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Area middle-school students AVID to learn how to be a Tiger

Honors College hosts AVID students

Members of Towson U’s admission staff gave a presentation to area middle school students about how to get into college.

When was the last time you played “Four Corners?” Chances are, it was in middle school.

Recently, students from Aberdeen and Havre de Grace middle schools’ Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) programs did just that while learning what it’s like to be a Tiger from members of Towson University’s Honors College.

After a brief presentation from Towson’s undergraduate enrollment staff, six honors students spoke to the group of about 40 students, sharing their interests and why they chose Towson and their majors.

“Programs such as AVID gives local students a unique opportunity to hear from current college students,” said Fernandez. “This gives students not only ideas of what a education can offer them but all the opportunities the college offers, such as honors programs, internships, study abroad, ROTC, and so much more that most people even in college don’t know about.”

Aberdeen Middle School Principal and TU alumnus Anthony Bess, Ph.D., ‘98/’01 was pleased to return with his students to TU.

“As the current principal of AMS and the former principal of HdGMS, I can assure you that both schools are working very hard to provide students with meaningful options for the future, and the time spent on campus last Friday will only advance that agenda,” said Bess. “It was an eye-opening experience, and a much-needed dose of reality, at a critical point in their development.

“I will always value the time I spent at Towson University, both as an undergraduate and graduate student.  I graduated from Towson University with the skills and confidence needed to be successful in education; now it’s my mission to do the same for my students.”

The guests asked the Honors students about things they could do in college, ranging from playing ping-pong to joining the ROTC or athletics teams to how to get ready for college (practicing skills needed for potential majors and affording the tuition). One student asked about famous alumni; Cleveland Browns running back Terrance West, American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro and “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe got the biggest cheers.

“Some of these kids have never talked out loud about going to college; they’ve dreamed about it, but think it’s unattainable for them,” said Rennie. “When they come to Towson, we have the opportunity to show them that their dreams are within reach. Who better to motivate these young students than us, who were in their place not too long ago?”

Following the question-and-answer session, the middle-school students joined the Honors students for lunch at the all-you-can-eat buffet at West Village Commons.

AVID is a global non-profit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities, according to its website. The organization trains teachers to use research-based strategies and curriculum to help students develop critical thinking, literacy and math skills at all education levels.

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