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Posted on Jun 6, 2016

QHS graduates first AVID class

Carrying posters that showed, on one side, what their lives were like before taking the college-prep class AVID and, on the other side, what they are like now, seniors at Quincy High School recently delighted in showing off with the simple flip of a poster board how far they’ve come in the last four years.
Daniel Garcia’s poster read on one side, “I was disorganized and a hot mess.” The “after” side showed a list of accomplishments, including better time management, better people skills and better organization.
Garcia and the rest of the seniors participating in AVID are the first to have attended the college prep classes for four straight years. That means the high school will graduate its first AVID class next week.
AVID teaches students how to keep a closer eye on their grades, how to take notes using the Ivy League-born Cornell Method of notetaking, and how to conquer those scary college-admission tests.
Flipping the poster from one side to the other took seconds. Writing the accomplishments took minutes. Achieving them took four years.
Jorge Ruiz, a QHS student who attended AVID this year, said that he will be the first person in his family to attend college. Nothing about that sentence looked feasible when he first started AVID as a freshman. And Ruiz wasn’t alone in feeling that way.
“To me college was like a dream,” said AVID student Maycohol (pronounced Michael) Chavez, also the first person in his family who will attend college.
“College was a complete mystery to me,” said AVID student Luis Ferreyra, who credits the class for teaching him about universities and scholarships.
After taking four years of AVID, several students have been accepted into college, including Octavio Bustos. Without AVID he probably would have gone to community college, he said. Instead, he’s moving to Bellingham come fall to attend Western Washington University.
Without AVID, some students still would have made it to college; however, it would have been more difficult, Chavez said.
“You wouldn’t have all the support you have,” he said.
That support surprised Andrew Delgado, who thought he was going to get a heaping helping of college homework and only a little bit of help.
Ruiz encouraged incoming students to take up AVID, despite what they may hear.
“It may seem boring and lame at first, but it’s actually pretty fun,” Ferreyra said.
Classmate Daniel Fregoso agreed, saying he initially thought AVID was going to be “one of those cheesy, you-can-do-it classes, like a motivational class.”
Jacque Rasmussen, who teaches the class, explained the “boring” label by noting that some students think AVID is a study hall.
Instead, what AVID provides is more than a sliver of time to stare at books. Instead, the children get to stare at their futures, by listening to guest speakers from the area who have attended and graduated from institutions of higher learning.
“That was really inspiring to me,” Fregoso said. “It was really nice having people from our town coming in and talking about their success path.”
They also get to improve on their grades and they get to learn what it’s like to apply for and succeed at college.
“There’s so much more that you don’t expect when you decide to take the class,” senior Miguel Hidalgo said.
Castro said that underclassmen interested in AVID “cannot slack off their freshman and sophomore years, because it’s going to be really difficult to make up ground junior and senior years.”
“Stick with it,” Ruiz advised. “Because sooner or later you will be like, ‘It was worth it.’”
Just ask Ferreyra, who wrote on his poster that because of AVID, he had a new found hope.
“I hope to have a brighter future, to be successful in life and make everyone who has supported me up to this point proud,” he said.


— By Sebastian Moraga,

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