Lister ES speaker program motivates students

Lister Elementary School students are discovering a range of professions, thanks to the campus’s new Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) monthly speaker series.

“This was our way of exposing students to a variety of careers and educational processes that have led people into their current positions,” said Principal Cheryl Alexander.

Although every elementary school hosts a career-focused event, Lister is the only campus that features a monthly program. 

“I wanted something on a monthly basis rather than one big day at the end of the year,” Alexander commented. “I want key elements such as work ethic, determination and goal setting to be a part of what students hear throughout the year.”

The campus has secured a varied lineup of speakers through staff references. The program launched in October with kickboxing instructor Monay Brown. In November, students heard from former Pittsburgh Steelers center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke. While the speakers had different career paths, their messages had a common theme.

“I want our students to see the payoff of applying and staying true to certain tenets of AVID, like organization and using effective learning strategies,” Alexander expressed. “When speakers come, they include those concepts in their presentations.”

The series may be in its initial phase, but it has become an event students and staff look forward to each month. 

“The response has been positive. And we have a nice group of speakers planned for the future.”   

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Lee and Lister Elementary School.