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Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 4:37pm.

WILMINGTON -- Not all young people have the means to go to college right out of high school. One education program in New Hanover County is finding ways help. Hoggard senior Catherine Stukes can now see college as a reality. She's been accepted to four universities and has received full scholarships to most of them. She owes much of her success, to the avid program. Stukes said, "I came in as a freshmen and I had a 2.9. Now as a senior I have a 3.8, and I've gotten into pretty much all the colleges I've wanted to get into, and I've also won many scholarships, so I think it's helped me significantly." The AVID program has been going on at Hoggard High School for the past four years. AVID -- formally called the Advancement Via Individual Determination program -- is designed to guide at risk students toward graduation and college. In many cases, the avid students find the support they need, to become the first in their families to go to college. AVID teacher Jon Rinka said, "These are kids that would not be high school dropouts, these are kids that may go through high school that may not find there way into college right away who may not know how to negotiate and navigate their high school courses to get into college." With the help of intense tutoring, test preparation and one-on-one interaction with teachers, students like Dominique Carlton is also on her way to college. Carlton said, "Being in here it helps me to stay focused and realize that I need this, I need avid to help me to go to college and do better in my classes." Rinka said, "To have that opportunity to get tutoring to help them in classes that they are struggling in is helping them a lot for their future in high school, so when they become a senior like me they can have the grades they need to get in the schools they want to and won't be disappointed." Five middle schools and three high schools offer the AVID program in New Hanover County. For more information contact Jessica Eliot, AVID County Coordinator: jmiragli@nhcs.k12.nc.us, 910-254-4304.

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