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Why College Possible coaches matter, according to students

At College Possible, we always strive to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our AmeriCorps coaches. March 13-17, 2023, otherwise known as AmeriCorps Appreciation Week, we called special attention to the impact they make on the students they serve and the College Possible organization as a whole.

We asked College Possible students to tell us a quick story or note about why their coach mattered in their life and a few words to describe their coach. Based on the number of responses we received, students love their coaches as much as we do. We took those descriptive words and used them to create a word cloud. And we’ve included several of the stories below. You can also find these student stories on our social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Here’s what they had to say about what their coaches meant to them during AmeriCorps Appreciation Week:

“Anna is one of the big reasons I stayed in school. In the beginning of the school year I was kind of thinking about dropping out or just giving up on school because of things that were going on in my personal life. She stuck by my side and kept me motivated, she set up a meeting with my grade leader, school counselor, herself and me. We came up with a game plan to keep me in school. She helped me with my college essay and gave me information on how to fill out the FAFSA, she’s part of the reason I was accepted to four different colleges. Anna is a great College Possible coach, but she’s also a great person in general. She talks to students who are having problems with other teachers and gives them suggestions on how to face the problem, or she just listens to the problem and lets us feel heard. I am so lucky to be in College Possible, but I am even luckier to have Anna as my coach.” – Emelia

“My coach matters in my life because she is someone who I can go to when I need help writing or revising my essay. She gives very detailed feedback about how I can make it a more complete essay. My coach is also someone who I can talk to about my personal life and the things I like to do. They never judge and most of the time they laugh along with me. My coach not only helps me with my essay but provides me with scholarship applications that I can apply for and opportunities that I can take to start exploring my college life.” – Maivliag

“Gao Shee is a coach that brings her students down to earth. Gao Shee has helped me with letters of recommendation to colleges, not just in Minnesota but Ivy League Universities. Gao Shee has supported me in applying for scholarships and filing the FAFSA and CSS profile. She’s on top of everything and is very driven. I look up to Gao Shee as a supportive person to help guide me in the right direction to college. Not only that, but I’ve also connected with her, and she has an incredible story. I highly recommend Gao Shee Her as a coach that matters in my life.” – Scout

“I’m a senior and this is my first year in College Possible. Before senior year, I was worried about how I was going to start my college process or who was going to explain to me what I had to do every step of the way. Noelle contacted me, and later on we had College Possible meetings on different steps we should expect along the application process and where exactly I should be in the journey every couple of weeks. I’m always able to ask Noelle for help and not feel judged for not knowing the answer. I enjoy working with her and I plan to keep meeting during the school year to finish up my college process. I’m beyond grateful I’m able to have Noelle as a coach, and to be where I’m at in the college process because of her!” – Leslie

“Riley matters so much in my life because, apart from seeing her as a coach, I see her as a mentor and friend and she’s someone I can freely talk to comfortably. I like how in between the tasks we’re completing, Riley will approach each of us to check up on how we’re doing, making sure none of us are left behind or confused. I also appreciate the small checkup she does at the beginning of every class to see where we all are mentally and emotionally – it helps to reflect on our day. I am truly thankful to have Riley in my life.” – Sandy

“My coach really helped me in the beginning of my last college semester with getting everything in order and helping me find good resources. Although he didn’t attend the University of Minnesota, he was very willing to help me navigate everything that I needed to make sure I will graduate on time and avoid any student loans that I didn’t have to take out. For me, this meant the world because I am not allowed to take out loans due to religious reasons. He has always made time to meet with me and address all my concerns and I really appreciate everything that he’s done for me as a coach. He has done more for me than any College Possible coach I’ve had in the past, and I really admire all of his stories about college he shared with me.” – Sabirina

“I never thought about actually going to college before meeting my College Possible coach. I had no idea what the college admission process was like, or what financial aid meant, and the overwhelming expenses discouraged me. I also realized that College Possible was the only college resource I had around, so I decided to apply. When I met my coach, he comforted me by addressing my concerns and focused the lessons on what other students and I wanted to learn about. It made me realize that going to college could be an option for me. My coach also introduced me to the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars program and helped me brainstorm and write the essay that I eventually used for the Common App and the National College Match. As my only resource, I became incredibly close with my coach, and together our bond has helped me successfully gain acceptance to nearly all the schools I’ve applied to; and I made it as a QuestBridge National College Match Finalist! I haven’t decided where I am going yet but I believe the help I have received from my coach has made me become more decisive and confident in my choices.” – Gaonou

“When I was filling out my college application, Will helped me out so much. He motivated me to fill out my applications on time, helped me on my college essay, and took the time to really explain how the college application process works so I wouldn’t be confused. If it were not for him, I don’t think I would be able to complete my applications without his help. Will is an amazing coach and I hope he continues coaching high school seniors.” – Yusra

Are you or someone you know looking to make a difference in students’ lives? Register for an information session today to learn more about a year of service with College Possible!

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