Student wins summer AVID contest



Every year the RHS AVID program gives students the opportunity to share their stories about how AVID has helped them. AVID teacher Melissa Johnson believes that having students share their stories through the program about how AVID has impacted them could be beneficial for students. They allow students to do this with the AVID Speaker Contest. It is a contest where students can not only share their experiences with the program but also prepares them for the summer institutes that are held around the country.

    “So each year we invite students, particularly older students, to apply to present a speech at a conference and the purpose is for students to tell their story about how AVID has helped them and help other people learn about the benefits of the AVID program,” Johnson said.

     Junior and AVID speaker Athena Melville joined the AVID Speaker Contest hoping that more students with disabilities will be inspired and want to be more involved with the program and the AVID Contests. Melville has been a part of the AVID program for about seven years and she is grateful that she gets the opportunity to tell her story through the AVID Contest. The AVID Center will reward Melville with $500 for giving her speech.

     “There are not many students with disabilities that get chosen and I wanted to change that so I decided to apply this year,” Melville said.

     Johnson hopes that people will recognize and appreciate the courage that Melville has and hopes she will have an enjoyable experience.

     “I think Athena is really brave,” Johnson said. “It takes a lot of bravery to be able to write a speech, record yourself and submit an application and it takes even more bravery to stand up in front of thousands of people and tell your story.”

     Johnson sees the AVID Speaker Contest as a great opportunity for students and believes that this is a way for students to gain more confidence in speaking.

     “I really appreciate students who get outside of their comfort zone to be able to seek out opportunities that are unique and in this case, Athena has really stretched herself and put herself out there,” Johnson said. “I think she will be a really good representation of Roseville High School.”

     The AVID program has different locations for the chosen student to speak at each year. This year the AVID Speaker Contest will be held at the San Francisco Summer Institute in July. 

     “In order to apply a student has to write a speech that answers a prompt that the AVID Center provides, they also have to record themselves a video recording and submit that,” Johnson said. “They read their speech, they submit that, they also get verification from their AVID teacher that they’re in good standing, then the AVID Center which is located in San Diego picks who speaks at which institutes.” 

     The program has been around for 22 years at Roseville High School and for the AVID contests, there have been students and even teachers getting involved with the AVID program by sharing their stories and experiences with AVID.

     “We started AVID at Roseville High School in 2000, so ever since we had a new program we were able to ask students to apply to the Speaker Contest if they wanted to, we have had students be speakers in the past but it’s been a long time,” Johnson said. “Our last speaker from Roseville High School was actually a teacher, Ms. Kapell had the honor of speaking at an AVID Summer Institute a few years ago.”