College Now salutes
the Deaconess Foundation
As College Now works to continue to provide all our services during this pandemic, we are so grateful to each of our philanthropic supporters. One such amazing partner is the Deaconess Foundation. Over the last two decades, the Foundation, which was created with the proceeds from the sale of the Deaconess Hospital, has awarded grants to College Now totaling one million dollars!

The Foundation’s focus always has been on empowering individuals to become self-sufficient. Since 2017, that focus has further narrowed: to help individuals in our region access and proceed on their chosen career pathways in order to earn the post-secondary educational credentials necessary to lead to jobs that pay family sustaining wages.

College Now’s work fits squarely within the Foundation’s mission, and we have benefited extensively from the Foundation’s expertise and commitment. Indeed, several years ago, the Foundation funded College Now to create the Managing Advancement Programs (MAP) database. Utilized in conjunction with real-time, personalized advising from College Now, MAP connects individuals who need credentials to fill locally available jobs in priority sectors to local postsecondary programs that offer these needed credentials. Currently, the MAP database contains 740 such programs, and is updated quarterly by College Now’s partner, TeamNEO.

Likewise, the Foundation has continued to build upon its investment with two recent grants, one from the Deborah A. Vesy Fund of the Foundation and one from the Foundation itself. Together, this funding is enabling College Now to conduct research of best practices and tools in career development and advising for high school students and for adults as well as to identify indicators of successful practices and outcomes from which we can then design a pilot program.

And, earlier this month, in response to the financial impact of COVID-19, the Foundation awarded College Now an emergency grant to ensure that our advisors will continue to be able to help Northeast Ohioans receive the career and educational pathway guidance that will be needed, now more than ever. (College Now’s services are always free and confidential; click here to schedule an appointment).

College Now is so grateful to the Deaconess Foundation for its understanding of the importance of career pathways and its deep and longstanding commitment to College Now and so many organizations across our community!
Team Mentor recognizes AmeriCorps service members
AmeriCorps members serve a key role in their communities each day in the United States. Whether in healthcare, public safety, education, environmental protection, or a plethora of other fields, AmeriCorps members are able to make a lasting impact during their service term in an area of their “neighborhood” that they really care about. In the Greater Cleveland region, one of the best ways to better the community and improve the long-term health of all the aforementioned fields is serving with College Now Greater Cleveland’s Mentoring Program.

Using an online platform, College Now’s Mentoring Program connects Cleveland-area college students with adult volunteer mentors who each have a college degree and a willingness to coach a young professional toward their graduation day. To support the day-to-day operations and success of the Mentoring Program each school year, AmeriCorps members fill vital roles on Team Mentor, which is the team at College Now whose duty it is to administer and oversee the whole program.

Without the service of AmeriCorps members, Team Mentor wouldn’t be able to support nearly as many students and mentors as they currently do. For some insight on the importance of AmeriCorps to College Now’s Mentoring Program and the value of their service as a whole, here are a few direct quotes from current AmeriCorps members serving with Team Mentor:

Knowing that I am helping clear the path for students to achieve their educational goals gets me excited to serve every day. Like many of the students in our program, I am a first-generation college student. Having an adult in my life who had been in my shoes and was knowledgeable about college would have been helpful for me in the onset of my post-secondary education. I love being able to help mentors and students develop meaningful partnerships that will last through students’ time in our program and beyond. I am grateful for the opportunity to administer a program that provides high quality and individualized support to students.” -  Haley, 1 st year AmeriCorps member

Serving with Team Mentor has given me the opportunity to support students of all different backgrounds that have faced different adversities. I love being able to make a small difference in their lives that could help them make it to graduation. College is no joke, and having our support, along with their mentors, is important to make sure they all make it to the finish line.” -  Carolyn, 1 st year AmeriCorps member

“I’ve had an absolute blast serving with Team Mentor the past couple years. Not only is College Now a truly pleasant place to serve every day, but the support that we are able to offer students is amazing. With the help of our thousands of volunteer mentors, the Mentoring Program provides outstanding support and guidance to college students from so many different backgrounds. After serving with Team Mentor for two years, I have decided to commit to a long-term, full-time position with the team, largely because the work is so incredibly fulfilling and the interactions with students are plentiful and invaluable.” -  Jacob, 2 nd year AmeriCorps member

For more information on College Now's AmeriCorps program, visit our website.
A College Now COVID-19 update:
Taking impact! virtual
With school, community center, and library closures during COVID-19, College Now has had to make adjustments to its in-person student programming, including its standardized test prep program, impact!, which is typically hosted at nine sites throughout Northeast Ohio and serves students during after-school hours.

