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Coach spotlight: Kyle’s Chicago AmeriCorps year of service

Kyle Smiling And Wearing A College Possible Chicago Shirt

Kyle smiling and wearing a College Possible Chicago shirtKyle always wanted to make a positive impact on his community. Through a year of AmeriCorps service with College Possible Chicago in 2022-2023, he was able to act on this vision  –  returning to support students at his former high school, Morgan Park.

“College Possible AmeriCorps service provided me with the opportunity to give back to my community as well as grow as an individual,” said Kyle. “It’s been great to be part of something bigger than myself that will have a lasting impact.”

Combining a passion for education with career-building skills

After graduating with his degree in clinical/community psychology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Kyle knew he wanted to pursue a career in school counseling. He looked for opportunities to combine his passion for education with his desire to gain first-hand skills that would aid him in his future profession.

When he heard about the coaching role at College Possible, he decided to apply. Now, more than a year later, Kyle is grateful for this experience because more than anything, it has reinforced his excitement about his career path. Not only did it equip him with valuable professional skills, but it also gave him first-hand experience within the education sector. “Working with my students at Morgan Park High School has made it clearer than ever that being in the education field supporting students is where I want to be,” he said.

As an AmeriCorps coach, Kyle met with high school seniors individually and through group sessions to help them draft college essays, submit financial aid and scholarship applications, and apply to their best-fit schools. For him, the most memorable moment of his service was seeing the culmination of his students’ hard work on College Decision Day, when students celebrate their college admission wins. “I was honored to know that I had a part in helping my students achieve these successes,” said Kyle.

Launching a career in school counseling after service

With his service year now complete, Kyle is excited to put the skills he learned at College Possible to use in the next stage of his career journey. This fall, he will start a position as a scholar coach for the Schuler Scholar Program at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, while working towards a master’s degree in school counseling at Chicago State University.

He credits College Possible with giving him the clarity and reassurance he needed in his next steps. As he advances further in his professional journey, he plans to continue serving as an active advocate for College Possible Chicago’s work, as he has seen the significant impact it has on students.

“During my time at College Possible, my confidence in myself grew tremendously,” said Kyle. “I look forward to staying connected and using this experience to more effectively support students in my future roles.”


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