Within the past few years, Kingsway Regional High School students have found new purposes as members of interest-specific academic programs. As middle schoolers, high achieving math students are often turned to the STEM and Business Leadership Academies. However, there are other academies within the high school that are equally impactful, but often overlooked.
Of these wide-ranging programs, the Avid program is often described as a student-favorite amongst its participants. The Avid program focuses on advancing research-based thinking and was first implemented by principal Melvin Allen. “The program, from my understanding, is a seminar class where you learn skills like collaboration, team-building, and learning how to prep for college,” explains Audrey Friedrich, junior.
She continued by explaining how the Class of 2023 is the class that first piloted the program, meaning that their seminar-style classes may look different in the future because they are the first class to ever participate in them. After two COVID-tainted school years, the program is finally able to be integrated into the curriculum as it was initially intended.
“Coming from freshman year and now as a junior, I’ve seen myself become much less of a procrastinator and way more a student who gets their work done in a timely manner,” expressed Yazmehene Bethea, junior. She described the program as being meant for students who are intrinsically motivated and interested in learning more about the college admissions process.
Avid helps students to explore potential career paths and grants them the opportunity to have unique experiences in workplace environments that other Kingsway students may not have in high school. Their field trips, while educational in nature, also give members of the Avid community to bond over their shared interests.
“One event in particular that was attended in the past was the Sixers game. It was so fun. I would have never expected to go to Philly while in school, and that is the beauty of this team,” revealed Friedrich.
Another exceptional aspect of the Avid Program is that it is not particular to Kingsway. There are Avid programs all over the United States. Students advocate that this contributes to a level of comfort within the program.
“I wasn’t too comfortable with the whole team aspect in the beginning, but now it feels like such a safe space where I feel no judgment. I’m usually really shy, and I’m not even afraid to ask questions in class,” continued Friedrich.
While it is conspicuous that students are proud of their achievements within the Avid community, they have a few criticisms and plans to improve what is already an incredible opportunity.
“Dylan McCarthy (11th grade), Angelina Cedeño (11th grade), and I are currently working on how to change the Avid program to where it has more students involved and running the program,” explained Bethea. While their ideas are not set in stone, these students believe that student leadership could become a valuable part of their Avid education.
By Audrey Pachuta