Key Largo School eighth-grade graduates Nicholas Calderon and Sophia Jackson received special awards from Learning for Success Inc. (LFS) through its Kids and the Power of Work (KAPOW) program during a virtual ceremony on May 5. 

The students were chosen based on essays they submitted describing their experience with KLS and its Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. 

“With AVID, I overcame my low self-esteem, and learned how to be a better public speaker,” said award winner Jackson, who aspires to a career in health care. “I was able to get closer with people I didn’t expect I would.” 

“Performing speeches boosted my confidence,” said co-winner Nicholas Calderon, who aspires to a career in law and politics. “Having the support of my classmates helped me overcome my nervousness.”

The special awards were sponsored by a grant from Publix Super Markets Charities.

Pictured in the screenshot are Key Largo School student Nicholas Calderon, his mother Nicole Calderon; student  Sophia Jackson and her father John Jackson; their AVID teacher, Tiffany Zepeda; and assistant principals Debra Ward and Kristy Munafo. CONTRIBUTED

“We’re thankful for the support we get from the KAPOW program and the generous contributions from Publix Charities for our outstanding students,” said Tiffany Zepeda, AVID teacher at KLS. 

AVID is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. AVID teaches skills and behaviors for academic success; provides intensive support with tutorials and strong student/teacher relationships; creates a positive peer group for students; and develops a sense of hope for personal achievement gained through hard work and determination

More information about LFS and its KAPOW program is available from John Casbarro at 786-877-0334, or at More information about the AVID program is available from Zepeda at [email protected].

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