Academia Avance Students Thankful for Simple Things

By Martin Baeza & Gisela Jimenez, Exclusive to EGP

The average student is often unaffected by events that go on around the world.

High school seniors in particular are more worried about getting their college applications processed in time or their demanding workload than what’s happening outside their immediate circle.

It’s no different for students at Academia Avance, a small charter school located in a church basement in Highland Park with about 500 middle and high school students.

Despite growing concern around the world over tragedies that have happened this year, including the recent terrorist attack in Paris France, many students are more concerned with their everyday routine, family, and school.

Academia Avance is not only a school but a community supporting students that want a future for themselves. Despite its small size and unusual location, the school offers a variety of opportunities for students to take part in, like an internship program for seniors who have passed the A-G requirements and trips to Los Angeles area colleges so students can see what their options are so they won’t just stick to one small opportunity.

Students say they feel welcomed when walking in the halls to class because they know that one day they will get to wear their cap and gown before heading to a four-year college.

Many of Academia Avance’s students struggle everyday because they lack resources and face financial difficulties.

Seniors in the Class of 2016 especially feel the pinch of higher expenses thanks to all the money required for their senior activities.

Last week, EGP asked some Academia Avance students to take a moment to reflect on what they will be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

It seems most worries will be forgotten for the day as the students spend time with their families and loved ones. From the responses, it appears the senior class is able to look past the stresses from around the world and are instead thankful for the simple things often taken for granted, families and friends or just the excitement of long-awaited videogame coming out.

Here’s what some Advance Academia seniors and the school’s principal had to say:

Cindy Baez MB MG_2277

“I’m thankful for my health and having great friends that support me.”  Senior Cindy Baez

Principal Angelica Gil MB IMG_2294

“I’m thankful for being able to spend time with family after my father passed away. I’m happy that I get to celebrate the memory of my father with the rest of my family.”  Principal Angelica Gil

Rodolfo Paz (rt) Cesar Birrueta (lt)IMAG0612 Gisela

“ I am thankful for my friends, health, that I get an opportunity to be in school, and that my family supports me through everything.” Senior Rodolfo Paz

“I am thankful for Fallout 4 (video game) because it is a wonderful game!”  Senior Cesar Birrueta

Valeria Salinas MB IMG_2292

“I’m thankful for having great friends and family who are supportive, and I’m thankful for having a house and good health.”  Senior Valeria Salinas

Luis Marquez MB MG_2293

“I’m thankful for having a good life with a great family that fill my life with happiness.” Senior Luis Marquez

Eric Salazar GJ IMAG0614

“ I am thankful for my family, friends, and video games!” Senior Eric Salazar

Martin Baeza and Gisela Jimenez are seniors at Academia Avance High School in Highland Park. The students are interning at Eastern Group Publications as part of the school’s “Work Educational Experience Project.”

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November 25, 2015  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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