Tuesday
Jul212015

Where are they now: Sergio’s college journey

By Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, Team Lead, Dell Scholars Program

This piece is part of a special series from the Dell Scholars Program. To learn more, visit the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation blog.

In order to save money, Sergio, now 30, started his college career at a two-year community college and later successfully transferred to a four-year university, walking out with a diploma in business administration from San Diego State University.

Many low-income students have a similar plan; relatively few actually make it work. Sergio is the poster child for carefully and successfully managing the tricky transition. With guidance from his high school’s AVID college-readiness program, Sergio was able to map out a detailed plan to ensure his finances would be in order and his community college credits would be accepted at San Diego State, putting him on a path to earn his desired major within four years. “I really had to manage everything carefully to be where I am right now,” Sergio says.

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Wednesday
Jul152015

Where are they now: Donalyn’s college journey

By Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, Team Lead, Dell Scholars Program

This piece is part of a special series from the Dell Scholars Program. To learn more, visit the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation blog.

Donalyn Allen was four years old when her mother died. With Donalyn’s father an intermittent presence (her parents had separated by the time she was born), the preschooler’s maternal grandmother brought Donalyn from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to her La Porte, Texas, home to raise her.

Donalyn’s grandmother became her lifeline, a parental figure but also—as Donalyn got older—a close friend. In school, Donalyn struggled at times with reading and a speech impediment. She also struggled to make sense of her mother’s sudden death, a struggle that continued through college.

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Friday
Jul102015

Leaders Supporting Teachers: The Lehigh Way

This piece is from Home Room, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education.

The field of education requires MANY “tools for the tool-belt.” Whether educators need to learn how to manage a classroom of students or to learn how to engage students more fully, continual learning is simply required! So often today I find teachers who have the heart and desire to impact students; they are just unequipped with the knowledge or skills to fully engage students in rigorous learning. As a leader, it is my number one priority to support teachers, so they don’t drown as educators. It is all comes down simply to systems for support. We call this The Lehigh Way.

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Wednesday
Jul082015

I am Superman, though I may look a lot more like Clark Kent

By Vijay Koilpillai, AVID Staff Developer and Elective Teacher, Palmer Middle School

AVID Elective teacher Vijay Koilpillai gave a stirring speech at our Orlando Summer Institute. In this excerpt from his speech, he explains how teaching became his superpower. Be sure to check back soon for video of Vijay and our other speakers from the event!

I am Superman, though I may look a lot more like Clark Kent. I’ll come back to the Superman thing in a few minutes.

I wasn’t always Superman. My journey as a teacher began in August 2004 at Campbell Middle School, just northwest of Atlanta. I was a classic first year teacher. I had all the content knowledge and wisdom to share, and zero knowledge of how to motivate and engage the mostly disenchanted, underprivileged students in my classes.

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Wednesday
Jul012015

AVID Is About the Journey

By Alexander Martinez, AVID Alum, Baldwin Park High School

AVID alum Alexander Martinez gave an inspiring speech at our Anaheim Summer Institute. In this excerpt from his speech, Alex talks about his journey to being a more organized and self-determined student and person, and how AVID helped him along the way. Be sure to check back soon for video of Alexander and our other speakers from the event!

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