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Getting kids to graduate high school is one challenge, but setting up students to succeed beyond graduation is a whole different animal.

The college preparatory program Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, is focused on what comes after students walk across the stage and turn their tassels at commencement. The nonprofit promotes college and career readiness to more than 1.5 million students across 44 states in about 5,000 schools every year.

The AVID program has been offered at O’Farrell Charter’s Middle School Academy since the 1990s, so co-hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn brought in Chuy Gomez, an AVID student at O’Farrell, plus AVID CEO Sandy Husk and Jill Anderson, the principal of O’Farrell, to talk about the tools students need to succeed beyond graduation.

Husk said it’s important to give students the confidence, not just the academic training, they need to move forward in the real world.

“I want those kids walking across the stage feeling fully empowered and prepared,” Husk said. “But it’s the whole package, it’s not just the credits.”

Lewis and Kohn also discuss San Diego Unified School District’s unusually high graduation rates, and the online credit recovery courses that are helping drive the boom.

Got thoughts, opinions or experiences with this? Call 619-354-1085 and leave your name, neighborhood and story so we can play the voicemail on future episodes.

Number of the Week

One-third: That’s the fraction of local students who end up enrolling in the San Diego Community College District. It’s also the number of students who can’t enroll in college-level reading, forcing them to take remedial courses.

What’s Working

AVID is what’s working, and this week’s guests explain how and why.

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