College Possible AmeriCorps members serve under-represented students on their journey to obtaining a college degree. Behind the scenes, our college access and success program team supports coaches with a robust curriculum, training, and professional development.
Our college access program is committed to achieving two primary objectives: first, increasing the number of students served, and second, meeting goals for our partnering schools. Coaches and staff on the college access side utilize activities such as informational sessions, parent-facing newsletters, and refer-a-friend programs to meet their goals. The access program is highly interactive and effectively embodies our mission to create a meaningful impact. “Being a coach at College Possible goes beyond working with students. In my role I meet with students, and I also interact with teachers, counselors, administrators, college reps, and parents,” says second-year access coach Aubrey Rawles.
We also encourage current AmeriCorps members to consider returning to our program for additional professional development opportunities. Being a second-year or returner coach is an excellent way to continue making a positive impact on College Possible students. “My favorite part about this position is getting to know a wide range of students, hearing about their stories, and establishing their goals for the future. Every day I am amazed by the students I serve and all that they are accomplishing,” says returner success coach Angel Martinez.
Success coaches assist college students by providing resources for finances, resumes and cover letters, time management, career planning and FAFSA assistance. They also build relationships with students already enrolled in classes or on the path of re-enrolling. “I enjoy working with students and helping them edit their resumes and personal statements. I am proud of my students being go-getters,” says college success coach Yulissa Vargas-Salinas.
Serving on the college success team allows coaches to dig deeper into the work of higher education while having opportunities to grow professionally. Coaches create a professional development goal that they work on with their supervisors and peers to help them get closer to their long-term career aspirations. “This ensures each coach gets the professional development that is most beneficial to them and their unique goals,” says college success program coordinator Liz Kurtz. Whichever area coaches serve, college access or college success, they have the full support of the program team behind them. “Ultimately coaches need to feel empowered in order to implement their knowledge and experience into transparent, relationship-focused coaching sessions.”
During a service year, the focus of actions with students shifts from simply gaining experience to creating lasting memories. These memories can have a profound impact on our coaches’ career aspirations, motivation, and sense of hope.
We are building a series of College Possible AmeriCorps alumni stories to share with the College Possible community. If you’d like to share how your service experience has impacted you, confirm your interest.