We are thrilled to welcome our two newest members: Anna Brigden, our new college access program manager, and Sarah “Raph” Raphael, our new college success program manager! Both program managers previously served as AmeriCorps members, and we are excited to have them rejoin our team at College Possible!
Before serving with College Possible, Brigden attended the University of Washington (UW), receiving a bachelor’s degree in gender, women and sexuality studies. During her time at UW, Brigden participated in the UW Dream Project, a program focused on college access and education equity through a social justice lens. After graduating, she chose to serve with College Possible because of her interest in educational equity and her strong connection to our mission. She believes all students should have equal access to the experiences and opportunities that come with a college education. During her time as a high school coach, specifically during the 2021–2022 school year, she witnessed the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on students’ education, personal growth and ability to make the transition to college. With her profound perspective as an AmeriCorps alumna and experience in accessibility work, she is excited to help develop trainings and resources for coaches that will enhance the student experience throughout the program.
Brigden is looking forward to building new relationships with the AmeriCorps members and finding new ways to support and learn from her coaches. “Serving an AmeriCorps term is a period of extreme personal and professional growth,” she says, “so I want my coaches to feel supported and get everything out of their service year that they want.” She is passionate about educational equity, accessibility for the disability community, and advocating for queer folks! One fun fact about Brigden is that she loves the beach — her favorite places to visit are on the Washington and Oregon coasts. She is very excited to return to College Possible as our college access program manager.
Sarah “Raph” Raphael
Last year, Raphael moved to Washington from Pennsylvania after completing her bachelor’s degree at Bates College with a major in interdisciplinary studies: linguistic and community justice, and a minor in Spanish. Raphael chose to serve with College Possible because she wanted to join an organization committed to educational equity and support students throughout their higher education journeys. During her AmeriCorps service year, she spoke with many students about their need for emotional support as they navigated systemic issues such as limited resources and financial barriers. From those conversations, she learned that working together with students to process their stress and find ways to break down complex problems into bite-size pieces helped them move forward. After gaining this hands-on experience, she wanted to continue working with the college team in a new capacity. As an advocate for educational equity and language justice, she is rejoining the college team as the college success program manager. She hopes to pass on her experience and knowledge to our new coaches as they provide tailored support to our College Possible students.
This year, she looks forward to developing new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) trainings with the assistant director of student success, and to helping create effective infrastructures for our coaches to reach as many students as they can. She believes all members of the Washington team bring their own unique perspective to the site and is excited about contributing her ideas for innovation and growing stronger relationships with our staff. One fun thing to know about Raphael is that she just adopted a dog from Texas named Maverick!