This great story is by Yulissa Flores-Lopez, who served as an AmeriCorps coach from 2019-2020.
I personally never imaged how far my journey with College Possible would go. When College Possible first came to Oregon, my high school was chosen as one of its trial schools. I didn’t exactly know what the program was, but being a first-generation student and with a name like “College Possible” I knew I had to sign up!!
Growing up I knew I needed to go to college, but I didn’t know what the process of getting into a school was like. I just assumed that I would pick a school and attend it for four years. I mean, that’s what elementary, middle and high school was like, how would going to a university be any different? Well… I was dead wrong, I had to take the ACT, apply to multiple schools, file the FAFSA, not just once, but four times (ridiculous), search for scholarships, the list goes on and on. Deep down I think I sort of, kinda knew this, but it was hard to believe and it’s a lot for a 17/18 year-old to consider.
Thankfully, I was in College Possible, and with the help of my coach Ashley, I was able to get my foot in the door, and begin my freshman year at Portland State University. As a college student, I continued to get support from my coaches Yvette, Maria and Gina. They helped me both academically and personally. If it wasn’t for them I am not sure if I would have graduated in four years. It has now been seven years since I first enrolled in the program.
As a college graduate, I not only became an alum of PSU, but also of College Possible.
Before graduation, like other soon-to-graduate students, I was left with one question: “what now?” As I was completing my last term, I had to think about what I would be doing after college. I didn’t know what I was going to do or where my life would take me, but it seems like whenever you’re not searching an opportunity comes your way. For me it was College Possible once again! One of my PSU mentors sent me a link to the College Possible application. I received the email at the start of 2019, and with the help of my coach, I was able to create my résumé, practice for the interview and prepare for the next big step in my life. With her help, I am now on the other side of the program.
My journey with College Possible has been a long and unforgettable one. Although I knew college was for me, I never imagined that I would actually have a bachelor’s degree. I never imagined that I would actually walk at commencement. I never imagined that I would lead the path for my younger siblings in higher education. I never imagined that this would be my reality. I can’t help but be thankful and appreciate this program for helping make all this possible.