AVID program at SSS wins national video contest

From News ReleaseJune 1, 2014 

Oscar Villanueva, left, films his fellow AVID students. They are, from left, Ra’Heem Richardson, Alejandra Moreno, Benjamin Rodriguez, Moises Monroy, Pedro Hernandez and Kenny Pavon.


The AVID program at Smithfield-Selma High School has won AVID’s 2014 national video contest. AVID is short for Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college-readiness program.

Senior Oscar Villanueva took the lead in producing the video. As the first-place winner, the SSS AVID program received $1,000.

“It felt exciting because we worked really hard on the video,” Villanueva said.

“This year was the first year we had an AVID student president, and I think it helped me unite our group,” Villanueva said. “AVID is amazing. If you take it seriously, it will change the way you act and who you are.”

The video contest asked AVID students nationwide to showcase their AVID spirit and the program’s impact on them. The SSS video highlighted the academic and organizational strategies reinforced in the AVID classroom. It also showcased the leadership-development, college-exploration and service activities SSS AVID offers outside of the classroom.

Villanueva and his AVID peers took complete ownership of the project, said Kaye Pearce, AVID coordinator at the high school. “We announced the competition to our AVID classes, and then the next thing I knew, Oscar was organizing meetings during their lunch period to record,” Pearce said. “It was amazing. It was also a great learning experience for them, especially Oscar. Orchestrating this many students and the editing involved was no easy task, but they made it happen.”

SSS will use the prize money for AVID scholarships.

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