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AVID Holds 2024 Senior Sendoff

2 mins read

As a way to send off a small group of AVID seniors, both Kari Brown’s and Maria Luisa De Seta’s classes set up their own graduation in the PAC Cafe this past Wednesday. As chairs filled up with family and friends, AVID students set up a slideshow of the colleges they plan on attending after graduation. 

After four years of being in a tight-knit program, seniors reminisced on their self-made community. Senior Valeria Barron said, “I really enjoy the AVID friendship that we’ve built together over the past four years and I appreciate how supportive all of our families have been. I’m really excited that we all got together and decided to have something as a last moment.” 

Another senior, Mila Leiva, added, ”I think my favorite part of AVID is the strong community. At first it was a little awkward, but after knowing these people for four years they’ve started to feel more like family than just classmates. There’s a more intimate bond than you would have with people in a regular class.” 

AVID seniors turned the celebration into the best they could do with the budget given. Barron said, “I think it was well done based on the amount of support we got. I expected something like this, nothing too extravagant. I like that we all tried our best. We only got $600, so we divided and conquered––people got decorations, did the slideshow, made the videos, organized, and made the food.”

Leiva said, “We were saved on food and got decorations and some nicer gifts for each other instead.”

When the celebration began, Dr. Philip Lee and his wife, Dr. Carlene Wong-Lee, parents of M-A graduates, gave out scholarship donations to students. Lee and Wong-Lee wanted to find a way to give back to the school in a meaningful way. Their goal is to help increase the success of AVID students in college by reducing the stress and anxiety that often come with trying to find the money for tuition. They gave out four scholarships, two for each class, one for $2500 and one for $2000. Brown and De Seta announced a heartfelt appreciation for these four students, Vanessa Alatorre, Katie Molina Valiente, Marian Gamez-Diaz, and Francisco Arias, recognizing their hard work and dedication throughout the years. 

Later on, Leiva presented the class superlatives—which ranged from “Best Smile” to “Biggest Yapper.” Students were laughing and sharing fond memories of each other. Students also thanked their AVID teachers for being role models and helping them on their journey to college. 

At the end of the graduation, Brown and De Seta gave speeches dedicated to their students. Brown talked about how badly she wanted to become an AVID teacher, but how their first year together was interrupted by distance learning. She also thanked the students for their support and motivation when she experienced the loss of her son, sparking tears in many eyes. De Seta also recognized her students’ small family they built within their big community. She advised them to stay in contact with each other because she really loves the trust they built throughout their years in M-A’s AVID program.

Karen is a junior at M-A. This is her first year in journalism. She hopes to write narratives about her own life and connect them with other students from M-A. In her free time, she likes to write poetry, spend time with her cat, Joy, and family and friends.

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