Monte Vista's AVID Program Welcomes Dr. Ivannia Soto

Monte Vista's AVID Program Welcomes Dr. Ivannia Soto
     Monte Vista School’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program welcomed Dr. Ivannia Soto, an author and Associate Professor of Education at Whittier College who shared her educational and career journey with students.
     Aimed at directing students to a college-bound path, the AVID program helps students develop and reinforce attitudes, skills, and knowledge to successfully enter and complete advanced class work. AVID students learn and apply study skills and learning strategies to improve performance in all classes.
     “We are so proud to have Dr. Soto here today,” said Karen Johnny, 7th grade AVID teacher. “She is an expert in second language acquisition and English language learners are her specialty. We use many of her strategies in class such as Think-Pair-Share.”
     The seventh and eighth grade AVID scholars were dressed for success as they listened attentively to Dr. Soto, gaining tips on goal setting, choosing a college, the essential skills needed to get through college, and what they should do now to begin their path to a college education.
     “I grew up locally and was an English Language Learner in schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District,” said Soto. “I graduated from Whittier High School and earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree and teaching credential from Biola University.”
     A life-long learner, Dr. Soto also attended University of Laverne where she obtained a Master’s in School Counseling and Claremont University where she earned her Ph.D. in Urban Education. She also completed post-doctoral studies in Education at Stanford University.
     “My mother’s experience coming to America from Costa Rica and having to learn the language is what motivated me to help people in similar situations,” said Soto. “My mom always had high expectations for my sisters and I and told us our job was to get to college.”
     Dr. Soto shared with the students the skills she found were necessary to get through college. They include organization, time management, the ability to present and write, analytical and critical thinking, and collaboration.
     “These skills were essential while I was in college and are essential in my work today,” said Soto. “Time management, reading, writing and self-discipline are skills I use as a professor and researcher and will help anyone on their college and career path. Additionally, command of academic English is so important to present well either through writing or speaking.”
     Concluding her presentation, Dr. Soto offered the students the following advice in their college pursuit -- “Visit colleges, take tours of different campuses and do your research. Find a college that matches you academically and socially. College is a time to get to know yourself academically and as a person and a liberal arts education will provide you with a broad education. Remember, discipline plus attitude will outperform aptitude any day, so work hard, stay focused and stay positive.”
     The students appreciated hearing Dr. Soto’s story and look forward to future guest speakers in Monte Vista’s AVID Guest Speaker Series.
     “Thank you Dr. Soto for your inspiring words and for encouraging our students to work hard and reach for their dreams,” said Belinda Hyde, Monte Vista’s AVID Coordinator.
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