On March 21, College Possible Oregon executive director Emielle Nischik had the opportunity to testify before the Oregon House Committee on Higher Education at the state capitol in Salem. She was joined by Tayma Miguel, a student at Portland State University, and Yulissa Flores-Lopez, a College Possible Oregon student alumna and current high school program coordinator. Emielle, Tayma and Yulissa testified in support of Oregon House Bill 3120, which would establish a competitive grant fund managed by the Higher Education Coordinating Committee to support college access and success organizations. Funding from HB 3120 would allow community-based organizations like College Possible Oregon to expand their scope of work and maintain sustainable growth to support more Oregon students.
In her testimony, Emielle shared her recent experience as a part of the Joint Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education. “What we heard directly from students is how much they need and appreciate the throughline of support that programs like College Possible, Avid, Trio and many others provide,” said Emielle. State funding and investment in college access and success organizations would ensure that programs like College Possible could continue their commitment to serving students to and through college.
College Possible Oregon scholars Tayma and Yulissa reflected on the positive influence that College Possible had on their college journeys. “For six years, I had a built-in support system that was only a phone call or text away — a coach who was consistently there to provide guidance, compassion and reassurance. Having a coach listen to the things I was experiencing really made a difference. They could relate, suggest different resources, and help me rethink how I was viewing the situation. I know this helped me continue in college and graduate,” said Yulissa.
On April 8, College Possible student alumnus Salvador Garcia Lopez and Oregon State University student Zhi Liang testified before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means at the state budget hearing in Portland. Both Salvador and Zhi shared the consistent, meaningful support that their College Possible coaches provided at every stage of their journeys.
College Possible Oregon is eager to see HB 3120 passed in support of College Possible Oregon and other college access and success organizations. Throughout April and May, HB 3120 will be presented for budget consideration at several Ways and Means Committee hearings throughout the state.
• Friday, April 21 (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.) Roseburg location
Umpqua Community College, 1140 Umpqua College Rd, Roseburg, OR 97470
• Friday, April 28 (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.) Ontario location
Four Rivers Cultural Center, 676 SW 5th Ave, Ontario, OR 97914
Note: Ontario, Oregon is in the Mountain Time Zone
• Wednesday, May 3 (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.) Salem location
Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St. NE, Room H-178, Salem OR 97301
All hearings will be open to the public and members of the press. Interested community members can monitor the progress of HB 3120 in the coming weeks. Session recordings can be watched on the Oregon Legislative Information System website.