DALLAS – There are some big things happening at Dallas Independent School District’s A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School. The southern Dallas campus is getting special recognition for helping to make students college and career ready.

Many of the students are finding success through a program called AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination. They are pushing past circumstances to see possibilities, like the possibility of becoming the first in their family to go to a college or university.

“They start you off by teaching you how to organize, how to plan. How to get the fundamentals, the basics there," Senior high school student Ivan Reyes said.

Reyes and his classmate, Alexandrea Spencir, are among 25 percent of teens on the campus who will be first-generation university students. Many students are working hard to beat the odds.

AVID trains teachers to give those students concentrated academic resources and social support needed to become college and career ready.

“They push every student to become the best at what they can be, even if the student can’t see it for themselves,” Spencir said.

New Tech just learned it has been selected to become the first national demonstration AVID high school.

“As principal of this school, I’m charged with making sure students perform at high levels,” said Principal Jameile Choice. “Receiving this distinction really solidifies that we are meeting that standard.”

The distinction means educators from across the country will come to New Tech to learn best practices for college preparatory success.

So far, the AVID training’s preparing Reyes for Texas A&M. Spencir says she will be heading to school in Utah.