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Meet Our Summer Members!

Each year a group of CoFo college students joins the AmeriCorps ranks as “summer bridge members”, coaching incoming students as they transition from high school to college. Why spend your summer in the CoFo offices? Current members weigh in!

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College Forward | 06.20.17

Meet Our Summer Members!

Each year a cohort of CoFo college students joins the AmeriCorps ranks as “summer bridge members”, coaching incoming first-year students as they transition from high school to college, and offering support to help students avoid “summer melt.”

Bridge members also collaborate across departments on capacity-building projects — developing resource guides, helping to plan upcoming trainings, and participating in interviews for new coach positions – while gaining valuable professional experience that translates to future college and career success.

Why spend your summer in the CoFo offices? Our current bridge members weigh in:

 

Dondrika (Sam Houston State University)

“I’m interested in being a summer bridge member so I can help students figure out their interest and decide on a major. I hope to help at least one student find their destiny.”

Anabel (Pomona College)

“I am interested in working with college aged students and helping them navigate complex issues that I, too, had struggled with in the beginning of my college career. I hope to learn how to better communicate with students in relation to college counseling.”

 

Summit Spotlight with Salesforce.Org

College Forward was the spotlight nonprofit at this year’s Salesforce.org 2017 Higher Education Summit. Weren’t able to attend? We’ve got you covered!

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College Forward | 05.10.17

Summit Spotlight with Salesforce.Org

College Forward was the spotlight nonprofit at this year’s Salesforce.org 2017 Higher Education Summit, leading several sessions on our CoPilot student information system, hosting nonprofit Q&A sessions, and interacting with Summit participants on several student-facing volunteer opportunities.

Weren’t able to attend? We’ve got you covered with photo and video highlights below:

CoFo CEO Austin Buchan offered insight during a panel discussion on bridging gaps between K-12 providers and higher education organizations. The panel was moderated by Katie Mangan of The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other panelists included Christine Bailie (E3 Alliance), Julie Schell (UT-Austin), and Anthony Salerno (KIPP Austin Public Schools).

Conference attendees also participated in volunteer opportunities with College Forward students and coaches, offering “speed networking”, writing graduation cards, and creating commencement celebration bags for graduating college seniors:

 

For more information on Salesforce.org or the Higher Education Summit, visit http://www.salesforce.org/highered/he-summit-17.

Celebrating Our AmeriCorps Members!

To celebrate AmeriCorps Week we featured the faces and voices of our coaches, who work tirelessly to support our students in classrooms and on campuses. Read on to learn more!

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College Forward | 03.21.17

Celebrating Our AmeriCorps Members!

To celebrate AmeriCorps Week we featured the faces and voices of our coaches, who work tirelessly to support students in classrooms and on campuses across Texas. Why do they serve? What’s their favorite part of the job? And what would they tell new AmeriCorps members? Read below to find out!

 

Filing for Federal Aid Without the DRT

Filing for Federal College Aid Without an I.R.S. Shortcut

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College Forward | 03.15.17

Filing for Federal Aid Without the DRT

The recent IRS Data Retrieval Tool outage makes filing the FAFSA more complicated for students and families. Here’s how you can file while it’s down:

Filing for Federal College Aid Without an I.R.S. Shortcut

CoFo Receives Salesforce “Force for Change” Grant

CoFo is thrilled to announce a $425,000 “Force for Change” grant from Salesforce.org to support the development of a mobile smartphone app that will help students connect with college resources and mentors.

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College Forward | 03.01.17

CoFo Receives Salesforce “Force for Change” Grant

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The donation will provide students with on-demand technology that helps them access and succeed in college

AUSTIN MARCH 1, 2017 – College Forward is thrilled to announce a “Force for Change” grant from Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce, to support the development of an open-source mobile smartphone application that connects students with college resources and a network of mentors, with a primary goal of increasing graduation rates for underserved students across Texas and the nation.

As the number of college hopefuls grows year by year, so does students’ need for accurate, timely, and actionable information. The mobile app will convert College Forward’s college success curriculum and milestones — already used by the over 8,000 students currently enrolled in the organization’s programs — into a user-friendly and technology-friendly format, putting college expertise directly into the hands of students. In addition, students will be connected to near-peer mentors offering personalized advice and problem-solving assistance as they pursue their higher education goals.

