South Washington County Students shine at National AVID Summer Institute

South Washington County Students shine at National AVID Summer Institute
Posted on 08/07/2018

South Washington County Schools students and recent graduates were highlighted at the national Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Summer Institute held in Minneapolis July 31-August 2. Park High School graduate Liz Ojo (Class of 2018) spoke at the gathering of educators and six other students served as student leaders.

Liz was one of two student speakers, selected from hundreds of applicants nationwide. She shared her journey of growth and achievement through AVID with the crowd of nearly 2,500 educators, saying through AVID, her classmates and teachers have become a family.

“In AVID we celebrate together, no matter how small the achievement,” said Liz.

Liz shared with the audience the story of how in high school, she was feeling depressed but was still able to find beauty in one of the library’s potted plants. The library assistant noticed how much Liz liked it and gifted her a small plant to keep. While Liz was grateful for the gift, she said she neglected it and it almost died. One day, she decided to make more of an effort and nurture the plant, bringing it back to life. Liz said the story symbolizes the support she received from AVID, that helped her thrive. She shared that next year, she is excited to continue her education at Mankato State University and credits AVID for helping her reach this achievement.

Five other students from South Washington County Schools served as student leaders, including Park High School students Hailey Fuller, Beth Tamrat, Emily Tamrat, and Mariam Zewdu and incoming Woodbury High School student Ana Rodriguez. Each shared how AVID has made a difference in their lives and classrooms with small groups of educators and administrators throughout the three-day conference.

“AVID teachers make us love what we’re learning,” said Ana. “Get students excited about the subject you’re teaching and you’re doing it right.”

The students were led by Maria Tol, Park High School’s AVID Coordinator and Abigail Horner, AVID tutor and Park High School graduate.