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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Heroes of the Week: College Possible AmeriCorps Coaches and Volunteers

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College Possible, founded in 2000 by low-income and first-generation college student Jim McCorkell, is a nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income students earn college degrees through coaching and supportive programming. Though it originated in Minnesota, the organization has four sites of operation, including College Possible Milwaukee (1555 N. Rivercenter Drive, Suite 211). Founded in 2008, the Milwaukee branch was the first expansion site for the organization and College Possible Milwaukee now provides 2,500 Milwaukee-area students ACT/SAT test support, college application assistance, financial aid consulting, guidance in the college transition and support toward degree completion.

College Possible Milwaukee is partnered with 10 Milwaukee high schools and is looking to expand to additional schools later this spring. The branch also offers coaching for college-aged students at local colleges and universities, including Mount Mary University, Alverno College, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside. The organization’s coaches are AmeriCorps members that College Possible Milwaukee’s Executive Director Edie Turnbull describes as “idealistic, young recent college graduates who are passionate about changing the world and leveling the playing field for our students.” Of note, College Possible Milwaukee students have increased their ACT scores by an average of 18% and 97% earned admission to college last year.

“Through access to education, we are working to help low-income students break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for themselves and the community,” says Turnbull. “The AmeriCorps members are the key to the success of the organization. They build strong relationships with their students and their dedication and service helps our students succeed.”

College Possible Milwaukee is currently seeking volunteers to help with its end-of-year launch party, its Summer Bridge program and Make A Difference Day. Donations of computer tablets, laptops, dorm refrigerators, microwaves, alarm clocks, graphing calculators and bicycles are appreciated—they are given as gifts to participating high school students who have excelled in the program. To learn more about College Possible Milwaukee, contact Sam Mott, external relations coordinator, at 414-220-9450 or smott@collegepossible.org, or visit collegepossible.org.