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College Possible AmeriCorps members reflect on a robust service year

Group Photo Of 2022-2023 AmeriCorps Members At End Of Year Celebration. Members Are Holding Superlative Awards. From Left To Right: Aubrey, Dayana, Stacey, Maria, Yulissa, Sabrina, Sophia, Emilio, And Dorothy.

Last month, College Possible Omaha bid farewell to most of our dedicated AmeriCorps members. However, it’s not merely a “goodbye” that we exchange, but rather a heartfelt, “See you later!” The 2022-2023 group of 12 dedicated AmeriCorps members worked diligently, providing consistent support to students on their journeys to and through college.

Empowering students and fueling personal growth

This year’s cohort of coaches and their focus on empowering students and fostering personal growth was truly remarkable. They committed themselves to guiding students, helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. We are deeply grateful for their invaluable contributions and look forward to witnessing the positive influence they will continue to have within their communities.

During their service, coaches enhanced their career skills through a range of professional development opportunities held throughout the year including speed networking, a financial basics panel, a graduate school panel, and professional headshots. Now, many of them are pursuing careers.

Future plans and memorable experiences: Coaches share their journey

College success coach Sophia expressed that she learned a lot and got to help others during this service year and will be returning for another year of service in the fall. Sophia says, “My favorite memory was when a student told me over the phone that they always feel better when they talk to me.”

College access coach Dayana will also be returning for another year of service in the fall. Dayana says, I enjoyed networking with professionals who are pursuing the career field I am interested in working in one day.”

Stacey, a second-year College Possible AmeriCorps coach, will be seeking employment in education at a local Omaha college or university. She says, “I think my favorite memories come from the college success team bonding outings. We did so many fun things, like painting pumpkins, getting tea, and going out for a meal together. Being able to sit together and talk is my favorite thing to do, so these times together will always stay with me.”

College access coach Dorothy found this year to be a little different, seeing as she had to coach both juniors and seniors, but she appreciated working with both classes to be able to give the juniors a glimpse of what they can expect in the fall as they prepare for college. She says, “My favorite memory was helping students register for tuition-free early college classes through Metro CollegeNow. Students were very excited to take advantage of the resources available to them and share information. I was glad to have knowledge of general education and transferring college credits to guide students through choosing classes. Some students even referred their friends, (who are not in College Possible) to me for help registering for Metro classes!” Dorothy will be returning to continue her service in the fall.

College access coach Jerry found his service year to be incredibly fulfilling. He says, “I had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others and contribute to causes that I deeply care about. I witnessed the power of collaboration and the incredible things that can be achieved when people come together for a common purpose. One of the most rewarding aspects of my year of service was the relationships I formed with the individuals I had the privilege to serve. Their resilience, courage, and gratitude inspired me daily and reminded me of the importance of empathy and compassion.” Also during his year of service, Jerry gained professional skills that he will bring to his new job as a college admission counselor at Central College.

“This is my first year as a program coordinator with College Possible, and I feel that I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been able to work with our coaches this year. Our motto this year has been ‘small but mighty’ and man, have they been mighty! Despite challenges this year, our coaches went above and beyond to serve students, to answer their questions, and to help them find their path. They became subject matter experts on all things college access and success, and expertly used their resources to gain the knowledge they needed, and then BECAME resources to students and even to one another. It’s been amazing to watch our coaches flourish this school year, and to form bonds with one another that will last a lifetime. I’m still in deep denial that the service term has come to a close,” shares Christina Jelinek, college access program coordinator.

This year’s AmeriCorps crew was absolutely amazing! We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. A huge thank you for all their hard work and endless support for the students in the Omaha metro area!

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