For my high school students, most of them will be the first in their families to graduate and have the opportunity to continue their education at a higher level. Coming from neighborhoods of poverty, crime, and violence, they are heroes in my eyes. Growing up in Oakland isn't easy for them yet they show up to school every day, ready to learn and push themselves forward.
My classroom is a diverse mix of every cultural identity that makes Oakland the great city that we live in.
On a daily basis my students teach me just as much as I teach them. They are the force behind our school. They are the leaders, the mentors, the fighters, and the motivators.
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a prestigious national program that is found at many rural and urban public schools. The AVID student is a distinctive adolescent. Students are recommended into this class based on grades, personal circumstances, and most importantly academic potential. This class focuses on the development of the skills needed to be successful when pursuing a higher education. Most of these students will be the first in their families to attend college. While this is a huge milestone, there are still many impediments that threaten to hinder them from this achievement.
Each day that I walk into my classroom, my students amaze me with their tenacity and their drive to be the best that they can be.
These resilient individuals have overcome many hardships and struggles but they haven’t given up on themselves or their futures. A higher education to them means more than any material object or amount of money. It means creating a new path for their families and a better life for themselves. Because of all of this, it is my utmost belief that these students deserve every opportunity in the world to help them reach these goals.
One such opportunity is the experience of traveling outside of Oakland to realize that there is a world that exists outside of their neighborhoods. For most of my students and their families, leaving Oakland to visit college campuses is not a possibility due to the financial reality that they all face. Through this trip, they will visit 8 different public and private universities in the Los Angeles area. They will also get to experience different cultural experiences in the community so that they can try to visualize themselves beginning a new educational journey.
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