The “Force for Change” grant will fund the design, development, and deployment of the app, which is slated to be available to the public by December 2017. “By leveraging our deep knowledge of college students’ challenges with the Salesforce platform, College Forward aims to create a game-changing solution that truly levels the playing field for underserved students,” said Austin Buchan, College Forward CEO. “With this mobile app, every student who is motivated to go to college will have access to the support they need to get there, stay there, and be successful.”

“Our goal is to help nonprofits and educational institutions better serve their communities and deliver on their mission,” said Ebony Frelix, SVP of Philanthropy & Engagement at Salesforce.org. “By supporting College Forward’s mission to empower more students to complete college we hope to accelerate change and create a better tomorrow for the next generation.”

The work builds upon the success of College Forward’s “CoPilot” student information system, also built on the Salesforce platform and serving over 156,000 students in 17 states and 3 countries.

College Forward was one of seven organizations to receive a Salesforce.org grant, selected from hundreds of proposals submitted from around the world.

About College Forward

College Forward is an Austin-based college success nonprofit organization that coaches underserved, motivated students to achieve the benefits of higher education and a college degree. Since 2003 College Forward has built and delivered near-peer solutions that produce measurable gains in college access and success: 99% of College Forward students apply and are accepted to institutions of higher education and 49% graduate in six years – more than five times the rate of their demographic peers. Over the past 14 years, College Forward has trained over 1,000 coaches to successfully mentor over 10,000 first-generation, low-income students. To date the organization has celebrated over 610 college graduations.

About Salesforce.org

Salesforce.org is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to empower its community of stakeholders to accelerate impact in a whole new way. It impacts thousands of organizations and the millions of people they serve by delivering the world’s best nonprofit and educational technology solutions at affordable rates. It also inspires employee giving by matching their donations and driving volunteer engagement in the community. And it leverages a unique self-sustaining model to generously re-invest the revenue generated back into the community through strategic grants focused on education and workforce development.

Since 1999, Salesforce technology has powered more than 30,000 nonprofit and education institutions; Salesforce and its philanthropic entities have provided more than $137 million in grants; and Salesforce employees have logged more than 1.8 million volunteer hours globally.

College Forward to Present at 2017 SXSWedu Festival

CoFo is honored to have TWO presentations in this year’s SXSWedu festival, March 6-9 in Austin. Join CEO Austin Buchan and CoPilot Director Ashley Suhler as they share their expertise!

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College Forward | 02.20.17

College Forward to Present at 2017 SXSWedu Festival

Wristbands and badges and showcases – oh my! SXSWedu is just around the corner, and College Forward is honored to have TWO presentations featured in this year’s festival, March 6-9 in Austin.

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Join College Forward CEO Austin Buchan on Tuesday, March 7 for “A Tale of Two Cities in Central Texas”, an exploration of educational and economic pathways out of poverty. A description of the session is below:

“Hosted by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation: By reading the news, you might think that Central Texas is a booming, affluent metropolis. But the reality is that four of five counties in the area have higher rates of poverty than both the state of Texas and national averages across the country. So how do we solve for this? We are focusing on several paths out of poverty for our community 1. Bridging academic and non-academic issues for our children 2. defining pipelines to career readiness so students are ready to enter the workforce and 3. understanding and acting upon the data to make the greatest impact. Hear about how our growing city is at the forefront of solving these problems, and how we’re doing it.”

Buchan will be joined on the panel by Matt Kouri of Mission Capital, Susan McDowell of Lifeworks, and Matt Williams of Goodwill Central Texas.

On Wednesday, March 8 CoPilot Director Ashley Suhler will present at the Higher Ed Hub, sharing lessons learned from CoFo’s partnership with tnAchieves in “Keeping the Promise of Tuition-Free College.” The panel will discuss how the ed tech and nonprofit sectors have collaborated to implement the Tennessee Promise, one of the nation’s first statewide tuition-free community college programs. Suhler will co-present with representatives from tnAchieves and The Acceleration Agency.


