Boys & Girls Club of Dane County (BGCDC), in partnership with Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), have announced that 100 percent of its current AVID/TOPS senior class will graduate from high school and continue on to college in the fall. These students have secured more than $1.4 million in scholarships to support their college plans. The students, along with more than 400 parents, educators, and donors, will celebrate this achievement today at Gordon Dining & Event Center on the UW-Madison campus.
“College Signing Day is a one-of-a-kind event where we get to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our AVID/TOPS students who are enrolling into college. We are thrilled to see their hard work pay off and result in so many outstanding post-secondary options and scholarships,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college readiness program for elementary through higher education students. The system accelerates student learning, uses research based methods of instruction and provides meaningful and motivational professional learning. AVID is partnered with the TOPS (Teens of Promise) program through the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. TOPS provides full-time student coordinators in each of the four high schools, summer internships, after-school mentors, funding for more than 40 tutors during the elective course, and a variety of college and career field trips.
The program started in 2007 at East High School with 28 students. It now serves nearly 1,000 students. As the program has expanded, there have been consistently positive results. All 163 students being honored tonight attended the four MMSD high schools – La Follette, East, West, or Memorial – and are part of the AVID/TOPS program.
Last fall, Madison East High School was once again selected as a National AVID Demonstration School, a distinction given only to the top schools in the country implementing the college prep program. The recognition means that East High is a national model for the implementation of AVID.
“Congratulations to all of our AVID seniors. We are so proud of our students’ hard work and the futures they have ahead of them,” MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “I want to thank the Boys and Girls Club for this partnership and all of our MMSD AVID staff.”
The event includes hors d’oeuvres with more than 600 people in attendance, live entertainment, and advice from keynote speaker Dr. Jack E. Daniels III, who is the president of Madison College.
Prior to the event, the Boys & Girls Club will celebrate with community partners and donors. Some of the corporate donors and foundations being recognized at the event include Milio’s, Rennebohm Foundation, Van Holten’s, CUNA Mutual, First Business Bank, and Olson Toon.