Antioch program helps students prepare for college, future

Photo: WKRN

ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — Teens with troubled pasts are now on the straight and narrow and pointed toward college because of a special program at Antioch High School.

The school’s AVID program, or Advancement via Individual Determination, has been recognized as a National Demonstration School. AVID is a program that helps underrepresented students in the academic middle succeed in high school and get access to four-year colleges.

The program’s coordinator, Elaine Plummer, teaches students how to make their college applications stand out. They even apply for scholarships in her class.

It isn’t just about getting them into college, but how they’ll do once they get there.

Plummer works with them all four years and gets to see them graduate.

She has dozens of college acceptance letters hanging in her classroom, some as close as Lipscomb and Belmont and others as far as Kansas State. Plummer said it’s all because they start early.

“We work with our middle schools to identify students that would fit the profile and then we got to the middle schools and we interview those kids and they decide,” said Plummer. “One year a girl said I’ll tell you right now I’m going to ditch the binder so on her interview form we wrote no because you have to be committed.”

They join the list of 150 AVID National Demonstration Schools in the United States, the first AVID National Demonstration School in Tennessee. The school was selected through an application process, screening, and review, which included a site visit.

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