Morgan Henry is a college graduate and a former student of the College Possible program. She’s also a former AmeriCorps service member, helping students achieve their dream of earning a college degree, just like she did. Originally from Portland, OR, Morgan comes from a limited-income, single parent household. Morgan’s mother wanted a better life for her children than the one she was able to provide for them and made it clear that college was the only option for her children once they had graduated from high school. As a first-generation college student, Morgan felt like she was at a loss for how to begin the process of finding her best-fit college and how to navigate standardized tests, the application process, and potential scholarships.
She thanks members of the College Possible leadership team for inspiring her to sign up and get involved in College Possible’s flagship program, connecting students with coaches working in their school. “I was told going to college was kind of the only route for me, but that made it really hard, because being a first-generation college student, I had no idea how to do that. So, when these recruiters came into my classroom, I knew that this was my chance. This was something that would help me get to where I think I’m supposed to go.”
Morgan credits her success to many things; one person who always stood behind her was her high school coach Dave. Matched to her coach in her junior year of high school, she was excited to discover that they would continue to work together through her senior year. “To have him support me, just to have a familiar face and he already knew my situation and how to support me, was so important.”
After graduating from Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR, Morgan decided that she wanted to pay it forward and support other students like her as an AmeriCorps coach with College Possible. She loved being a college success coach and said that being on the other side of things put a new perspective to the advice and support her coach had given her. “I had no idea the effort that he put in because it just seemed like he was on top of everything. There was a lot of strategy going into how they were trying to support students like me. Being a coach has also given me the patience to also put myself back into my high school shoes and be like, ‘Okay, I remember what worked for me, let’s try that and see if it’s working.’”
Morgan said that transitioning from a student to a coach has given her an advantage because she knew how she wanted to be treated as a student and what she would have wanted her coach to do for her. “There’s been a lot that I’ve been reflecting on the past few months; ‘How did I want this experience to be for me?’ and trying to shift it to fit the model as a coach.
“College Possible is important to me because I feel like this community has supported me since the very beginning, since my junior year of high school, and even now as a coach, I’m still receiving the same level of support. There have been moments in the process where I thought the people closest to me would support me, and that hasn’t always been the case, and so to have this organization be with me since the beginning and even now holds a special place in my heart.”
Did you know? You can support students and coaches like Morgan by making a gift today at CollegePossible.org/DonateMN