East Bakersfield High School's AVID becomes a national demonstration school program

Program helps get students to college

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Area students are learning that college doesn't just have to be something they dream about.  The AVID program at East Bakersfield High School prepares young people to succeed in higher education and in a global society.

The AVID program uses research based methods to teach and accelerate student learning and now East High, considered a national AVID demonstration school can give more students hope of having a college diploma.

Dorian Behill is getting ready to do something he never imagined he would be able to accomplish four years ago.

"Just didn't seem very possible because I am going to be the first person in my family to be going to college so, it just seems like one of those types of situations where no one before has done it and so you wouldn't know what to do," said Behill.

As a member of the Advancement Via Individual Determination or AVID program, Behill is able to focus more on his future.

"When we went on college field trips, we met other students that had graduated from east, that were in my situation and them making it possible for themselves it gave me that much more hope," he said.

AVID began 25 years ago with one high school and 32 students and now it involves more than 7,000 students in about 4,900 schools.

"The bottom line is it benefits the students.  There's no ands, if’s or but’s.  The program is designed to get students prepared for college and to succeed in college," said Marciano Flores, coordinator of the program.

As a national AVID demonstration school East High is able to help more students academically as they prepare beyond graduation.

"I don't know how much time I have to spend talking about my experiences in college.  AVID talks about it Monday through Friday," he said.

90 percent of east high school students go on to attend a four-year university and now teachers hope that number will grow.

"Right now in a society that furthering your education is so important and knowing that I am going to be able to go to college and that I really am going to be successful and do something with my life is very important to me,” said Teresa Martin, senior at East Bakersfield High School.

Seniors in the AVID program have been applying for universities and many of them already know where they plan to attend in the fall.

For a picture of today's event visit: www.facebook.com/carloscorrea23abc

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