Richland High School's Alejandra Velasco

Richland High School's Alejandra Velasco

Richland High School’s Alejandra Velasco considers herself a people person. When schools shut down in March 2020 due the pandemic, she felt lost.

“I didn’t get to see and hug my friends,” she says. “It put me in a bad place and my grades slipped.”

When classes started meeting in person again partway through the 2020-21 school year, things started to turn back around.

Alejandra is in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), where students join the program as freshman and stay with the same group of students and teacher all four years of high school. The class prepares them for college readiness and career success.

“My AVID class has helped so much,” she says. “It is a really open environment. Everyone can talk and share. We even have a group text chat going all the time.”

As much as she loves AVID, the joy of Alejandra’s school day is math.

“I love math and figuring out equations,” explains Alejandra. “I make videos of myself working through equations to help my friends.”

For Alejandra, math just makes sense. English is her second language, so writing and spelling can be challenging at times. But math is the same in any language.

And that’s why she envisions a future where she can blend her passion for mathematics and contribute to the success of students. She’s heading to Eastern Washington University where she plans to major in education so she can return to Richland High to teach math.