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Home » Success Stories » Marcus High AVID Student Embraces College Experience

“LEF provided me with the courage to face college.”

Sporting a large smile and joyful demeanor, Aynslee Barber partnered with her classmate in the spring of 2020  to express their gratitude via video message for being awarded the 2020 Wilhite AVID Scholarships. Almost a year later, she is still sporting that cheerful smile as she takes full advantage of her exciting new student experience at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor.

“LEF provided me with the courage to face college,” says Barber. “Especially with a private school, I was nervous about the expenses, but LEF gave me the first push to trusting that I am where I need to be.”

Although Barber credits the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation with giving her the first push, she’s been preparing for her collegiate academic success for many years now as a student in the Marcus High School AVID program. AVID is a dynamic program for students that stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and is an elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success through study groups, motivational activities, and comprehensive academic skills.

The Marcus High School AVID team

“While Ryan and I were in this class, we understood something,” Barber says in her Thank You video with her classmate and fellow scholarship recipient, Ryen Stokes. “We understood that this class wasn’t an ordinary class. This was a class that pushed us to do our best even when we thought we couldn’t. It felt more like a family. Ryan and I are so grateful for the opportunities that AVID has given to us and we know that we have grown exponentially because of them.”

Aynslee and her friend exploring the area around her new school.

Barber excelled in the AVID program, receiving several academic awards throughout her time in high school and spending her spare time volunteering in community programs. She is now studying Psychology at UMHB and basking in every moment of it.

“My favorite part of college is the independence. I have always been an independent person, but college has taught me who I am and my strengths and weaknesses. Being on my own was a hard adjustment at first, it didn’t hit until a couple months later, but it was something that carried a lot of pride and responsibility,” she says.

Barber expresses sincere gratitude to LISD, AVID, and LEF for encouraging and supporting her journey to college, but anyone lucky enough to meet this determined young woman knows she is the driving force behind her past, present, and future success. The Lewisville ISD Education Foundation is proud to play a small part in students’ like Barber’s collegiate journey.

“My goals in college are to get the most out of it. Milk every second. Because I’m paying for it, of course, but also because it is a blessing to be able to attend college and get a higher education,” she says. “I am beyond thankful for the AVID/Wilhite scholarship, and can’t wait to continue to see how the AVID program, and other students grown and learn!”

Become a part of future LISD seniors’ journeys by donating to the scholarships fund.


Aynslee and friends mask up while at college.

Celebrating school spirit!