Wednesday
Aug062014

The Way to Student Success Is an Attitude: Individual Determination

Marciano Flores was the teacher speaker at one of this year’s Summer Institutes in San Diego, CA. Below is his speech as prepared.

When I think about the way to student success, there isn’t so much a way as there is an attitude: individual determination!

I currently teach at my alma mater, East Bakersfield High School (EBHS). In my old neighborhood, I find not much has changed. When I attended EBHS in the 80s, very few of our graduating seniors went off to four-year universities. Many of us wanted to go to college and were encouraged to do so. However, knowing your destination and mapping the way to success are very different. The one, huge difference between then and now is AVID.

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Thursday
Jul312014

True Advancement

Marissa Gutierrez was a student speaker at one of this year’s Summer Institutes in San Diego, CA. Below is her speech as prepared.

Advancement: the act or instance of moving forward. In order to measure it, one must know the starting point. At a young age, I always looked forward to going to school. I loved learning. My parents raised us in Mexico where they both had their jobs and worked very hard for my brother and me to have a private education. Growing up, I realized that not everyone was that lucky, so I would challenge myself to excel in everything I could. I remember doing great in all my subjects, loving my teachers, and dreaming of becoming an engineer, but that was not my starting point.

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Wednesday
Jul162014

Maybe Teaching Is Overrated…

Elissa Good Smith was the teacher speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Below is her speech as prepared. You can also watch her speech!

I’m tired. I’m the kind of tired that is born from having two small children, plus a mountain of papers to grade and lesson plans to create for my six daily preps, the kind of tired that sneaks up on you after spending a decade in a classroom teaching. I’m thinking maybe teaching is overrated. Surely my favorite teachers never felt this way; they never had moments where they sat at their desk, closed their eyes, and prayed for the weekend, did they? My prayer was interrupted by a reminder email about a faculty meeting. I’m sure I rolled my eyes. I’m also sure I put on a smile as I begrudgingly walked down the hall to the auditorium to watch a video courtesy of our new principal. I found a seat next to colleagues, frustrated that the lights were turned down, so I couldn’t even sneak a peek at my cell phone without being noticed.  

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Wednesday
Jul162014

My Life Begins at Advanced

Lakeisha Allen was a student speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in Indianapolis, IN. Below is her speech as prepared. You can also watch her speech!

Freshman year, “It can be the best or the worst year of high school,” they said. “Friendships will be tested or created,” they said. “The AVID binder isn't THAT big!” they said. …Okay, wait, no one said that one. I mean, have you seen them?! I came into freshman year knowing one thing only: This was the beginning of a new chapter in life. I had to take every opportunity into my hands and hold onto it. With that, I had to deal with the wound of my father passing away and my mother becoming a single parent facing her own personal struggles. I knew that I had to tackle this challenge ahead of me and succeed because I was determined to make my mother proud and my father smile down on me from heaven.

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Friday
Jul112014

Making Lemonade

Jordan Thompson was a student speaker at this year’s Summer Institute in Orlando, FL. Below is his speech as prepared. You can also watch his speech!

Important events in a life affect a person’s attitude and character. I went through a traumatic experience that changed my life forever. At the age of ten, I lost my father to cancer. This experience, along with my family and AVID, helped shape me into who I am today.

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