This spring, College Now was able to continue all portions of instruction, youth development, family engagement, and partner collaboration as originally outlined with the following program modifications:
  1. In-person reading, math, and college & career instruction transitioned to College Now's Online Learning Platform, Moodle, and to Microsoft’s conferencing call platform, Teams.
  2. College & Career visits transitioned to Virtual College & Career Tours.
  3. Family Nights will take place virtually to provide updates on student progress. Families will receive weekly communications about support services (health, education, meals, etc.) within the community.

This spring, impact! enrolled 323 students in the virtual program, well above the original goal of 213. With the virtual program, College Now is reaching an additional 20 schools not previously served by impact! this year (represented by 56 students!). College Now celebrates impact! and the innovation of all its advisors in ensuring students are able to receive services and support, even while schools and other program locations remain closed.
College Now intern through Saint Martin de Porres Corporate Work Study Program receives full ride college scholarship
Every year, College Now works with Saint Martin de Porres as a partner in the school's Corporate Work Study Program to employ a student intern. The Corporate Work Study Program helps Saint Martin de Porres students gain professional work experience and learn important life skills, while also funding a portion of the student's school tuition.

This year, College Now worked with Kevyn Chavez through the program. Kevyn worked at College Now's offices one day a week and assisted the Scholarships and Financial Aid team, as well as the IT team, with document scanning and uploading, as well as data cleanup.

College Now was thrilled to learn recently that Kevyn is this year's recipient of the DeWine Family Scholarship, a four-year, renewable college scholarship to Spring Hill College in Alabama, covering all tuition, fees, books, and room and board!

College Now is thrilled for Kevyn and grateful for his hard work in our office throughout the year. To read more about Kevyn's accomplishment, and his words of advice to his classmates, visit Saint Martin de Porres's website. We hope you will join us in congratulating Kevyn!

Additionally, College Now is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of all graduating seniors in the Class of 2020, and is pleased to share some of the measures being taken to celebrate their accomplishments:

  • College Now Board of Directors member Jimmy Malone will be celebrating College Now's graduating high school seniors on the WMJI Morning Show over this graduation season. Be sure to tune in over the coming weeks to help celebrate our graduates!
  • College Now's blog has been running a series for high school seniors dedicated to finishing high school and preparing for postsecondary during COVID-19. Each week, a new post will highlight a new aspect of high school graduation and/or preparing for college. Posts already shared have included information on accessing College Now virtually, as well as ideas for celebrating the end of high school even though events like prom and graduation have been cancelled.
College Now's Resource Center still available for virtual appointments
The COVID-19 crisis is leaving an impact on the entire community, and may, unfortunately, result in a loss of work for individua ls. If you have found yourself out of work due to business or industry closures, College Now is here to support you in building new job skills to compete in the job market from the comfort of your own home.

College Now offers free educational advising and support services to students and adults of all ages who may be considering going back to school or finding a career path in an in-demand field. Advisors are specially trained to use tools that will identify and outline the educational pathway necessary to obtain a job in an in-demand field in Northeast Ohio.

College Now’s services are completely free and can be accessed virtually. Interested individuals can make an appointment on our website or can call 216.241.5587 and ask for a referral to the College Now Resource Center. You can also email resourcecenter@collegenowgc.org .

We know that we are living in uncertain times. College Now can help you discover new ways to imagine a more certain future.
College Now Greater Cleveland
Post Office Plaza
1500 West 3rd Street, Suite 125
Cleveland, OH 44113
216.241.5587