AVID students ready for higher education

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Students in North Hardin program announce college choices

By Marty Finley

Drew Morgan plans to double major in psychology and criminal justice and run track at Lindsey Wilson College. He credits the Advancement Via Individual Determination program at North Hardin High School for getting him ready for college.


Morgan, 18, spent his senior year in the program, which helped him apply for colleges and scholarships and apply for financial age.

“It really develops you,” he said.

Morgan joined more than a dozen other AVID students for a ceremonial college signing Thursday in the library of North Hardin High School.

Schools chosen included Lindsey Wilson, Western Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Murray State University, St. Catharine’s College, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Georgetown College and Bellarmine University.

One student, Melleneze Ward, chose a separate path by announcing plans to join the U.S. Army.

AVID is a nationally recognized college readiness program described by North Hardin as an “elective course that provides a rigorous curriculum designed to increase academic learning and performance in preparation for college.”

Students in the program learn how to be leaders while working on note-taking and study skills, organization and teamwork, said Angela Cannon, an English teacher and coordinator of AVID at North Hardin.

Cannon said the older students, some of whom spend four years in the program, tutor younger members.

To be eligible for AVID, there must be an extenuating circumstance or obstacle hindering the student from making the jump to college on his or her own, she said. For example, Cannon said students may live in single parent households or be separated from family because of military deployments.

“These kids are definitely determined,” Cannon said. “Determination should be their middle name.”

Cannon said AVID seniors this year have generated roughly $228,000 in scholarship funding from the universities and colleges alone. Local scholarships and grants, she said, haven’t even been allocated yet.

“That’s nothing to shake a stick at,” Cannon said to the roomful of students.

Leslie Revels, 17, spent the past year in AVID and wants to major in speech pathology at WKU. Revels said she would recommend the program to others because it helps students shrug off procrastination and prepare for college with fewer headaches.

“I’ve been able to get stuff done,” Revels said.

Revels she said was attracted to WKU because of its study abroad program and the helpful nature of school officials.

Sydney Milton, meanwhile, plans to wear Kentucky blue next year and said she is fascinated with the success of the school’s cheerleading program. The 17-year-old said she would like to cheer for the team while in college.

She will be focusing on chemistry and pre-med once arriving and said AVID has helped clean up her study skills and given her the fortitude to handle pressure. Before AVID, she would start to break down when obligations mounted.

“It’s helped prepare me,” she said.

Cannon said she is very proud of the students and will miss working with them.

“We do become family here,” she said.

JohnHardin High Schoolalso has an AVID program, said Hardin County Schools spokesman John Wright.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.

AVID signing day at North Hardin High School

Bellarmine University
Morgan Barrick

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
Alyssa Sherrard

Georgetown College
Tashara Jackson

Lindsey Wilson College
Drew Morgan

Murray State University
Tayler Charles

St. Catharine’s College
Domeneque Taft

Western Kentucky University
Holly Yates
Leslie Revels
Tyra Dickerson

University of Kentucky
Aubrion Piersawl
Sydney Milton
Jessica Torres
CJ Morales

University of Louisville
Monazia Smith

U.S. Army
Melleneze Ward