By Quincy Hunt, AVID Alumnus
Quincy Hunt was a student speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in San Antonio. Below is his speech as prepared. You can also watch his speech!
AVID has impacted my life more than anything that has ever been brought to me in this world. I have done a lot of things that I am not proud of. I once followed a very painful and destructive road of money, temptations, and deception, but my strong AVID family is what helped me transform.
I used to lead a gang of people and felt responsible for every one of them. Even though I knew I wasn’t happy at all with the chaotic life I was living, I still let it get in the way of my main priorities. I felt, saw, and caused a lot of pain, and that’s what made it so hard for me to break the chains that were wrapped around me, pulling me deeper and deeper into a life I wasn’t ever supposed to be living.
Every day, I woke up feeling like darkness was the only light I knew, but when I joined AVID, it made me feel like I could make a huge turnaround. This lady’s voice was what really woke me up my senior year. Although I had heard her voice plenty of times before then, there was no running from it after I walked through her classroom door. “Pick up your pants and take off your hat. You know better!” A smile came across my face because I knew very well Ms. Y’s voice. I turned around and saw these powerful, piercing eyes that looked straight into me.
My senior year was really the hardest on me. Temptations were on a whole other level, and I just seemed to always run into danger. I felt like the devil wasn’t knocking on my door anymore; he was just making himself comfortable in my life. Ms.Y brought out this positive spark in me that really opened my eyes and made me realize what I was doing. She focused only on my attitude difference and that little bit of faith and love she kept in me made it easier to start walking away from those negative things surrounding me.
Then I started to see the good in the people around me who I usually misbehaved with. I started to think that if I could change, then I could also help all these people around me change too. I didn’t have to leave them on this destructive road. Some didn’t want change and chose to stay in the deadly game I had walked away from. But it felt good seeing my real friends start to walk away from this life with me.
AVID didn’t just change my life. It was able to change the lives of the people around me too. I showed them how to walk their own path. They picked their grades up and got all their priorities on track. My AVID classmates, teachers, and tutors helped me find the light that was burning inside of me and I found the light in them.
I heard that the smallest flame or even a sudden spark can burn down the biggest bridge. So the spark coming out of all of us can end this destructive path before it corrupts the next generations. I started to end my old ways because my AVID family showed me so much love. I knew I couldn’t be that same double-minded person that kept disappointing them. I stopped telling them the little lies about my lifestyle, and I actually got away from what I was running from, and when it finally happened, I felt amazing about myself. I wasn’t ashamed of the man in the mirror anymore. I finally was proud of the person looking back at me.