Dej, a 2021 graduate of Roosevelt High School, is currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Dej first learned about College Possible when members of the staff and AmeriCorps coaches stopped by her school. Although Dej is a second-generation college student, she recognized the value that College Possible brings and through it would be a good opportunity for her to help prep for college.
Without College Possible, Dej says that her motivation to apply to college would have wavered. The knowledge that her coach brought to the college application process helped tremendously, “I could not see myself applying to colleges on my own, or even knowing what to do, what loans and payment options are available and other related decision making,” said Dej. “So, I think that without College Possible, I would’ve been lost and the road to college would be a lot more challenging.”
Transitioning as a high school senior in a virtual learning environment to an in-person college student “was definitely a hard transition, especially just navigating my high school life as well as college life, with the pandemic on top of that and distance learning and still trying to navigate everything,” said Dej. Dej really appreciated the care her coach showed, continuing to reach out and make sure she was still on track with her schoolwork while maintaining good work-life balance.
One specific memory Dej had was when her coach helped her figure out her finances. “In my first year I was struggling a lot, financially, trying to figure out ways to pay for college. My coach really helped make me feel comfortable with talking about it; finances in general aren’t really talked about and I was embarrassed to talk about it, but she just showed me there’s no shame in it and helped me come up with a solution.”
Dej is on track to graduate from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a degree in sociology in the spring of 2025. While she has no specific plans after graduating, her goal is to be happy, with a stable income, pursuing things she loves after college.