LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A group of La Crosse high school students are ready to take on college thanks to a special program.
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and it helps high school students in the area prepare for college through note-taking, writing, reading and critical thinking skills.
According to the program, AVID students are more likely to be from low-income families with less family history of attending college.
The goal is to reach students who are under-represented in college graduation rates.
This year's graduating group is the program's first in La Crosse with 41 graduates.
Almost all of them have already been accepted into college.
Take Central High School student Mindy Yang for example. She's getting ready to graduate from the AVID program after being in it for three years.
She'll be headed to UWL in the fall.
"I'm planning to major in biology, and then afterwards I plan to head to medical school and probably get into anesthesiology."
Nearly 30 other students in the program have already been accepted to four-year colleges, and about 11 will start at two-year colleges with plans to transfer later.
AVID allows students to take advancement placement classes, write essays, complete pre-college testing and apply for financial aid.
"AVID builds confidence and students have come in who are excellent students but they maybe lack confidence in certain areas and i think AVID builds a support team."
Central senior Toube Xong says if it weren't for AVID, things would have been different for him.
"There is lots of things that I probably wouldn't have done if it wasn't for AVID such as joining honors algebra or probably doing AP courses."
Program coordinator Ellen Koelbl says La Crosse's first graduating AVID group is already proving the long-term benefits.
"There are times kids come in and say I did really well on this test, or I was able to get up and not feel nervous or I got into a certain college or you know I got this scholarship."
The program is expected to serve more than 200 students a year between Logan and Central High Schools.
Nationally, AVID is currently implemented in nearly 5,000 schools.
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