At 8 o'clock Thursday morning a group of Lehigh High School freshmen got a tip on how to study for an exam from AVID teacher Peggy Leis.
"In essence," she said, "when you're going to study for this biology final, you should be able to look at your summaries and read through those summaries, and basically understand what's going to be on that test."
In the hallway leading to Leis's room were pointed flags hanging from the ceiling, sporting university logos, including UF, Stetson and FGCU.
Above her door was a large sign that said, "I am in Leis's class, and I AM going to college!"
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The program reaches out to students in the academic middle to increase motivation and learning.
AVID teacher, Monica Walker, says the school saw a need for the program.
She said, "We had a lot of students who could go to college and they were choosing not to, or maybe they didn't even think they had that choice to go, so bringing in the avid program ensured that students would know what options were available."
Senior Franklin Bui is passionate about performing arts. Before getting into the AVID program, his vision of a future in the arts took center stage, and he wasn't concerned with education.
"I don't think I'd be in school still if AVID wasn't in my life," Bui said. "I would probably try to pursue my career head-on, but it's definitely made me realize the importance of college and school and education."
But Bui says people sometimes misinterpret what AVID is all about.
"They think that it's a bunch of delinquents coming into a program - it's not. I feel like it's kids who see a future, who know that they want a future, but they don't know how to get there," he said.
The program opens the door to honors and advanced placement classes. Additionally, students can earn college credits while they're still in high school.
Senior Jenell Harvey learned about the program from a "60-minutes" video, and one of her teachers urged her to join.
She said, "Once I became informed, I thought, you know, I need to go to college, and if there's any chance of me increasing my chances, I'm gonna go for it."
AVID teachers at Lehigh recruit freshmen during the first quarter of the school year. Once students get in through an application and interview process, the program places them in more advanced courses.
The students must also sign up for a special AVID class each semester, which lends support. It provides a variety of tools - from learning organizational skills to working with tutors.
Teacher Peggy Leis said the program has been a success.
"They're working hard and you're not lowering expectations," she said, "and you're providing them with tough classes, and they're rising to the challenge."
Of those graduating from the program, most are first generation in their families to enter college. All 50 have been accepted to at least one four-year college.
Leis says it's easy to join the program, but hard to back out because it is a four-year commitment. She says she expects the school to have more than 80 AVID seniors next year.