We believe that all young people have the potential to become confident and contributing adults. However, while gifts and talents are evenly distributed, access and opportunities are not.
Mariela Rivera’s college dreams were first ignited in eighth grade by her teacher, Mr. Norris, who encouraged Mariela to join the college preparatory class AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).
“My parents hadn’t gone to college, and I thought that after high school, I was done with school. Mr. Norris told me AVID would expand my view on higher education, and in my first year, I was surprised to see so many colleges out there.”
Both Napa Valley and Calistoga’s Unified School Districts have incorporated AVID programming at many grade levels. While program costs are largely covered by district resources, grants from NVCF have provided invaluable funding to train school staff in AVID practices and underwrite college campus visits for students.
“It enables kids to have an immersive experience, stay in the dorms, and feel what it’s like to be a student at a university. It’s huge,” says Sarah Knox of NVUSD.
The program’s impacts are remarkable. In NVUSD schools, AVID students had higher attendance records, and 95% applied for and were accepted into a 2- or 4-year college. In Calistoga, college-bound students had their pick of schools with 50 UC and 105 CSU acceptances for 23 seniors.
When her acceptance emails started rolling in, Mariela was overjoyed. “I was so excited when I found out I got into all of my CSU choices.”