

    Audience: Teachers, administrators, counselors, parents, students, and higher education students

    Length: 30-45 minutes

    Bio: Aliber has been an educator for over 20 years. As a first-generation college graduate, he credits his teachers, colleagues, and mentors for helping him navigate through the educational system. The son of Latino migrant farm workers who possessed a third-grade education from Mexico and an eighth-grade education from the U.S., he has dedicated his career to advocating for students, parents, and educators. Aliber is a member of AVID Center’s leadership team and is primarily responsible for overseeing AVID Center’s Divisions leadership team, supporting quality AVID implementation, expanding AVID’s reach, and maximizing the efficiency of AVID Center Divisions’ internal and external systems.


    • Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in communication, University of Texas-Pan American
    • Master of Education in educational leadership, University of Texas-Pan American
    • Doctor of Education in educational administration, University of Texas-Pan American
    Senior Director, Chief Research Officer

    Title: “Promoting College Readiness for All Students. Really?”Dr. Dennis Johnston

    Description: Elevating expectations and affording rigorous academic opportunities dramatically increases college readiness for all students. Dennis will take you on an introspective journey into your expectations, opportunities, and achievement gaps. Using data, he will provide strategies that will help to identify and minimize these challenges to promote college and career readiness across your campus.

    Audience: Teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents

    Length: 45-60 minutes

    Bio: Dennis is responsible for overseeing AVID Center’s research agenda and coordinating the certification processes of the various components of the AVID College Readiness System. Before joining AVID, Dennis served as the director of Assessment, Accountability and Research at the San Diego County Office of Education, was the director of Assessment and Evaluation at Grossmont Union High School District, the senior research associate at Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems, and was part-time faculty at the College of Education at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.


    • Bachelor of Arts in psychology, San Diego State University
    • Master’s degree in clinical psychology, Loyola University Maryland
    • Ph.D. in educational psychology with an emphasis on scaling and psychometrics, Temple University
    Program Manager, AVID for Higher Education

    Title: “People Like Me: Opening Doors to Opportunity”Jonathan Grant Brown

    Description: Jonathan has dedicated himself to encouraging students to pursue a future by obtaining a college degree. As a product of a foster care system, Jonathan has made his mission in life to help open doors of opportunity for students and support them when society dictates such doors are closed to them. As an instructor for higher education, Jonathan believes building and maintaining proper relationships with students will accelerate their learning while helping them take more responsibility for their education.

    Audience: Educators, students, parents, and administrators

    Length: 45-60 minutes

    Bio: Jonathan is a program manager for AVID for Higher Education. As a former high school AVID student from Killeen ISD, Jonathan has experienced the roles of an AVID student, tutor, and one of the first AVID instructors in higher education. While attending college, Jonathan traveled the U.S. as a motivational speaker, sharing his experience as an AVID student and how it opened doors of opportunity to his future. In 2009, Jonathan began working with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to develop an AVID First-Year Seminar, in which students learned how to navigate college and grow their critical thinking skills. As a teaching assistant at the freshman seminars, Jonathan used his AVID experience to show students and instructors how to use the AVID strategies he implemented when he was in college. After getting his degree from UTPB, Jonathan became the university’s AVID Liaison, later joining AVID Center itself.


    • Bachelor of Arts in communications, University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    • Master of Education, University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    AVID Northeast States Director

    Title: “All Means All: Bridging the Achievement Gap”Patrick Briggs

    Description: Patrick Briggs is a thought-provoking and motivational speaker. He will encourage educators to examine their mindsets and practices as they consider if “all means all” when educating students. His high-energy presentations will move listeners to positive action, both in and out of the classroom.

    Audience: All educators

    Length: 30-90 minutes

    Bio: Patrick is AVID’s Northeast States director. He came to this position after 11 years as the assistant director, then director, of AVID’s Southern Region States. Before that, he spent 15 years as a teacher and administrator in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Texas. Patrick believes that any perceived “achievement gaps” are the result of opportunity and expectations gaps that adults must work together to close. His passion lies in helping all learners achieve at high levels so all students are college- and career-ready upon completion of high school. Patrick believes all students deserve a high-quality education, enabling them to make choices in life that will lead to success in any field of their choosing.


    • Bachelor of Science in biology, Prairie View A&M University
    • Master of Education in educational administration, Prairie View A&M University