Boys & Girls Club of Dane County celebrates students committing to college

MADISON (WKOW) — The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is celebrating a major accomplishment.

On Tuesday, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, in partnership with Madison Metropolitan School District, announced 100% of its current AVID/TOPS senior class will graduate from high school and continue on to college in the Fall.

AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) is a college readiness system that includes an elective course focused on organizational strategies, study skills, critical thinking, tutorial support, and career and college awareness.

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 students who are graduating from the program have secured more than $1,600,000 in scholarships to support their college plans. Michael Johnson, outgoing CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, had some advice for the graduates.

"Keep those grades up, surround yourself around positive people, and don’t go into a lot of debt," said Johnson. "You’ve got to work a little bit, don’t come out with a lot of debt."

The 201 students attended four MMSD high schools, La Follette, East, West, and Memorial.

In addition, The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County received an award from the AVID national office for outstanding leadership in creating college opportunities for students throughout the 11 years it has been operating.

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