AVID students learn keys to success

On March 26, Carlsbad High School AVID juniors and seniors attended a leadership conference, hosted by the Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary club to listen to guest speakers and learn about leadership qualities.

To start off the conference, AVID teacher Jeff Spanier announced the top six AVID seniors from this year: Libby Lee, Junior Macedo, Erik Sanchez-Martinez, Mario Segovia, Francisco Olvera and Steven Yu. Afterwards, the students had the opportunity to listen to three Rotary members share their life stories and keys to success.

“Part of our AVID curriculum is studying leadership and models of success, and that’s what this conference is about,” AVID teacher Jeff Spanier said. “The conference is set up like a seminar, so it has question-and-answer discussion time built in, instead of a typical conference with just lecturing. They learn from different communities and business leaders and find out the keys to those individual’s successes.”

The students had the opportunity to listen to three Rotary members share their life stories. One speaker, Mauricio Berber, is the president of RMJ technologies. He discussed the importance of staying grounded when achieving success and always giving back to the community. He taught students to focus on positive energy and surround themselves with good role models.

“I was really motivated by him,” junior Alexa Velazquez said. “He made us feel inspired for the future but at the same time he told us to be respectful. Even if you are at the top, don’t forget about the people at the bottom.”

Another speaker, Phil Urbina, owns Cousin’s Signs which is located in Carlsbad. Urbina stressed the benefits that come when preforming community service. He also talked about achieving success in work, school and in the community.

“[Urbina’s seminar] inspired me to set goals in life,” senior Alejandro Echevarria said. “Don’t forget your background and always give back to the community. It inspired me to be more involved in community service.”

Lastly, Mary Fritz-Wilson, director of branding and advertising for Greatcall, Inc., explained her two secrets of success: adapting to change and establishing positive relationships.  She described how being flexible and respecting your peers allows you to move further ahead in life.

“She was one of my favorite speakers because I really liked her message,” senior Libby Lee said. “She focused on positivity, finding good qualities in people and respecting them as a person. I also liked her message on being susceptible to change and accepting it.”

All three seminars portrayed the importance of creating goals, giving back to the community and staying positive and humble.

“I don’t know if [the conference] benefits AVID as much as the Rotarians,”  Rotary member Dawn Van Siclen said. “It is just a benefit for us to organize together and show them how they can continue their excellence and make an impact on others.”