Estella's Story

Name: Estela Sanchez
School: R.L. Paschal High School
Title of Essay: Determination

Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks. - Johann Gottfried Von Herder

AVID was part of that spark. The whole nine yards of AVID was part of that spark. Having to turn in a binder every Friday for the last 5 school years; having to go to lunch detention if you didn’t turn in your binder and having a couple of awkward college students attempt to tutor you. Then there were the teachers who believed in you more than you believed in yourself, the peers who challenged you to do your best for they were trying their hardest, and everything in between.

Being a first generation high school and college bound student isn’t easy; I say this through personal experience. I always knew I wanted to go to college. My parents advocated to me that higher education should be something you pursue your entire life, especially since they were never given that opportunity. However, they didn’t know what was necessary to get into college other than earning ‘good’ grades. I was given the opportunity to be in AVID during middle school and fortunately I took it. AVID provided me with the skills necessary to reach my full potential, provided motivation to do better in school, and opened my mind to the many more opportunities I would have as a high school graduate. AVID didn’t only educate me; it also educated my family.

My AVID teachers have definitely been influential throughout this entire process. They have always been there for me not only as teachers but also as counselors, caregivers, supporters, and motivators. Mrs. Guerra helped me adjust to high school when I was only a freshman; Mrs. Garcia made me realize that mistakes are inevitable, but as long as you’ve learned from them you’ll be okay; and Ms. Rangel has taught me the true value of dedication. They have all done an awesome job in making our Paschal AVID program the best it can be. Thanks to them, our class has gone to see a variety of colleges, from UT to OSU to UTSA so we can have a better feel of what college is like. They’ve not only made AVID a learning experience, but they somehow managed to make it a fun learning experience. Through AVID, we have also met great mentors who happen to be Paschal alumni. What makes them such great mentors is that they were once where we are right now and someone helped them accomplish their dreams of going to college. Something instilled in me through AVID is definitely to help others, as I was helped. The least you can do is help someone achieve their dreams.

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. Meaning, whoever has participated in this program has done it because of their determination. The reason I am here today is because of me. The reason you are here today is because of you. It’s because of our determination to accomplish our dreams that we find ourselves here today. It’s because of a decision you made, to go to college and make everything you’ve dreamed of reality.