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College Possible Minnesota honors two exemplary AmeriCorps members

Every year at our June end-of-year service celebration, College Possible Minnesota recognizes and celebrates two AmeriCorps members who’ve remarkably exemplified College Possible’s core values through their work and dedication to our mission and their service to the community. AmeriCorps and College Possible leadership team members selected one first-year coach and one second-year coach to be recognized for their outstanding work this year.

We are thrilled to announce this year’s recipients of the College Possible Minnesota AmeriCorps Member of the Year Award: Morgan Henry and Riley Nelson. Here’s why their peers selected them for this prestigious honor.

Celebrating Morgan’s service to College Possible students

“Morgan has built such a strong community at Como Park this year. She’s always actively working to support students above and beyond expectations!”

“Morgan really cares about her College Possible job and overcame a lot of obstacles this year, including relocating from out of state to join us in this role. Despite this hurdle, she is always approachable to other College Possible staff and the students she serves.”

“Morgan goes above and beyond each day when it comes to supporting students. This work is personal for Morgan, since she was a former student herself. She always puts students first, sometimes even skipping her lunch so she can help a student through a problem. Morgan had one of the largest cohorts of any flagship coach and found ways to connect with 60+ students through creative means. Morgan would stand in the hallways during passing time to see which students she could catch for a quick reminder or conversation. She’s an exceptional coach and a wonderful leader, always serving others! While she may not seek recognition for the work she does, she is more than deserving of this honor.”

“Morgan always carries a positive attitude, despite the challenges of navigating a massive caseload as a first-year coach. She shares resources and consults regularly with fellow coaches to problem solve and troubleshoot across all different parts of the coach experience. She also took the role of leading a breakout session in a tough topic. Despite being a first-year coach, Morgan has made the College Possible office a more welcoming and productive place for both newcomers and returning coaches.”

“I’ve seen Morgan support her peers as well as students. She possesses great advocacy for students by always asking questions and gathering new ideas. She creates a warm environment, allowing others to voice their opinions and experiences.”

“The way Morgan and students interacted with and supported one another at LAUNCH clearly showed the amazing relationships she’s built this year. It’s apparent she’s been a stellar example of stepping outside one’s comfort zone, committing to College Possible’s mission, and seeing through a term of service with kindness and dedication.”

“She’s such a sunny person, is super friendly, and goes above and beyond for the students she serves.”

“I have seen this service member go above and beyond her work to support students and be a part of her peers’ growth!”

Congratulating Riley on an impactful AmeriCorps service year

“Riley has been a role model and resource for all other coaches throughout the year. Her organizational insights, commitment to student success, drive to create and share resources with other coaches, and guidance on how to approach difficult situations have proven invaluable for me as a coach adjusting to the role. For these reasons, I believe Riley would be highly deserving of this honor.”

“Riley has enriched our organization in countless ways! Through the resources she’s designed, the creative outreach methods she employs, and the role modeling of how to organize data, Riley has been one of the most impactful coaches I have seen in my past four years. She is a fantastic mentor to new coaches and showed wonderful initiative in creating partnerships with school staff to support students’ needs. While Riley may not seek recognition for the work she does, she is more than deserving of this honor.”

“Riley willfully stepped into the role of a leader amongst her AmeriCorps peers. She has actively created new resources and materials, which she has presented and shared to other coaches. Many look to Riley for guidance on time management and organizational structures, as well as her expertise in student outreach and lesson planning.”

“Riley goes above and beyond for her student cohort and her fellow coaches. Her attention to detail and eye for organization makes her a leader among AmeriCorps members, as she not only has these talents, but shares her wealth of knowledge and resources whenever possible as well. She is one of the first people I go to when I need coach input, and I am consistently comforted by her enthusiasm, candor, and supportive nature.”

“Riley provided many materials on tracking and staying organized that made the lives of many first and second-year members so much easier. She was also someone I could go to if I had any questions or wanted to talk through things with another perspective.”

“Riley consistently exceeds College Possible’s core values of teamwork, growth and innovation, and impact. She is a reliable and dependable coach for all flagship coaches and the leadership team. Riley strives to ensure that both her cohort of students and other flagship students receive high quality resources. She shares many of her personally-created resources, such as ACT slide decks, student handouts, and coach-facing materials, with her flagship colleagues throughout the school year. Riley also facilitated many trainings this year to support her colleagues on topics including organization, student trackers, and effective individual coaching strategies.”

“At the beginning of the year, one of Riley’s goals for herself was to grow into more leadership positions and be an advocate for herself and students. It has been a pleasure to watch Riley not only achieve but exceed this goal. Riley continues to provide meaningful and intentional feedback around programming and curriculum, which has been instrumental in program delivery and sequencing. She always anticipates student misconceptions and brainstorms resources students may need to support them through their learning. ”

“Riley has been one of the most organized and active coaches at College Possible this year. She is a leader for first-year coaches and has set an example of quality work ethic that holds all of us to a higher standard. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Riley these past two years. She is an incredible coach and an even more incredible person.”

“Riley has incredible connections with the students she serves. They are so engaged in the program, and that’s in large part due to the atmosphere Riley has created. Riley is also always willing to step in and support with other things going on at College Possible — Give to the Max Day, end-of-year planning, coach retreat sessions, etc. She’s a huge part of College Possible Minnesota.”

If committing to a year of AmeriCorps service at College Possible to help empower the dreams of students in your community sounds like time well spent, explore our open positions today!

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