January was an EPIC month! A little cold couldn't stop all the excitement about Cleveland becoming a Say Yes to Education community.
Cleveland named Say Yes chapter; Class of 2019 first to receive tuition scholarships
After a two-year process, Cleveland was named a Say Yes to Education chapter on January 18. As one of the six convening partners in Cleveland’s Path to Say Yes (including the City of Cleveland , Cuyahoga County , the Cleveland Metropolitan School District , The Cleveland Foundation , and United Way of Greater Cleveland ), we worked with community leaders to change the game for Cleveland students. At the heart of Say Yes is a powerful incentive: the prospect of a college scholarship.

  • College Now is proud to administer the Say Yes Cleveland Scholarship. The community has raised nearly $90 million against a goal of $125 million that will fund tuition scholarships for Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) graduates over the next 25 years.

  • Say Yes Scholarship recipients will participate in the College Now Mentoring Program. Cleveland is the first Say Yes chapter to require scholarship recipients to participate in a mentoring program in order to maintain the scholarship from year to year.

The CMSD class of 2019 will be the first to benefit from the Say Yes scholarship, and as the above picture shows, students were very grateful for the commitment Say Yes founder, George Weiss - and the entire community - has made to them.

We cannot emphasize enough how huge Say Yes is going to be for Cleveland. We believe it will be a game-changer for the students and families in CMSD, and we look forward to Say Yes ’ success.
College Now needs 900 mentors by April 1
Join over 1,000 volunteers from Greater Cleveland and mentor with The College Now Mentoring Program ! The Mentoring Program is proven to increase retention, persistence, and graduation of student participants. Over the last eight years, the program has connected thousands of local students and volunteer mentors, all committed to the individual success of students, as well as the success of our region.

College Now is proud to partner with Say Yes to Education to provide mentors for Say Yes scholarship recipients.

The Mentoring Program is a minimal investment of time for mentors – two emails per month, and three meetings per year – but has wonderful results for students! Many of College Now’s students are the first in their families to attend college, and all have demonstrated financial need. On average, 92% of mentored students returned to college for their sophomore year, and 72% of students in their pilot class graduated on-time with their degrees. This is entirely due to the added support students receive from mentors and College Now through the Mentoring Program.

College Now is seeking 900 local mentors to get involved and make a change for our region. To get involved in this life-changing and ground-breaking program, apply here by April 1 st . Be someone who matters to someone who matters, and mentor a college student!

Contact Madeline Rife, Director of the Mentoring Program, with any questions ( mrife@collegenowgc.org or 216-635-0163).
From our blog: Making Robert Coplan's dream a reality
When Robert Coplan and an anonymous donor founded College Now Greater Cleveland in 1967 (then the Cleveland Scholarship Program), their goal was, at its core, simple: to find a way to enable all students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to go to college.

They started their work by offering scholarships to CMSD high school students, but soon saw that students weren’t taking the money. Why? Because they didn’t know what they needed to do to get to college; there needed to be a culture of college knowledge created in the school buildings, and the community, to show these students the steps they needed to take to apply to and get accepted into college.

From there, College Now as we know it today was born. Coplan and the anonymous donor began placing advisors in CMSD high schools to give students advice and guidance on the college-going process, and the work soon grew so that College Now was serving students throughout Northeast Ohio as well as adult learners.

Throughout all that growth and transformation, though, Coplan's and the donor's original goal remained: to find a way for all CMSD students to afford to go to college. As other cities throughout the nation have developed strategies such as promise programs and universal scholarships, our community contemplated these things, as well, wondering what we could do in Cleveland to achieve the dream that Coplan and that donor set out to achieve over 50 years ago.

And then, two years ago, the opportunity presented itself in Say Yes to Education, a nonprofit that helps communities improve education by providing support services and tuition scholarships to students. READ MORE.
College Now AmeriCorps launch College Now Cares with service project
Though the weather tried to stop them, the College Now AmeriCorps team braved the snow and hosted an extremely successful service project on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last week.

The College Now Cares food and toiletry drive culminated on January 21 as AmeriCorps members filled care packages with food and toiletry items donated by AmeriCorps members, College Now staff, and other supporters. The team packed 125 food bags and 85 toiletry bags for local college students. 40 clothing items were donated, and 27 students picked up food and toiletry bags.

All of the leftover food and toiletry bags were donated to the Tri-C West and Tri-C Metro Campus Food Pantries. They all will end up going to food insecure college students.

The College Now Cares theme will carry on to future service projects.
College Now Greater Cleveland
50 Public Square, Suite 1800
Cleveland, OH 44113