I grew up very poor, and it was always my parents’ dream to have me go to college. During high school, my mom was frequently in the hospital, and my dad was always busy caring for her. Simply going to class often felt like a huge challenge. I felt like there was no reason to believe that my situation was going to improve; I went to bed each night on a mattress on top of empty milk crates in our dining room. Nearly all our clothes came from donations or charities. The idea that college would change anything felt like an empty promise. I had been in several programs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, but there were not any that I made meaningful connections with.
However, that changed once my parents learned about College Possible and encouraged me to sign up. Meetings with my coaches were unlike any other program I’d been in before. Now I had people who were interested in me as a person and always willing to listen. They were able to adjust their lessons based on how I learned and what I wanted to know. Most of all, having a coach who came from a background similar to mine who earned a college degree gave me hope. Eventually, I completed my degree in political science with a minor in leadership and public policy, and I often thought about my coaches and the impact they had on me.
I wanted to have that same relationship with students the way my coaches did. Paying it forward and being a resource students can go to sounded like an amazing opportunity. I wanted to show others that things can get better, and sometimes all it takes is reaching out to someone. Being a coach has been so rewarding because I’m able to see how my advice and actions help others the way my coaches helped me. With all that said, I’m thrilled to announce that I will be returning for another year of service as a college success coach. I’m looking forward to building on the progress we’ve made and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of my students.
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, join us at one of our upcoming information sessions to learn more. Register today!
This story was written by Sophia Magisana, an AmeriCorps member for College Possible Omaha.