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Greenwich High’s AVID program celebrates 37 graduates, who are all heading to college

GREENWICH — All 37 members of the AVID Class of 2022 from Greenwich High School have been accepted to college and plan to attend in the fall.

Short for Advancement Via Individual Determination, AVID held its graduation ceremony June 22 in the GHS Student Center before a crowd of more than 100 people and heralded their achievements.

“AVID graduation is always my favorite celebration of the year because AVID is so aligned with our mission to empower all students to achieve academic, personal and professional success,” said Julie Faryniarz, executive director of the Greenwich Alliance for Education.

A national college-readiness system, AVID is designed to close the opportunity gap among diverse and underrepresented demographic groups of students and to promote equity and access in education.

AVID was initially funded by a grant from the Alliance in 2008. Greenwich Public Schools now runs the program, although the Alliance continues to support students, teachers and alumni through AVID SUCCESS.

Missy Brown and Franny Bittman, AVID teachers, along with GHS AVID site coordinator Mara Subach and GPS AVID district director Judith Nedell, spent months helping the AVID students craft college lists, write college essays, submit financial aid forms and analyze financial aid packages, which include scholarships and loans.

Some of the colleges that AVID students from Greenwich High will be attending are Emory University, Lehigh University, Connecticut College, George Washington University, Providence College, the University of Connecticut, Fordham University and other local and state colleges.

At the graduation ceremony, Sarah Borba, who is headed to UConn-Stamford, sang an a cappella version of “It’s the Climb.” Her performance by her was followed by several speakers, who echoed their appreciation of the Alliance’s longstanding commitment to GPS students.

“Beyond the additional hundreds of thousands of dollars they invested in programming and scholarships, they’ve also donated countless hours, brownies, pizza parties, initiated dozens of bank accounts and matched many mentors,” said Brown. “Most importantly, their partnership in the growth of the AVID program allowed for the 37 graduates here tonight to be here.”

Several speakers pointed out the many accomplishments of the graduates, including taking a total of 141 honors classes and 32 AP classes, despite facing unique obstacles.

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