SEATTLE, Aug. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- College Possible, a national nonprofit that connects high school and college students from low-income backgrounds with near-peer coaches, has acquired Seattle-based College Access Now (CAN). The organization will now be known as College Possible Washington and will be the seventh of the national nonprofit's regional sites, all focused on closing the achievement gap and enabling low-income and first-generation college students to access and complete postsecondary education.
"This partnership will enable us to improve the odds for thousands of students and help them achieve their full potential in college," said Jim McCorkell, founder and CEO of College Possible. "The Washington team shares a deep commitment to equity and to our mission of helping students from low-income backgrounds access and thrive in college. We're excited to welcome them to the team."
Founded by first-generation college graduate and social entrepreneur Jim McCorkell in 2000, College Possible draws upon the talents and energy of AmeriCorps members to coach low-income and first-generation high school students as they navigate the complex world of college preparation and admissions. Nationwide, College Possible students earn admission to college at more than twice the rate of their peers and are four times more likely to earn a degree.
CAN Executive Director Guadalupe Torres–a highly experienced nonprofit leader skilled in organizational growth, program excellence and community engagement–joined the organization in 2017 and will continue to serve as executive director of College Possible Washington.
"Despite Seattle's thriving economy, there is a growing population of underrepresented students who need support," Torres said. "As a daughter of an immigrant from a family of farmers and a first-generation college graduate, I know the challenges. I am honored to lead an organization that promotes the opportunity for students to reach their full potential and creates a talent pipeline that is reflective of the rich diversity of our local communities," Torres said. "Joining College Possible will enable us to scale a proven model to serve more students in Washington — and draw on the expertise and reach of partners across the United States."
The merger brings together two mission-aligned organizations that are both focused on improving higher education access and outcomes, strengthening support for low-income students, and expanding College Possible's presence in the Pacific Northwest. By aligning efforts, College Possible Washington will be able to serve more students effectively and efficiently by leveraging a national infrastructure. With the addition of the Washington site, College Possible will reach an additional 650 high school and 1,600 college students in the Seattle and South King County areas.
About College Possible: For nearly 20 years, College Possible has been focused on serving students when and where they need support. The key to its success is near-peer coaching — leveraging the power of young, passionate and dedicated recent college graduates serving as AmeriCorps members to offer advice and support to students from low-income backgrounds as they navigate the often complex world of college preparation and persistence.
During the 2019-20 school year, College Possible will serve an estimated 25,000 students in all 50 states, at more than 100 partner high schools and 400 colleges. Its model earns top-of-field results: a 2011 Harvard longitudinal study, the gold standard of evaluations, found that College Possible's program more than doubles a student's chances of enrolling in a four-year college, and its students are four times more likely to graduate from college than their low-income peers.
Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible also has sites in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA; and has Catalyze partnerships in California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.
For more information, visit CollegePossible.org.
SOURCE College Possible