About SXSWedu
®
The SXSWedu Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education. The annual four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, immersive workshops, interactive learning experiences, film screenings, early-stage startups, business opportunities and networking. Through collaboration, creativity and social action, SXSWedu empowers its global community to Connect. Discover. Impact. SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and festivals. Join the passionate and innovative community at SXSWedu, March 6-9, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

For more information, please visit http://sxswedu.com.

 

Colleges Discover the Rural Student

A recent New York Times article examines the unique challenges of rural students, featuring voices of students from across the nation and words from CoFO CEO Austin Buchan. 

Colleges Discover the Rural Student

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College Forward | 01.31.17

Colleges Discover the Rural Student

A recent New York Times article examines the unique challenges of rural students, featuring the voices of students from across the nation and words from CoFo CEO Austin Buchan.

Rural students remain less likely to enroll in college, less likely to attend four-year colleges, and more likely to “under-match” when selecting schools — making support and guidance critical in these regions. College Forward is proud to serve over 1800 students at our partner sites in rural West and East Texas, and to help draw attention to this important issue.

Hear more from rural students here:

Colleges Discover the Rural Student

CoFo Highlighted in ‘Journal of College Access’

The latest issue of the Journal of College Access (JCA) featured reflections from Reach Higher’s Eric Waldo and former Secretary of Education John King Jr., as well as a shout-out for CoFo’s Success Partnerships program.

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College Forward | 01.30.17

CoFo Highlighted in ‘Journal of College Access’

The latest issue of the Journal of College Access (JCA) featured reflections from Reach Higher’s Eric Waldo and former Secretary of Education John King Jr., as well as a shout-out for CoFo’s Success Partnerships program.

Many thanks to the Kresge Foundation for their continued support of College Forward students. Read more below:

http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1043&context=jca

 

Vote for CoFo in the CultureMap Charity Challenge!

College Forward is competing in the CultureMap Charity Challenge – vote for us today and every day until January 18 and help us share our mission!

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College Forward | 01.12.17

Vote for CoFo in the CultureMap Charity Challenge!

 

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College Forward is competing in the CultureMap Charity Challenge – vote for us today and every day until January 18 and help us share our mission! Winners receive a $10,000 advertising package.

Vote below – you only need an email address!

http://austin.culturemap.com/poll/vote-now-for-culturemap-austin-2017-charity-partner/

 

 

 

 

 

Protected: CoFo’s Online Application is OPEN — Join Us Today!

Did you know that you can earn one million dollars more in your lifetime just by earning a college degree? If you’re a student interested in these and more opportunities, sign up for the College Forward program today using our online application!

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College Forward | 11.15.16

Protected: CoFo’s Online Application is OPEN — Join Us Today!

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Dennis Cavner, College Forward Board Chair, Wins Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award

CoFo Board Chair Dennis Cavner received the 2016 Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award, honoring his dedication to community service and volunteer work. The award was presented at the 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Awards by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott and the OneStar Foundation.

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College Forward | 10.11.16

Dennis Cavner, College Forward Board Chair, Wins Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award

Seal-of-Texas OneStar-Foundation-Logo

We’re thrilled to announce that Dennis Cavner, College Forward Board Chair, received the 2016 Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award, honoring his dedication to building community across Texas. The award was presented by Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, Honorary Chair of the 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Awards, and the OneStar Foundation in a Monday evening ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. In its 33rd year, the award recognizes the exemplary service of an individual who has volunteered for a minimum of 15 years and done significant work to create systems change across the state.

Born in Athens, Texas — “The Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World” — Dennis’s commitment to service has spanned several decades, impacting communities across Texas and beyond. In 1999, he helped create a “Founder’s Circle” of individuals who pledged $9 million of social venture capital to launch an organization today recognized around the world as LIVESTRONG.

In 2010 Dennis co-founded Innovation+, a nonprofit social venture group whose goal was to help Central Texas’ most promising nonprofits achieve transformational scale. Three years later, Dennis led a merger with Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, renamed Mission Capital. Under his leadership, Mission Capital has helped Austin nonprofit organizations raise more than $15 million in growth capital, develop sustainable social enterprises, and solve community problems at home and across the state.

