CHICAGO — It may surprise you that WGN’s June Teacher of the Month didn’t exactly ace high school or even embrace his own education early on. But now he channels that struggle to help his students take advantage of the opportunities he missed out on.
Quang Nguyen runs the AVID program at Curie High School. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. He steps in as early as freshman year and sticks with students all the way to graduation, and even beyond.
“We try to provide study strategies and skills for students to prepare them for college and also to persist throughout college as well to be successful members of society,’ Nguyen said.
“I transferred here junior year, and before I’d never thought about college at my old high school. It was never mentioned,” said student Jocelyn Campos. “But when I got here, AVID just completely opened my mindset to thinking about what I want to do with my future.”
Now Campos’ future includes the University of Illinois at Chicago. She’ll start at the university this fall.
“He would read my essays and go through them and make sure they are presentable, and I got a scholarship interview for that, so thank you,” she said.
Just like Nguyen, Campos will be the first person in her family to go to college.
“My parents are originally from Vietnam,” Nguyen said. “They immigrated here. They were very strict about my education. Unfortunately, I was a very reluctant student. I was like, I’d rather be social with my friends. And now looking back, I always try and encourage my students, you do have an opportunity to enrich yourself.”