Students in AVID and Business Skills are now aware of the possibilities after high school


Celine Lopez

During the mock interview, Junior Koletta Wooten is being interviewed for a job in her AVID class. These programs and clubs help students learn what it takes to be out in the real world.

Choosing classes as a freshman can determine a student’s path in education. Certain programs, such as AVID and Business Skills, can make those pathways clearer.

With AVID, students can set short-term and long-term goals and develop a plan for higher education.

Business Skills allows students to develop a work ethic and skills to prepare them for entering the workforce out of high school and college.

These two programs have shown a large growth in the current school year.

“Those two classes helped me to not be so afraid to talk to people and to open my eyes to what’s in front of me,” junior Erykah Smith said. “(They helped me) prepare for a job.”

AVID junior and seniors and a selected group from Business Skills experienced mock interviews on Jan. 29 by representatives from McDonald’s, the Stockton Chamber of Commerce, the Business Education Alliance and other local organizations.

The students received the experience of an actual job interview and helpful feedback.

“It made me realize I need to put in more work into what I say,” said senior Oscar Gonzalez, who is taking Business Skills for the first time this year and is in SkillsUSA.

The senior feels that he is awkward and he has trouble speaking with others.

Feeling hopeless, he even searched for jobs that don’t require talking to people, but he found they were all low-paying. “It made me realize you can’t really be in your own world. You have to get out in the world to achieve what you want.”

Now, after one semester, Business Skills has helped him boost his confidence. “It helped me know what to do to get there.”

The mock interviews helped students gain confidence. “It’s good to experience a real interview,” AVID senior Raiya Yon said.

“Most of the people in the class haven’t had a job or applied for one,” Alex Barajas, another senior in AVID, said. “So, going into the mock interviews, some people were nervous. It was actually really helpful.”

Three and four-year AVID students acknowledge the program’s improvement, which is largely due to district funding.

This funding allows the program to hire college tutors that come to the class and an work with students in college-style discussion groups.

With the lack of AVID mentors, which are four-year students, these tutors are key components with tutorials.

AVID students agree that the class has helped them define a clear path for college and made the application process easier. Selena Rivas, a senior, says that taking the class made her “think twice” about choosing a two-year college over a four-year college.

The practice of Cornell notes, tutorial request forms, and study skills prepared her for the transition.

“But not all kids are going to college,” Business Skills teacher Ron Tankersley said. “It’s career or college, not just college. There are vocational options. I give them both avenues.”

In his classes, Tankersley has his kids work on a 10 year plan, designing their high school and college paths and looking into two years of career.

“Their goals may change,” he said, “but the process doesn’t.”