Superintendent Lunak hands student a graduation certificate

Students have a lot going on in their lives. College preparedness is not always at the top of their list, especially as Freshmen. However, on May 12, Moorhead celebrated 21 graduating seniors enrolled in AVID. This program, short for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is an elective program helping students achieve skills for college readiness. 

While enrolled in the program, students focus on writing and critical thinking expected at college. The program prepares students for college entrance exams, study skills and test-taking strategies. Jamal Dixon, a Moorhead High School senior, spoke highly of his experience. “I thought I was too cool and didn’t need it, well boy was I wrong,” Dixon said. “AVID kept me on track with anything from turning in FAFSA, applying for college or getting help with math.”

Students can begin this program in seventh grade and continue until graduation. Superintendent Dr. Lunak, addressed the graduating seniors at the AVID Senior Celebration. “I am confident that the knowledge, habits, and confidence you have worked hard to develop throughout AVID will continue to serve you well in college,” Dr. Lunak said. 

Student speakers at the Senior Celebration said they appreciated the real-life skills they learned in the program. But perhaps more importantly, they enjoyed the community they built. Senior Lyra Audisio Alonso said, “In AVID I was immediately greeted with a sense of belonging. I have loved every moment of being in this class and every interaction with the people here.” 

Some students are the first in their families to go to college and attribute this accomplishment to the support they received through AVID. This was Hailey Goulet’s experience. Goulet, an AVID student for six years, said, “This class has given me the courage to change my life and end the cycle of drug abuse and dropping out of high school.” Goulet is excited to be the first in her family to go to college and be a role model for her five younger siblings. 

AVID teacher, Monica Peterson emphasized, “The AVID program has made a big impact on students and on teachers as well through staff training and professional development. The 2022 class is our fifth graduating class, and these determined and hard-working students have many accomplishments to be proud of.” Over the lifetime of the program, enrolled students have received over $1 million in combined scholarships.