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8 Fontana Unified High School Seniors Awarded RIMS AVID Scholarships to Support Higher Education Goals

FONTANA, CA – Generations of Fontana Unified students have pursued higher education with the technical and life skills gained through the District’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, and eight more AVID seniors will continue this legacy with support from the Riverside Inyo Mono San Bernardino (RIMS) AVID Scholarship Program.

Eight seniors from the District’s five comprehensive high schools were awarded 2023 RIMS AVID scholarships to help them pursue their academic goals after graduation. RIMS AVID supports more than 220 AVID programs in Riverside, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino counties.

The RIMS AVID Scholarship Program began in 2003 as a way to provide more financial assistance to graduating AVID seniors, especially for undocumented students who were not eligible for financial aid.

“AVID ambassadors, sponsors and donors have made it their mission to provide scholarships and financial aid to AVID students in the Inland Valley Empire for years,” RIMS AVID Scholarship Committee Chairperson Vivian Shaw said. “We want to ensure AVID graduates are attending four-year universities and we always want to increase the number of Inland Empire students moving on to higher education.”

The 2023 scholarship recipients were celebrated during a virtual scholarship recognition event on April 20, which concluded with students and their sponsors transitioning to private breakout rooms to express their appreciation and to share plans for their future academic careers. Fontana Unified’s RIMS AVID Scholarship recipients are:

A.B. Miller High School

  • Lindsay Carlos Flores, sponsored by Marian Schwartz, will attend UC Riverside to study bioengineering and become a bioengineer.
  • Joestell Odette, sponsored by the Fontana USD Foundation, will attend La Sierra University to study criminal justice and become a family court lawyer.
  • Lizbeth Velasco-Martinez, sponsored by Bob and Jane Parker, will attend Cal Poly Pomona to study hospitality and business management.

Fontana High School

  • Jo’lena Gloudeman, sponsored by Dr. Beth Higbee, will attend UC San Diego to study biology and become a physician assistant.
  • Jasmin Hurtado-Mendez, sponsored by Bob and Jane Parker, will attend UC Berkeley to study environmental science and become a conservation ecologist.

Jurupa Hills High School

  • Anupreet Kaur, sponsored by the Fontana USD Foundation, will attend Cal State University San Bernardino to study nursing and become a registered nurse.

Kaiser High School

  • Juanmanuel Sandoval-Herrera, sponsored by the Fontana USD Foundation, will attend UCLA to study neuroscience and become a neurosurgeon.

Summit High School

  • Natalie Gonzalez, sponsored by Janell and Randall Lewis, will attend Cal State Fullerton to study biochemistry and become an optometrist.

RIMS AVID supports all AVID programs in Fontana Unified, which begin as early as kindergarten, and serve as a cornerstone of the District’s robust college and career readiness program. Through AVID, Fontana Unified students learn valuable skills in communication, collaboration, organization and writing, as well as using student planners and binders, making annotated notes, and forming collaborative study groups to support their success.

Both Sequoia Middle School and Fontana High School have been named AVID National Demonstration Schools, an honor awarded to only three percent of AVID schools worldwide. In 2022, Sequoia Middle School was one of three San Bernardino County schools to earn a 2022 AVID Teacher Advocacy Award for its stellar implementation of AVID strategies.

“Fontana Unified is grateful to RIMS AVID and its many donors and sponsors for helping ensure Fontana Unified AVID students receive every opportunity to succeed in higher education,” Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “Congratulations to our AVID seniors on their well-deserved scholarships; we will be cheering them on as they take on new academic challenges and make a positive impact on the world around them.”