At College Possible, we want our AmeriCorps members to be set up for success and have a strategic plan before they finish their term of service. Professional development provides them with the opportunity to gain workplace experience and confidence in one’s skills and helps guide those decisions that will impact their future.
We kicked off our jam-packed month of opportunities on December 2 with a graduate school panel featuring Theresa Aguirre, Mari Meza Wiseman, and Marisa Mathews, a 2021–22 AmeriCorps alumna, as our panelists. Theresa Aguirre completed her bachelor’s degree in social work and is currently a master of social work student at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). Mari Meza Wiseman earned a master of science in organizational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in human resources management from UNO. Marisa Mathews earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology at North Dakota State University.
AmeriCorps members submitted questions to our panelists and received answers that could help them on their own graduate school journey. “There was a lot of information from the financial aspect and research, and the panel was very informative and eye-opening,” said Say M., a 2021–22 college success coach.
Another training offered to AmeriCorps members this month was a “Rock Your Profile and Resume” session with LinkedIn. The two LinkedIn representatives were Senior Member Support Consultant Brian Kokesh and Account Director Jacquelyn Peterson, who also serves on our advisory board, Champions for College Possible. Kokesh and Peterson offered our staff and coaches resume training that included tips on elevating their LinkedIn profiles.
At our training on personal finance, AmeriCorps members asked panelists questions about budgeting, saving plans, retirement planning, and more. Jasmine McCain, College Possible’s recruitment and training coordinator, moderated the panel, which included Maria Schwartz of Veridian Credit Union, Johnny Nesbit of FNBO, and Marco Ortiz of American National Bank, who is also a member of our advisory board.
To wrap up our trainings for the first half of the service year, we held a speed mentoring event with representatives who work in higher education. Ten mentors answered four to eight questions submitted by each AmeriCorps member. Question topics ranged from time management in graduate school to career choices and fields. Special thanks to the following higher ed professionals who participated in this mentoring session:
- Jonathan Acosta, AmeriCorps alum and Director, Advising at University of Nebraska Omaha
- Alyssa Askeland, AmeriCorps alum and Academic Advisor at University of Nebraska Omaha
- Natsumi Avedissian, Employer and Campus Coordinator at University of Nebraska Omaha
- Manger Baw, AmeriCorps alum and Thompson Learning Community Specialist at University of Nebraska Omaha
- Morgan Frushour, Spirit and Traditions Coordinator at University of Nebraska Omaha
- Daniela Rojas, Assistant Dean of Student Success at College of Saint Mary
- Meaghan Milburn, Champion for College Possible and Dean of Advising and Enrollment Services at Iowa Western Community College
- Edgar Montoya, College Possible graduate and Inclusive Business Leader & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator at University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business
- Shirleena Terrell, Assistant Director of Academic Support & Retention, TRIO Student Support Services at Creighton University
- Rachel Wachter, Community Navigator at Metropolitan Community College
This story was written by our 2022–23 AmeriCorps VISTA, T’Netha Bailey.