The AVID curriculum is in only four other Wisconsin high schools.

AVID – from California, is in over 3,000 schools nationwide.  Developed in California it has 98% graduation rates and 95% who go onto college.

TOPs is modeled on Sponsor-A-Scholar in Milwaukee which also has 95%+ graduation rates and 98% going onto college.

Funding commitment of $2.6 million over 5 years to the Boys & Girls Club, representing 50 % of the cost of the program over 5 years.

$1.5 million will come from the Burke Foundation and $1.1 million from Mary Burke

Program particulars

Curriculum: The AVID program is a rigorous in-school elective that students take throughout high school to improve their study skills, grades, time management, reading and writing skills to better prepare them for college.  

Mentoring: Based on the success of Sponsor-A-Scholar in Milwaukee, each student will be matched with a mentor in their sophomore year (freshman year for Boys & Girls Club students not enrolled in AVID).  Mentors will be expected to meet with their student at least once a month.  Mentors will be trained and be focused on helping the student successfully complete high school, explore career options and enter college.

Tutoring: Tutors will be available two days per week in the AVID class and also after school.  B&G Club will recruit both volunteer and paid tutors and facilitate their training.  B&G Club has also allocated $300 per year per student to help MMSD underwrite the cost of tutors.

Field Trips: Students will participate in 4-6 field trips throughout the year and the summer.  These will be focused on college and career exploration.

Summer Job Internships: Each student in the program will have the opportunity to participate in a summer job internship starting in the summer of their junior year.  They will be required to graduate from the B&G Club Job Ready program before starting on the job.  Students will be asked to put 25% of their after-tax earnings aside to help pay for college expenses.

Scholarships: Each student whose family income is less than 250% of federal poverty guidelines will receive a scholarship of $2,500 for a 2 year college (including technical college) or $5,000 for a four year college.  The scholarship will be paid out over the course of the academic program.  Students must be enrolled in TOPS/AVID through high school graduation to be eligible.

College guidance/applications: Through the high school guidance counselors all students get assistance in knowing what courses they need to take to be ready for college and what different schools require.  They will get extra help in researching college choices, filling in applications and applying for scholarships and financial aid.

Assessment: Monitoring of high school grades, high school graduation rates and college success will be instrumental in making sure that the program is working.  The AVID national organization requires comprehensive data collection while students are in high school.  B&G Club will continue to track outcomes after high school since disbursement of scholarship money will be tied to college enrollment and passing grades.