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AVID alumnus Scott Rankin shared his story of learning and growth in a letter to AVID Australia National Director Claire Brown.

In it, he describes overcoming obstacles and proving naysayers wrong through his determined application of AVID strategies and with the incredible support of his mother. Read Scott’s letter below.

Hello Claire,

I am the man who started AVID from Perth and then my mum continued to teach me AVID and Cornell through my QLD education and TAFE. I am the young man with the disability and IQ of 71 that showed the teachers and TAFE anyone can reach dreams.

I finished year 12 at Seton College Mt Gravatt Brisbane in 2017 with my QCE 20 points.

Went on to South Bank TAFE did Cert II. I did online short Courses at Charles Sturt University in 2020 that are free kind of in-service courses for people who can do them fairly quickly but as they’re self-paced they suited me.

I lost my dad to his cancer in 2019 and my mum and I moved to Wagga Wagga NSW.

Once in Wagga I did a short computer basic course at the Riverina Community College and then while here I joined every sports thing available to meet the community.

I have just secured a job at the Wagga Base Hospital Cardiac Catheter Unit as an Operation Room Assistant and will also be in house trained into their supply ordering in the unit as well.

I just finished doing a joint running fund-raising for men’s mental health at the OASIS Gym Friday night. I am hoping to start the online course CSU free short course on the heart so it will help me know the stents and other things around my job.

I would still love to do my Cert III in Laboratory Tech but I still struggle with maths but I won’t give up and get there one day.

Wagga is great and I will always know AVID and the great Cornell note taking is still my most favourite part of getting educated. It saved me through living life with brain lesions in my hippocampus and other areas because it is what helps my short term to long term memory just like exercising helps people to be fit. Hope that made sense.

Well, I have AVID to share with all my doctors and the people that come into my life and say, “How can you get so far with an IQ of 71?” AVID and Cornell note taking is the key to dreams. Look at where I am!

I am all for opening the eyes of what is inside us that learns to come out through AVID and Cornell note taking as these are really the authentic tools of our hidden potential.

I am never afraid to learn now and nothing is seen as too hard because AVID and Cornell note taking has been like brain plasticity rehab for my hippocampus and no one ever knew its true academic potential beyond a classroom.

My mum is an AVID advocate. My mum goes on and on to everyone to get on board with AVID and my cousin is a teacher and thinks it is great too. Mum says AVID and Cornell note taking could be in after-hours tutoring services, it should be within NDIS as it is lifelong learning tool that’s transferable into complex cooking, higher thinking in lots of ways.

Mum believes AVID and Cornell should be applied into the brain injury units as well so look out world there is a new and more powerful way of thinking. You know my mum is a forward thinker as you know and I am very lucky to have her as my mother.

Have a great day.