AVID provides the social, emotional, and academic support for students from non-traditional college going backgrounds who show strong potential for success.
In 2006, after a presentation about the program to several hundred squirrelly middle schoolers, I made my way to the parking lot. I heard someone calling after me.
"Oh yeah?" I said, eyebrows raised, cautiously impressed with the kid's tenacity. "Is it because your friends signed up for AVID next year, too?"
"No way. I'm serious about school. I'm gonna go to college. You gotta remember my name. It's D."
"Just D?" I said.
"Yep. D. Look at my face. Remember me. D. LEWIS. Don't forget, K? Put me on your list. I gotta be in that class."
Throughout his four years at the school, it was that hustle I always admired about D. He had goals. He knew how to advocate for himself. He had an entrepreneurial spirit and dreamed big dreams. He was on his way to making a better life for himself and his future family. But most of all, D was very kind. He included everyone, even if they weren't his best friends. He knew how to make people feel welcome. That's not a trait common in high schoolers.
He was my TA his senior year. He'd often come into my classroom and look through my iTunes, and just shake his head. "Mags, you need better music on here." So he wrote me a long list of songs I needed to download. "These will make you way cooler," he told me, giggling, poking fun.
It's sometimes hard to open your heart to so many people. People let you down. People leave. People hurt us. People die. And the pain in that is astronomical.
But to experience the enormity of joy there is to be had in our short time on earth, we must love anyway.
is how well we love.