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'I'm proud that all 16 of my AVID seniors were accepted to college,' said teacher Maren Black.

When he started high school, Isaiah Cook didn't see college in his future, but after two years in the AVID program at Oregon City High, he will graduate with a scholarship to Central Washington University and a plan to study sports science or sports management. He's the first generation in his family to attend a university.

COURTESY PHOTO: OCSD - Every student in Oregon City High School's first class of AVID graduates was accepted to college, and several received scholarships."AVID helped me clean up my act and stay on track to succeed," he said. "I'm really pumped about college."

AVID stands for Advancement via Individual Determination. The national program helps promising students from disadvantaged families build the academic, planning and organizational skills to be college-ready. Oregon City's program, launched four years ago, now serves students from grades 6 to 12.

"I'm proud that all 16 of my AVID seniors were accepted to college," said teacher Maren Black. "Several received scholarships as well. Their hard work is really paying off."

Most of her class will be the first in their family to attend college. They will pursue four-year degrees at schools across the Northwest, including the University of Oregon, Portland State, Oregon Tech and Western Oregon University. Many plan to start at a community college, taking advantage of free tuition from the Oregon Promise. They plan a wide range of careers from psychology and teaching to occupational therapy, marine biology and engineering.

"AVID gave me a sense of direction and made me realize how many choices I have," said Jonathan Servin Acosta, who will study nursing at Linfield College. "Step-by-step, I'll achieve my goal."

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