In Mike Gobel's 9th grade AVID class this year, there are many exceptional students. Out of all these hard-working and intriguing young people, one student has shown the most improvement in her work ethic and academic confidence, two key goals of the AVID program. This student is Estefani Rodriguez.
Estefani uses many of the GEAR UP services to help her in her quest to be college and career ready. Estefani spends some time in the library getting help from tutors during Academic Lab. She works with GEAR UP Student Achievement Specialist to help keep her on track with her grades and college goals.
This is Estefani's first year in AVID, and she entered Mr. Gobel's class unsure how she would be perceived as a student. With the tutors, Estefani is somewhat quiet, but when I asked her about her experience she gave me a very candid response. She told me that she had initially expected to be judged for not having great grades in middle school; but that had not been the case. Her AVID class made her feel like she deserved to be there.
Estefani has truly made the most of this commitment. She started out the year struggling in Math, and says she used the tutorial process to pull her out of the rut. Her hard work has shown results, too--according to Mr. Gobel she is one of the students whose GPA has improved the most over the year.
Yet even as she gathers success in some areas, Estefani remains aware that the road to high school graduation, and beyond, takes four years. She assured me that while her understanding of Math has increased, she is now focusing her efforts on History. In Estefani, I see a quiet determination that is only the beginning of a great AVID success story. I am so glad to have been a witness.
Estefani has been a GEAR UP student since her time in 6th grade at Garrison Middle School.
Student Success Article by Molly Emmett. Molly is currently an AVID intern at Walla Walla High School, She will complete her undergraduate degree from Whitman College this May.