Dennis Cavner College ForwardDennis has served as College Forward Board Chair since 2010, where he has been instrumental in shaping organizational vision and strategy. Under his leadership, College Forward’s mission has shifted from merely scaling programs to scaling impact — expanding community and college partnerships, leveraging innovative technologies, and sharing programmatic solutions with educational organizations across the nation. The organization now directly serves over 6,000 first-generation and low-income college students, with an additional 140,000 impacted through its student information system, CoPilot.

One of the most exciting fulfillments of Dennis’ extraordinary vision has been the impact of “human capital” on nonprofit organizations. By engaging successful business people with deep expertise — who can help nonprofits develop and launch sustainable social enterprises — Dennis has contributed assets far more valuable than mere financial. Without exception, his leadership and indefatigable work on their behalf has enabled these organizations to make rapid, broad improvements or expansions in the services they deliver to underserved communities.

Dennis received the Lone Star Achievement Award at the Governor’s Volunteer Awards ceremony on Monday evening, where an additional ten individuals and organizations were recognized for their service. “These eleven awardees are doing amazing things to help their fellow Texans succeed. Their example is so inspiring,” the First Lady Cecilia Abbott said. “They are some of Texas’s most dedicated volunteers, and I am honored to join in this celebration of their amazing contributions to their fellow Texans.”

To learn about other awardees, please visit the website of the Office of the Texas Governor.

NewCo Session: From Local Nonprofit to EdTech Leader

Register to Attend College Forward joins Austin NewCo Conference that connects smart audiences to meaningful stories. Executive Director Austin Buchan discusses how College Forward has transformed from a local Austin nonprofit to a nationally recognized EdTech thought leader. Wednesday, July 27th at 2:00pm    Get tickets! Join us and the other 90+ innovative Austin companies at NewCo 2016! We…

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College Forward | 06.28.16

NewCo Session: From Local Nonprofit to EdTech Leader

Register to Attend

ED Austin Buchan
College Forward joins Austin NewCo Conference that connects smart audiences to meaningful stories. Executive Director Austin Buchan discusses how College Forward has transformed from a local Austin nonprofit to a nationally recognized EdTech thought leader.

Wednesday, July 27th at 2:00pm 

 
Get tickets! Join us and the other 90+ innovative Austin companies at NewCo 2016! We look forward to seeing you at our office.

 

Map

College Forward Map


 

Technology at a Glance

CoPilot – Salesforce AppExchange
Success Partnerships Intro Video
Student Portal – Mobile Application
Clinton Global Initiative – Commitment
 

Clinton Global Initiative 2016

College Forward is turning ideas into action with its 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action. Over the next three years College Forward pledges to expand its Success Partnerships program, partnering with two-year and four-year higher education institutions across the state. Read on to learn more and follow Executive Director Austin Buchan at CGI America Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

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College Forward | 06.13.16

Clinton Global Initiative 2016

Clinton Global Initiative

College Forward Launches Clinton Global Initiative Commitment,
Pledges to Expand Innovative Programs to Increase Student Success

AUSTIN, Texas – June 13, 2016 – College Forward, an Austin nonprofit, is turning ideas into action. With its 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action, the organization has outlined a multi-year project that will increase college degree attainment for students across Texas. Over the next three years, College Forward will expand its impactful Success Partnerships program, partnering with two-year and four-year higher education institutions to deliver culturally-relevant and individualized academic, financial, and socio-emotional mentoring to the state’s most under-resourced students. College Forward will also deliver tools, training, and technology solutions to partner institutions, enabling them to adopt College Forward’s mentoring expertise for students in need.

By fully integrating with a partnering institution’s staff, faculty, and administration, Success Partnerships strengthens existing retention strategies while also encouraging a powerful culture of student success. Success Partnership institutions have reported significant increases in performance and persistence.

College Forward will triple the number of partnerships across Texas and provide critical services to more than 7,400 additional first-generation and low-income college students.

The Commitment to Action comes amid recent state and national calls to increase college persistence and completion rates, especially for the most challenged students. Despite efforts to boost degree attainment nationally, 46% of students who enroll in college do not graduate, and college completion rates vary by income: whereas 77% of students from the highest income quartile obtain bachelor’s degrees, only 9% of students from the lowest income quartile achieve similar results.

