The Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia – hanging in the Cafeteria of the Sacajewea Middle School in Federal Way, Washington. If you did this, please let me know…

Remember this, “You can take the man out of the islands but you cannot take the islands out of the man?” That’s exactly how I felt when walking into the Cafeteria for and AVID gathering of parents and students and found the FSM flag hanging on the wall. It was a great scene for sure. I was so glad that FSM was well represented. I wish I knew the teacher or the FSM student that did it. If you know who this wonderful student is, please let me know. I have lots of questions to ask him/her.

One thing for sure was my sons were so happy to know that there was or is one student from their homeland in their school. The only problem is they cannot seem to meet up or find this person. I am sure they would be happy to find out.

Talking about AVID and the fact that I want more FSM parents to know about the program, here is again how our friends on Wikipedia put it together:

AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a program designed to give the necessary support to students, particularly those in the academic middle, so that they can attend college and achieve their fullest potential. It also serves to level the playing field for minority and low-income students, as well as students who may be the first in their families to potentially attend college. The AVID program serves to support its students by teaching and reinforcing study and organizational skills (Cornell note-taking, 3-ring binder with labeled dividers, etc.), encouraging students to take more rigorous and challenging classes, providing skills necessary to succeed in college (public speaking, team building skills, interaction with professors, etc.), and ultimately preparing them for success at a four-year university/college. AVID students have skilled tutors, often college students studying to be teachers or studying one of the major subject areas, to help them with their studies. Students are taken on field trips to local colleges and universities throughout the program to familiarize them with some options. The projects planned are rich in content, cooperative learning, and applications that simulate “the real world” after high school. Community service is advocated throughout the program; students are expected to be active members of their community. This program helps these students to excel and consider all of their options. Students are given the resources to help them apply for scholarships and grants and to colleges and universities of their interest. AVID is not a “remedial education” program; instead it is a program designed to provide whatever support may be lacking for at-risk students who possess academic potential, but who may not be working to the best of their abilities. (This program will require a writing about obstacles and an interview.)

AVID was first developed in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, an English teacher at Clairemont High School, a recently desegregated district in San Diego, California. She began the program in order to ensure that underrepresented students were able to succeed in high school and would be properly prepared for the rigors of college. The program operated on one simple philosophy:

“Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.” Founder Mary Catherine Swanson

I guess, we can simply put it as a program to prepare kids for college and to challenge them to do their best. Please encourage your kids to enroll in such a wonderful program so they can take advantage of the many good things it provides.

Our citizens have been discriminated against and treated poorly but we are a bunch of resilient people that can weed through the rough roads and come out smiling on the other side. I encourage you all to keep up the great work and help our other brethren get back on their feed so we can be successful together as a people. I am planning to write a blog about what I see as our future as FSM citizens away from home. That future is bright and it’s up to us individually to get ourselves ahead faster.

The short album below depicts a compilation of some photos taken of our beloved Micronesians….

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