By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The chatter around the room was mostly the result of nerves as the students gathered in McNary High School’s testing center waited to see how they would do. It was enough to sweep anyone up in the anticipation.
They were nervous to find out whether the school’s visitors, representatives from the Western Oregon University admissions department, would have good news.
“I just want to go to college. I have a part-time job and I feel like I work so hard for so little. I want to get my education right to make it better,” said Nataly Martinez, who hopes to study psychology in college.
For the past couple of years, each of the students in the room had taken part in either AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) or the WOU Project to increase their chances of acceptacnce to college on days like this one. But most expected to receive letters in the mail, not face-to-face acceptance or rejection.
“I’m nervous to see how it goes,” said Jessica Chavez. “AVID helped me a lot because I didn’t have anyone to help me with things like a college application. None of them had ever done it.”
AVID students are recommended for the program by teachers who see something special in the students’ potential, potential that might not be realized without an extra push from someone who cares.
“I got involved sophomore year when a teacher recommended me for it. I thought it would be a great opportunity,” said McNary senior Erik Cid. “My parents already talked with me about having high standards for myself and AVID just sort of pushed them higher.”
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