Written by Austin Dahl, Advisory Board Chair
As the chair of the Advisory Board for College Possible Washington, I would like to introduce the advisory board to the larger community, explain our role and how we serve College Possible Washington. We are a group of twelve passionate volunteers, from various professional backgrounds and experiences, who believe in the mission of the organization: When students have an equitable path to a college degree, they will thrive and will make our entire community better.
The board of advisors is local to the Washington office and serves a different role than the board of directors for College Possible’s national organization. The national board’s duties include governance, oversite, mission, and strategy, as well as fiscal and legal responsibilities for the organization, all of which are typical duties of a board of directors. The local board of advisors, while interested in those topics, tends to focus on more tactical and practical issues impacting our local College Possible Washington site.
We are cheerleaders, confidants, mentors, advisors, thought partners, generous financial supporters, and helping hands. We introduce the staff to donors and program officers of corporations and foundations, we help procure venues for an event, and we bring fruit salad to a potluck. We also host and attend fundraisers, we mentor the coaches or staff, we review proposals, and we move office furniture – wherever our expertise, time, connections, or elbow grease is useful, we help where it is needed.
There are numerous examples of ways in which our board has actively supported the College Possible Washington site. For example, in the past year, College Possible Washington hosted an event at the Amazon Spheres – an amazing location – which was secured because of a board member’s connections. Another board member paired up with one of the AmeriCorps coaches to emcee at a successful trivia night fundraiser at a local brew house. In the upcoming year, the board is broadening the one-on-one mentoring program with the AmeriCorps coaches. We are pairing up coaches with advisory board members to do one-on-one mentoring – giving professional and career coaching to people early in their careers – as well helping to run a professional development day. In the Spring, we will be helping to host and participating in another trivia night fundraiser.
One of the things I’m most excited about in the year ahead is the site visits to three of our participating high schools. It is an opportunity for the board members and donors to meet the coaches serving students and to see the impact College Possible is making on their lives. If you are interested in attending as a donor, please send us an email at WAinfo@CollegePossible.org.