The past week at the AVID Summer Institute, the highlight (as always) was the luncheon. There are 18,500 people who will attend AVID Summer Institutes this summer, about 4,000 at the Dallas I session. The four speakers this year were also a part of our 30th Anniversary of AVID and they did a video retrospective through the decades. It was incredible.
One of my AVID photos from my website ended up in the video montage and that made me pretty excited. I was also super lucky to have a front row seat for the speakers. The luncheon has about 2,000 jammed in the ball room. And it is a sea of humanity that the students have to address. Quite intimidating. Well, I walk in (a little late because our session was in a different hotel) and they ushered me into this front row seat at the first table. Suddenly I'm sitting with two of the speakers and their families! Pretty amazing experience.
One of the speakers was Jonathan Grant Brown. His story is amazing. I would not say it's "typical" of the AVID student experience though. Most of our kids have great parents who love them, some pretty good support systems, but they just need AVID to help them advance into AP and Dual Credit classes and prepare for college. But, Jonathan's story shows the power of AVID and what it can do for someone, even in the most dire situation.
This is a superb story. Jonathan Brown and his success through AVID. He is inspirational and shows that if he can do it, anyone can.
Jonathan's Original 2006 AVID Summer Institute Speech:
I originally posted some of this on my AVID class blog here: http://avidahs.blogspot.com/2010/05/inspirational-story-jonathan-brown-avid.html