Story written by McNary High School student Kate Pederson
McNary High School’s first year AVID class walked across the graduation stage last June, straight toward their college dreams.
Mariah Cunningham, a senior in the AVID class, describes it as, “A college prep class. We really focus on organizational skills and we work a lot on critical thinking.”
During class, students who have questions or are struggling with something for another class are given the opportunity to get help from their classmates.
Tutorials are done twice a week which gives the students the chance to have their questions answered by their own classmates. AVID also helped senior, Corey White, decide where he would go to college.
“It helped me figure out what college I was going to go to and how to get there,” White said. Next year, White will be attending Concordia University’s nursing program, which is where he received a merit scholarship for his SAT scores.
According to Brittany Hemry, senior, AVID helped her grow as an individual. Hemry is aspiring to be a law student. Still unsure of her plans for next year, Hemry has narrowed her schools down to either Chemeketa Community College, or Oregon State University – where she received a scholarship for marching band.
Not only is AVID a class that prepares students for college, it is a class where the students build strong bonds.
“Every year that you progress in the program, you have the same students in your class. You get to know everyone very well. Building these relationships with the students provides everyone with extra support, which is always nice,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham will be attending Portland State University next year, which is where she wants to earn a degree in communications. If it was up to Cunningham, she would be the next Brenda Braxton, a news anchor on KGW News. Cunningham dedicated her senior year to finding and applying for scholarships. It definitely paid off for her. She was able to receive over $2,000 in scholarships, plus four full years tuition at Portland State.
The first year AVID class has really paved the way for the following AVID classes. They have all worked hard throughout high school, and as the end of the year approaches, their hard work is recognized through the scholarships they have been awarded.
“Scholarships are a numbers game. If you want to win a lot, you have to apply for a lot! I want students to know that you cannot be lazy! It takes effort. In the end, hard work really does pay off!” Cunningham said.
Senior AVID students with their colleges include: Ashley Brown, Western University; Mariah Cunningham, Portland State University; Liauna Cummings, College of the Redwoods; Cathy Estrada, Western University; Fernando Garcia, Western University; Brittany Hemry, undecided; Magaly MartinezReyes, undecided; Davida McCauley, Chemeketa Community College; Jessica Montoya, Western University; Magaly Ortiz, Western University; Claudia Rios, Concordia University; Christian Serrano, Chemeketa Community College; and Corey White, Concordia University.
Story and photo used with permission of The Piper, the McNary student newspaper. McNary teacher Ryan Somerville is the newspaper's advisor.