Alexander Sánchez, a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, first learned about College Possible Minnesota through AmeriCorps’ recruitment website. Alex was planning to move to Minneapolis and a friend suggested he look into doing a year of service with AmeriCorps. “As I read the job description for a College Possible coach, I knew I would be a great fit and I was super excited to somehow be involved with College Possible,” said Alex.
As a 2021 graduate from Lancaster Bible College, Alex knows the importance of having support during the college application process. “My main motivation was that I knew what it was like to feel lost in the world of college applications, as well as not being able to afford college while attending. I want to be a part of what motivates students to see that they can go to college and that they can succeed even if the entire system is against them.”
As a coach at College Possible, Alex works with a small cohort of students, which means he can connect with them more frequently and more deeply. This year, one student in Alex’s cohort was unsure if they would be able to pursue college, believing that their grades weren’t high enough to be accepted. Coming from a long line of college graduates, Alex knows the importance of having a college degree. So he sat down with the student, and together, they created a college list in which Alex encouraged them to include their dream school. “They told me they wanted to attend the University of St. Thomas, but wanted to go through Dougherty Family College first” said Alex. “We focused on making a great college essay and getting letters of recommendation that really showcased the whole student, rather than just what their GPA said about them.” Right after Thanksgiving, they celebrated the student’s acceptance into Dougherty Family College!
In interacting with students, Alex learned that no dream is too big, and no hurdle is too tall. “Students are more resourceful than they believe they are at times, and when paired with a good set of teachers, anything is possible. It’s our job to show students that, while grades are important, they aren’t the end-all-be-all of college admissions. Showing colleges your entire self, rather than just your grades, is infinitely helpful in reaching your college goals.”
According to Alex, “Without College Possible, not only would students be left without the extra support they need navigating college applications, but they’d also lose out on the first-hand anecdotes that near-peer college coaches provide. College Possible is important, not only because it helps students get into college and succeed in college, but also because it gives them a chance to meet people who walked in their steps and managed to succeed. Showing students that college is, in fact, possible is instrumental in them believing that they can make it through college.”