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. Click here for video of Alexander and our other speakers from the event!
Four score and seven years ago…wait, wrong speech. Hello everyone, I’m Alexander Martinez and I’ll be your tour guide on my AVID journey.
AVID has influenced me in so many ways, both academically and socially. I remember last year I was terrified to speak out in class, much less give a boring speech in front of an audience, and now here I am. On a more serious note, I can really say that I wouldn’t be the student—heck, the person—I am today if it wasn’t for my AVID family. AVID helped and encouraged me to break out of my timid shell. Thanks to my AVID teacher, Mr. Smith, I learned to take a risk and step out of my comfort zone. In the end, it helped me become outspoken as well as grow and mature as a person and student. Now Mr. Smith probably wishes that I would go back to my old timid self.
At first I thought of AVID as another redundant class that wouldn’t help me whatsoever. However, everything changed junior year when I took the class that is The Most Dreaded and the Root of All Evil, also known as Pre-Calculus. Up until then, I had never struggled academically, and that’s when I realized how useful tutorials can be. Tutorials gave me that extra help I needed on that math problem I didn’t quite understand in class or on the lesson plan that I missed because I was too busy daydreaming in class. If it were not for tutorials I strongly believe I wouldn’t have the grades I have now because I would be too lazy to go home and work out the problem on my own. Granted it took me a semester and an F as a grade to finally figure out that I needed to get my act together and apply myself.
AVID taught me to be more organized. Before binder checks, my binder would be one big mess of papers, my backpack would look like it was hit by hurricane Katrina; it was so messy and chaotic. At first it was a hard adjustment to keep everything organized, coming from such a messy work ethic, but AVID taught me to write down important events, due dates, and keep an organized binder so I wouldn’t lose anything. I can honestly say it has saved my butt on numerous occasions.
AVID has not only helped me mature as a person and improve as a student, but also now some of my closest and dearest friends are people I have met through the program. Thanks to the program I’ve grown closer, bonded, and hopefully formed lifelong friendships with members of my AVID family, which in my opinion is one of the greatest benefits. AVID isn’t solely about getting into a four-year university but also is about the journey and what you choose to make of it. AVID is life. Thank you for your time.
Alexander is a recent graduate of Baldwin Park High School in Baldwin Park, California. He was an AVID student for five years (beginning in middle school) and was on both the Honor Roll and Principal’s Honor Roll. Alexander also participated in the swim team and AVID club.
In the fall, he will attend Cal State Fullerton, where he plans on studying business.
For more on AVID, visit http://avid.org/what-is-avid.ashx.