WKYC Studios helps recruit mentors on Mentor Monday
College Now is recruiting 1,000 mentors by March 1!

To reach this goal, College Now partnered with WKYC Studios, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Say Yes Cleveland, and McDonald Hopkins LLC on January 27 for the second annual Mentor Monday, a day-long recruiting blitz in which WKYC aired stories about College Now's Mentoring Program throughout the day's news segments.

Viewers watched mentor and chef Doug Katz and his mentee Ryan in a cooking demonstration on It's About You and heard from CMSD employees about their experience as first-year mentors in the program. WKYC also highlighted mentor-mentee pair Taylor and Margie, who've built a strong bond throughout Taylor's college experience at Howard University. At the end of the day, Lead Anchor and Managing Editor Russ Mitchell, who is also a College Now Board member and current mentor, shared a recap of the day's programming and shared that his mentee, Mario, is doing well at Colorado College.

Also on Mentor Monday, current College Now mentors from CMSD were invited to a reception at WKYC during the live taping of the 6pm news. Guests enjoyed food generously donated by fire food and drink and heard from Eric Gordon, CEO of the CMSD, and his mentee, Brinden, about what they've both gained from the College Now Mentoring Program.

College Now is grateful to our wonderful partners for their support and help in recruiting mentors for the Mentoring Program, but, we are still working toward reaching the 1,000 mentor mark! College Now needs YOU to to sign up to be a mentor. The program is designed to be manageable for busy professionals, requiring just two emails per month and three in-person meetings per year. Commit to impacting the life of a college student, and your own, today!
Cleveland named U.S.Talent Hub by Lumina Foundation
Cleveland has been designated a Talent Hub by Lumina Foundation, in partnership with The Kresge Foundation, and will receive a $125,000 grant to support local efforts to increase educational attainment for adult learners. 
Selected for meeting rigorous standards in creating environments that cultivate, attract, and retain talent among today's students, Cleveland, Northeast Indiana, Southwest Florida, and Tampa Bay are joining 22 other Talent Hubs previously selected in 2017 and 2018.
In Cleveland, College Now is leading this work in partnership with Cleveland State University and Team NEO. College Now has worked closely with Cleveland State University for three years to improve outcomes for adult students, and will use the Talent Hub as a framework to emphasize that equity in educational access is key to the region’s success and work to boost access, persistence, and degree completion for African American adult students.

The Talent Hub will also build on existing efforts to fill careers that are in-demand by creating adult-friendly internship pathways in Northeast Ohio with local employers and will facilitate solutions to inequities in the employment outcomes of African American graduates by educating participating employers. 

Today's students are increasingly diverse, older, and leading much more complex lives than traditional college students. The Talent Hub will help address this "new normal," which requires new policies and approaches toward shrinking Northeast Ohio's educational attainment gap. College Now is thrilled for the opportunity to deepen our existing work with adult students.
Celebrating the Schroeder Family Scholarship
College Now is thrilled to announce the creation of the Schroeder Family Scholarship. Recently established by Stacey A. Schroeder, founder of EVelop LLC., the scholarship honors her parents, Marie and Warren Schroeder, for their deep commitment to and determination for providing the best educational opportunities available to their family even though they were unable to pursue their college degrees.

As a first-generation college graduate, Stacey knows firsthand what many of the students whom College Now serves experience as they pursue their degrees and then launch their careers. While at Michigan State University, Stacey fell in love with materials science. She parlayed her undergraduate engineering degree and her MBA, both earned while she was working multiple jobs, into positions with large manufacturing companies and professional associations before ultimately launching her own company.

Equally important, Stacey is a committed volunteer in the community. Indeed, Stacey has been a mentor to a College Now scholarship recipient since 2014 and, in fact, was selected as one of our 2018 Mentors of the Year. She and her mentee remain in close contact to this day!

College Now looks forward to selecting the first Schroeder Family Scholarship recipient in May 2020, and salutes both Stacey and her parents for their unwavering support of postsecondary educational attainment.
MentorInCLE Connect celebrates mentors and introduces opportunities to students
College Now held its annual MentorInCLE Connect Luncheon and Career Fair on January 9 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, generously supported by Delta Dental of Ohio and Team NEO.

The event comprised of a luncheon, including an engaging keynote address from Team NEO's Vice President of Strategy and Research, Jacob Duritsky, on Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio, in which the audience learned about in-demand careers and economic projections in the region. Also during lunch, two mentors were recognized for their outstanding volunteer service as mentors during an awards presentation.

Afterwards, students attended a career fair to learn about job and internship opportunities with over 40 local employers. For college students, internships and summer job experiences are increasingly important in a competitive job market and are crucial components to developing social capital and soft skills. The career fair served as a launching point for students to begin a successful second semester of this academic year.

Click here to view more photos from this event.
Mentoring changes trajectory of adult student's life
Written by Jane M. Von Bergen
Photo by I. George Bilyk
When Shannon Gallagher, Gries Financial Partners’ director of client services, first landed a job with the wealth management firm as a temp receptionist at age 21, she was already good at a couple of things.

She was good at leaving college. “My mom likes to say it: I didn’t go to Akron University. I was enrolled. It was fun. I had a good time.” Probably too good a time, since she wasn’t allowed to come back. Same thing happened when Gallagher attended Cuyahoga Community College for two and a half semesters. “I lost interest and just stopped going.”

Gallagher was also good at losing jobs – through no fault of her own, however. Mostly she worked in retail and “the stores kept closing, going bankrupt.” 
Worse, she was also quite proficient at being in debt, with $15,000 in college bills and no degree to show for it, plus not much ability to pay it back.

Her situation is completely different now.

Gallagher’s back in college, heading toward an associate degree in applied business, with a bachelor’s and more on the horizon. She has steadily advanced at Gries, and now directs client services at the Cleveland company. Most importantly, “We’re actively talking about the future of the firm, succession plans,” she said. “I’m one of ones that they are talking about being a future executive and a future partner in this firm. That’s their plan for me.”

What made the difference for Gallagher?

Click here to read the rest of this story.
Moment of the Month:
Two College Now Mentors awarded Mentor of the Year
College Now mentee Taylor presented her mentor Margie with a Mentor of the Year award at the MentorInCLE Connect event. Taylor said, "Margie has been everything I didn't know I needed when I left for undergrad" (left photo). Elaine received a Mentor of the Year award from her mentee, Jessica, who said, "Elaine has done more for me than I could ever imagine, and I am so grateful to have her as my mentor" (right photo).

Congratulations, Margie and Elaine! Thank you for serving as incredible examples to your mentees and fellow mentors.
It’s never too early to celebrate your Valentine!
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