“It is an enormous honor to partner with CGI and participate in this important initiative to advance postsecondary success for first-generation and low-income college students. College Forward is thrilled to make this commitment and leverage thirteen years of experience to advance student success on a much larger scale,” said College Forward Executive Director, Austin Buchan. Buchan will join President Bill Clinton and nearly 1000 cross-sector leaders at the CGI Annual Meeting in Atlanta over the next two days to discuss and develop collaborative solutions to the most pressing global issues.

Through its commitment to scale Success Partnerships, College Forward promises to significantly accelerate the development of a national higher education system that is fully equipped to serve every student, regardless of economic or family background.


About College Forward
Founded in 2003, College Forward is a Texas-based college success organization. With a single goal — a postsecondary credential for every student — College Forward provides intensive mentoring for low-income and first-generation students. The organization serves more than 6,000 students in 18 high schools in Austin and Houston, and more than 120 colleges and universities across the nation. For 13 years, College Forward has taken an experimental, student-focused approach to addressing persistent problems in student achievement, garnering national acclaim for program outcomes: College Forward students enter higher education at twice the statewide average and earn degrees at more than five times the rate of their economically disadvantaged peers. College Forward is a proud AmeriCorps Texas program.

About Clinton Global Initiative America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people.

 

Austin Buchan is available for interview.

 

Media Contacts:
Lindsey Wolf
lwolf@collegeforward.org
(512) 681-0270

Sammantha Johnson
sjohnson@collegeforward.org
(512) 681-0270

CoFo Spotlight: Success Partnerships

College Forward Success Partnerships staff Scott Del Rossi and Tara Hall talk about surprises, challenges, and student success at Concordia University and Sul Ross State University. Read on to learn more about what’s in store for SP!

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College Forward | 06.02.16

CoFo Spotlight: Success Partnerships

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Success Partnership Directors:

Tara Hall – Associate Director of Program Design and Evaluation

Scott Del Rossi – Director of Program Design and Evaluation

We asked about:

  • this year’s aha moments

  • next year’s expectations

  • Why they love doing what they do

What has surprised you most this year about Success Partnerships?

Scott: All college partners have such a deep care for student success. They want to become co-creators with the students. I realized that the students we’ve worked with are the same as our organic students – motivated to better their lives to go to college. As students began to gravitate to us, they began sharing their enthusiasm for the new experience.

Tara: The spirit of collaboration. The willingness to share best practices and ideas to learn from each other. We were embraced wholeheartedly by the staff and faculty. It enabled us to go beyond our full services to connect with amazing students. It‘s rare that an organization truly lives, breathes and operates with their values in mind.

What’s coming next year for the program?

Scott: I‘m excited to continue growing the program which translates to more students, staff, and partnerships. Ultimately, evolve and go deeper to understand the problem from different perspectives.

Tara: I‘m excited to bring on entrepreneurial coaches, who can take charge on campus, and just wanna get stuff done. This year, we had great coaches to set the foundation for next year’s coaches. We’re looking for people who care about students, appreciate transparency, and have a willingness pursuit for student engagement.

Why do you like doing what you do?

Scott: Easy. I’ve been with the program and helped many students. I believe every student should receive that support. It’s great working with a passionate group of folks, who are likeminded…co-conspirators, so to speak. Folks who want to do the same thing! And well…students love my jokes.

Tara: I spent my whole career trying to help develop really smart and talented students. It’s critical to create a long lasting impact with students, community and the economy. Also, it’s invigorating being around people who commit a year to servicing others. It’s a reminder how motivated, mobilized people can truthfully make things happen for those who deserve it.

 

Stay connected with us on social media to find more stories like Scott and Tara’s experience. Or, contact HR Assistant, Sunny Tompkins for more information about College Forward Jobs – stompkins@collegeforward.org.

 


Success Partnerships Concordia coach shares the differences in student interaction with the Alpine team and his adventurous visit.

