By Precious Jackson-Hubbard, AVID Coordinator, Lincoln High School
AVID Center recently held an all-staff retreat. We invited Precious Jackson-Hubbard to address the staff and reflect on her experiences as an AVID alumna, teacher, and now coordinator. Though originally meant for staff, her words ring true for all who work with students in or outside of the classroom.
When I was a young girl my mom used to tell me that we were rich, but not with money: with family and love. I listened but didn’t really hear her until I was a high school student and I realized how much family and love I actually had. Many of us define family differently. Family is definitely a relationship between people who share the same bloodline. But for some of us, the definition of family is extended to include bonds and relationships with people who share no biological connection. Marianne Williamson, an American author, defines my family perfectly as “a group experience of love and support.”
As a young girl, I had that experience of love and support from AVID staff. As an adult, I have that same experience of love and support from AVID staff. AVID is a part of my family. When I was planning my wedding, my mom reviewed my guest list and said “what about everyone from AVID?” Those of you who have paid for a wedding and the cost of food will understand why I looked at my mom like she was crazy. “Everyone at AVID?” Her intent was well and her heart was in the right place. But she wasn’t paying for the wedding. But based on her sincere question, even she considered my relationship with AVID staff valuable, so valuable that she couldn’t understand why another 25 or 50 people couldn’t be added to a 100-plus list.
One of my favorite African proverbs has always been “it takes a village to raise a child.” AVID has created villages within villages and your role is crucial in educating and raising our students. Your role, as an AVID educator, is crucial for your co-workers because each of you support another.
Whether most of your time is spent in the classroom, at the administration or district office, or in the professional development room, your time is spent planting the seeds, nourishing the minds and spirits, and providing a proper space for growth. Because of your hard work, on the front line and behind the scenes, students such as myself are able to mature and blossom and never feel judged.
The research, the planning, the professional development, the scholarships, the curriculum and resources, the connections made are all parts of the solution to student success. Everything you do as an AVID staff and educators makes a difference in the lives of your co-workers, but more importantly, our students. And the amazing thing about positively impacting the lives of children is that ultimately you are having a positive impact on society.
A lot of organizations claim to be for students and people friendly. AVID’s actions speak louder than words, now serving 425,000 students. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for being a part of a village and a family who puts the achievement of students first. You are a part of a family who believes in educating the whole student.