An AVID learner

HB Independent

Perla Vidal didn't grow up being told she was going to attend college, but the 18-year-old will soon be the first in her family to attend.

Vidal never thought about college until her freshman year, when she was introduced to the Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, program, which helps students go to college.

Barely passing her classes, she couldn't get into the program immediately, but after readjusting her academic attitude, she was accepted her junior and senior year.

She said she wants to set the example for her cousins, nieces and nephews to make sure they go to college and help them wade through the complicated admissions process.

"They know I'm doing it as much for them as I am for me," she said.

Vidal plans on studying medicine to become a pediatrician to do missionary work in Spanish-speaking countries.

Growing up with parents with only basic English comprehension, Vidal said she knows the difficulties of being unable to fully communicate with others.

"I love helping people when they can't help themselves and making a difference in that small way," she said.

— Britney Barnes

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