Sul Ross State University

Success Partnership Concordia Coach Shares his Sul Ross State University Visit:

Mike Cavanagh – Concordia Completion Coach

May 23, 2016

 

We asked about:

  • his time at SRSU

  • SRSU coach’s role

The Alpine team takes time to get to know and work with their students in person. The biggest difference between our team and the Alpine teams work is the amount of student interaction. Alpine coaches like Vicky Mayans work with both college and high school students. The CoFo Access and Completion programs are spread throughout the area among three other coaches. That’s definitely more interaction than my student load. I applaud the Alpine team for their hard work and dedication. It was a blast hiking around the Davis Mountains and exploring the town’s murals. I’m excited for the work Vicky and the team coaches have done in their first year!

 

Stay connected with us on social media to find more stories like Mike’s experience. Or, contact HR Assistant, Sunny Tompkins for more information about College Forward Jobs – stompkins@collegeforward.org.

Solving the Problem: College Forward’s 2014-2015 Annual Report

College Forward is pleased to share our 2014-2015 Annual Reporta celebration of the tremendous accomplishments of the 5,037 students who received our coaching and mentoring services during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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College Forward | 05.08.16

Solving the Problem: College Forward’s 2014-2015 Annual Report

College Forward is pleased to share our 2014-2015 Annual Report.

This report is a celebration of the tremendous accomplishments of the 5,037 students who received our coaching and mentoring services during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The report also offers an important introduction to the bold initiatives that will expand our impact so that every student, regardless of their background, can experience the benefits of higher education.

Read the Annual Report here!

Spotlight on CoFo Coaches

This month we’re featuring two college completion coaches from our Austin and Houston offices — Haley Perko and Cortland Gilliam! To learn more about our coaches, be sure to check out our CoFo Coach Tumblr

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College Forward | 02.22.16

Spotlight on CoFo Coaches

 

This month we’re featuring two college completion coaches from our Austin and Houston offices — Haley and Cortland! To learn more about our coaches, be sure to check out our CoFo Coach Tumblr!

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Haley Perko
College Completion Coach – Austin
Hometown: San Diego, CA

Fun Facts: Haley loves to explore nature and hike, and is working hard to reach 10,000 steps on her new FitBit. (It’s not as easy as you would think…) She also loves to make things for people by knitting or crocheting.

“I love working with my students. They may not always need help from me in the moment, but it is always a joy to talk to them and learn about their lives and everything that’s going on.”

———–

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Cortland Gilliam
College Completion Coach – Houston
Hometown: Springfield, VA

Fun Facts: Cortland has never lived in one place for longer than 4 years, and he’s never been fishing!

“My goals for the remainder of my term with CoFo are to increase the percentage of successful contacts I make. I would also like to increase the student turnout at my campus visits to my commuter schools like Lone Star College and University of Houston-Downtown.”

For more about Cortland (and many of our other fabulous coaches!) check out our Tumblr:
http://collegeforward.tumblr.com/

Meet Our Superstar Coaches!

Each month College Forward recognizes the contributions of amazing coaches who are working tirelessly to improve college access and completion across Texas. This month we’re featuring THREE CoFo coaches — Carolyn Widen, Derek Hanson, and Charlene Warnock!

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College Forward | 11.17.15

Meet Our Superstar Coaches!

Each month College Forward recognizes the contributions of amazing coaches who are working tirelessly to improve college access and completion across Texas. Meet three of our coaches below!

Carolyn Widen
Carolyn Widen

College Access Coach – Austin
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
College: University of Texas-Austin

Fun Fact: Carolyn interned for Communities in Schools during her final year at UT, working with refugee high school students. An article she wrote was featured in the Interfaith Action of Central Texas’s newsletter last year!

Carolyn’s Impact: Carolyn exemplifies every one of College Forward’s values – most importantly, in her dedication to each of her students. She is steadfast in her desire to learn more about how to best serve students, becoming more knowledgeable about college access and systemic education issues that affect the students she works with. Using her social work background and case management skills, she provides individualized coaching and encouragement for her high school students. Thank you, Carolyn!

Throughout college I studied various social justice issues, and education seems to be one of the main ways that people, families, and generations are able to get out of the cycle of poverty. Knowledge really is Power! I want to make sure my students have many options available to them.”

