Laura O’Brien and Candice Tigerman are the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teachers at Castro Valley High School.  AVID is a nonprofit that changes lives by helping schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach, so they can prepare all students for college, careers, and life. Laura teaches chemistry and biotech and Candace teaches Spanish and both lead the AVID program in Castro Valley Unified School District.  Click here to watch the presentation.
AVID is a national program to encourage college attendance among students who might not be considering it. The program has been assisting school districts for many years and there is a great deal of data that supports the AVID approach.  One example is that a greater percentage of AVID students apply to, are accepted, and graduate from college.  Students involved in AVID cross all racial, ethnic, and other demographic groups.
Students may be average to high-performing.  They might be from recent immigrant families or they might be the first in their family to consider college. The program provides mentoring for student in how “to do” school.  AVID focuses the students on note-taking, studying, listening, reading, writing, asking critical questions, and other skills that lead to academic success.  There are elective classes available each year in high school for the students for which they enthusiastically sign up. The students have the opportunity to hear guest speakers and take field trips to colleges and other educational sites (e.g., Exploratorium).  The AVID program walks students through the college and scholarship application processes, which can be confusing.
The teachers also provide two ways for anyone to participate in the program. First, they are always looking for guest speakers to describe their experience in college. If you would like to be a guest speaker, please contact Rotarians Parvin Ahmadi (Superintendent of Castro Valley USD) or Gary Howard (Board Trustees for the Castro Valley USD).  They will connect you to the teachers. Second, the AVID program would like to provide a “scholarship” to every graduating AVID student. The scholarship would be a laptop that they could take to college. They are raising money to pay for those. If you would like to make a contribution, please speak to President Dwight Perry, Parvin, or Gary.
Watch the presentation here.