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Soccer, College Visits & A Culture of Support: Why This Alum Loved Avance

Jose Chitala Avance Alum

Jose Chitala graduated from Avance in 2015 and is now a member of our Academia Avance free, public middle and high school team. Jose answers our questions, in his own words, on what he loved most about his high school experience, who influenced him, and how our LIfe Prep Program created opportunities and experiences he could not have found on his own: 

When and why did you attend Avance?

I attended Avance starting from the 9th grade until I graduated high school in 2015. I completed my entire high school education at Avance. I was very excited to attend a school that was nearby where I lived, as my elementary and middle school had been located a little farther away. But what I was most looking forward to was participating in the sports program because a family friend had shared with me that playing soccer at his high school (Avance) was a lot of fun. It worked out well, as I played varsity soccer for 4 years and participated in the Ragnar Relay race.

What is your favorite memory of Avance?

My favorite memory of Avance was my 11th grade college visit trip. My classmate and I were able to visit a number of universities in the San Jose/Santa Cruz areas. It was very exciting to obtain this new perspective about college and to travel with all of my classmates. It was also inspiring to receive tours from Avance alumni who were attending those universities. 

Who was your favorite teacher at Avance and why?

My favorite teacher at Avance was Ms. Shirley Huang, who was my history teacher during the 11th grade. I liked Ms. Huang’s class because due to her demeanor and teaching style, the class flowed very smoothly in terms of the engagement and behavior of my classmates. She was also very supportive of me as an individual even before I reached her class, as a 9th and 10th grader. Her confidence went a long way in helping me succeed in the 11th grade AP US History class and leading me to pass the AP exam and obtain college credit

Did Avance prepare you for what came next?

Without a doubt, at Avance I definitely grew not just as an academic but as a person. Academically, my largest growth was in the areas of Math and English Language Arts. As a person, college trips and internship/volunteer opportunities at Avance broadened my horizons for the future in ways that I don’t believe I would have experienced on my own. This familiarity with colleges and different work environments built my confidence to attend college 330 miles away from home at the University of California, Berkeley. But overall, Avance staff and faculty create a culture of support and confidence-building, creating a bond with each individual student that creates a lot of positive energy and self-confidence to any student. This was my experience.

About Academia Avance

Avance sets the standard for public charter school excellence via rigorous college and career preparation that inspires a lifetime of learning and leading. We place quality education first, and we deeply value a professional culture of community, diversity and fiscal and social responsibility. Enrolling now for grades 6-12. Join us

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