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Derek Hanson
College Completion Coach – Austin

Hometown: Oskaloosa, KS
College: University of Kansas

Fun Fact:
 Derek once ran across the parking lot of a Dollar General to help snag a stranger’s runaway “Get Well Soon” balloon, saving the day. What a hero!

Derek’s Impact: Derek is an exceptional coach who truly goes above and beyond in all of his work with students. It is evident at campus visits that he has cultivated incredible relationships with his students at Texas State, and he has encouraged his students to utilize all of the resources available to them at their respective universities. He even coached one of his freshman students through solidifying an internship at the Texas State Capitol! His intelligence, passion, and excellent sense of humor make him a valuable asset to the CoFo team – thanks, Derek!

“Last year, as a high school teacher, I realized that our education system is sending many of our students off to college without adequate academic skills and without a firm sense of belonging. I chose College Forward to have a chance to work one-on-one with students most in need of these assets, to help them persist through the challenges they will meet in college, all the way to graduation. I hope to help my students gain academic skills, like strong, persuasive writing; I want my freshmen to begin to grasp how to thrive in college, so they need less of my help as they become better advocates for themselves; I want my students to succeed in their classes and persevere through struggles; and I hope to provide positive, timely wisdom in their lives.”

charlene
Charlene Warnock
College Completion Coach – Austin
Hometown: Asheville, NC
College: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Fun Facts: Charlene was born in North Carolina and grew up in several states before returning to NC for college; because of this, she has perfected and enjoys using many regional accents. Even more impressive, she can carry conversations in Chinese AND French.

Charlene’s Impact: Charlene is both coach and cheerleader, working diligently to build meaningful relationships with the students she serves and the coaches and staff members with whom she works. Her inquisitive disposition and passion drive her to ‘obsess about the problem’ and find effective solutions—her hard work on the CoPilot Committee has already helped CoFo improve its data-tracking. Her cheerful and positive attitude create a great environment, and we are lucky to have her on the team! Thanks, Charlene!

“I enjoy talking with my students and listening to their stories. I truly believe in College Forward’s mission and I love working with others who have the same passion for this work!”

Growing Leadership at College Forward

College Forward is THRILLED to announce the promotion of Austin Buchan to the role of Executive Director. Buchan’s responsibilities will expand to include operations across the breadth of College Forward’s mission and strategy.

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College Forward | 07.01.15

Growing Leadership at College Forward

College Forward is THRILLED to announce the promotion of Austin Buchan to the role of Executive Director. Buchan’s responsibilities will expand to include operations across the breadth of College Forward’s mission and strategy. In this new role, Buchan will report to Lisa Fielder, Founder and CEO.

Buchan joined College Forward as a Program Manager in 2010, developing the organization’s collegiate mentoring services. He later spearheaded the development of CoPilot, a Salesforce-based student information system, as a social enterprise. As Executive Director, Buchan will continue to aggressively develop this and other revenue streams.

“Austin Buchan has contributed enormously to College Forward,” said CEO Lisa Fielder. “He’s entrepreneurial, he works hard and smart, and he’s an inspiring leader who can accomplish ‘six impossible things before breakfast.’ I’m excited to see him expand his role as the organization continues to grow and thrive.”

Congratulations, Austin!

Let’s Amplify Austin!

College Forward is ready to help you amplify your love for Austin on March 20! We are excited to be participating in I Live Here, I Give Here’s Amplify Austin, a 24-hour giving extravaganza that unites our community around giving back. Last year, Amplify Austin organizations raised $2.8 million for great causes and nonprofits across…

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College Forward | 03.05.14

Let’s Amplify Austin!

College Forward is ready to help you amplify your love for Austin on March 20!

We are excited to be participating in I Live Here, I Give Here’s Amplify Austin, a 24-hour giving extravaganza that unites our community around giving back. Last year, Amplify Austin organizations raised $2.8 million for great causes and nonprofits across Central Texas.

This year, we hope you’ll join College Forward in amplifying our love for Austin

1. Check out the College Forward profile on the Amplify Austin Website.

2. Schedule your contribution today.

Support from friends like you allows us to continue working to level the educational playing field for all motivated students. With your Amplify Austin donation, we can commit more resources to taking Texas’ next generation of leaders to and through college.

We hope you’ll join us. Let’s Amplify Austin together.