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Rogers Senior Speaker at AVID Summer Institute
Rogers HS Senior Selected as a Speaker at AVID National Summer Institute
Posted on 05/11/2022

When Erica Won first enrolled in the AVID Program at Ballou Junior High, she had no idea about where it would take her. The Rogers High School senior moved to the United States from South Korea in the third grade and was initially enrolled in the English Language Learner (ELL) program to help her overcome a language barrier. And overcome it she did. By the time she reached junior high, she was encouraged to enter the AVID Program, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. Her hard work and determination helped her flourish in the program, which focuses on building skills and developing behaviors for students to utilize in taking honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses to prepare for college and post-high school opportunities.  

Won’s current AVID teacher, Colleen Pancake, describes her as a model AVID student who supports and inspires other students in the program. Now, thanks to AVID and the teachers who Won says pushed and encouraged her throughout her six years in the program, she will serve as an inspiration to AVID teachers across the country. After she was encouraged by Pancake to enter an essay contest earlier in the school year, Won was recently notified that she was selected to be a speaker and share her story with thousands of educators at the AVID Summer Institute in Seattle this summer.   

“I was astonished,” she said when asked about her reaction to being selected as a speaker. “I was very grateful they thought my story was meaningful and am humbled by their faith in me.”  

While Won may have been surprised to have been selected for the prestigious honor, her teachers were not. “Not only does she represent AVID in a positive light in regard to her academics by challenging herself in taking several AP courses and demonstrating strong skills when it comes to organization, collaboration and time management, but, most importantly, she has grown into a selfless leader for younger AVID students to look up to,” said Pancake. “She goes out of her way to help serve others in any way she can and encourages others to take on leadership roles. Her actions as a students, leader, and human being inspire me to be a better person.”  

For her part, Won credits her AVID teachers and fellow students for her success. “My AVID family really supported me throughout my journey. My teachers encouraged me to challenge myself and get outside my comfort zone, and the other students in the class were always there to help and push me to reach farther.” she said.   

Won also serves as senior class president, lieutenant governor of Key Club’s Pacific Northwest Division 30, member of the PSD CARE Team, and is a varsity tennis player. She will attend Davidson College in North Carolina this fall on a full-ride scholarship and plans to major in business administration and human resources.