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Portrait of an AVID Graduate

This year's graduating cohort is the first to go through all four years of the program.

During the 2018-2019 school year, Turner High School underwent the process of considering if the supports provided by the nationally accredited AVID program would partner well with the school’s established mission and goals. Ultimately, they decided to adopt the program, and this year's senior AVID class is the first cohort to go through all four years of the high school program. The program, which has an application process and is considered an elective credit, touts proven solutions for “increasing academic rigor and creating engaging learning environments,” especially for underrepresented students. This is achieved through a systematic approach of academic supports, college preparatory programming, elective coursework that teaches WICOR strategies (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading), and school-wide emphasis on curriculum and rigor. The objective of programs such as AVID is to close the achievement gap and prepare students, especially first-generation college students, to not only be accepted to a college, but to have the academic skills that will allow them to truly succeed in college.

Students move through the program in a cohort and maintain the same AVID teacher all four years of high school. For this year's graduating AVID seniors, Ms. Barrera was one of the cohort teachers. In reflecting on the change she has seen in her students since their freshman year, Ms. Barrera said, "My students have grown tremendously in the last four years. They started with messy backpacks, zero study habits, and fearful of a challenge. The AVID program has pushed them beyond their wildest dreams, and I have had the pleasure of watching it all unfold. They are now responsible, studious, and high achieving individuals." As they near the end of their high school career, there is plenty for this cohort to celebrate: getting into their dream colleges, being admitted to their chosen programs of study, and receiving large scholarships. "We have worked tirelessly the last four years to prepare them for this exact moment. I share in excitement with them, and I, too, celebrate!" said Barrera.

For this story, we are highlighting six of our graduating AVID seniors. Congratulations to the entire cohort of students on their success and future plans!

Michael Horton
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend KCKCC for R.N. and Paramedic Certification
Impact of AVID: "AVID has taught me several important and useful skills that have helped me during my time in high school that I could also use for the future. I liked the connections and people that you meet the most."

Breanna Pruett
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend JCCC for Computer Science
Impact of AVID: "AVID helped me be more organized and realize that I have to put aside time for school work and balance my school life out. It definitely prepares you for college and gives you a broad description of how your college experience will be."

Cristin Alvarado
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend University of Kansas to study Engineering Physics and then go to NASA
Impact of AVID: "[I have liked] the relationships I built with the people that stayed for all four years. If your parents never went to college and you are a first generation college student, then I would recommend AVID."

Nicholas Alvarado
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend University of Missouri-KC to study Business Analytics
Impact of AVID: "AVID has prepared me to think about college and get things done in order to be successful. It prepares you to be on top of your work and create good habits, but it can be overwhelming."

Isabella Fernandez
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend University of Missouri-KC to study Finance.
Impact of AVID: "The AVID program has helped me be successful during high school because we've learned organization skills, focused note taking, and critical thinking that can all also help me in college as well."

Damarys Nieto
Post-Graduation Plans: Attend K-State to study Psychology, Business, Pre-Law
Impact of AVID: "The thing I most liked about AVID was the preparation we did for college. There were many moments where my friends had no clue about the next steps after high school and AVID made it really easy and simple for me to start making that transition."