Keller Family Foundation Renews Program Support

We are delighted to announce that the Keller Family Foundation has made a renewal grant to College Beyond in support of our 2016-2017 programs.

A founding investor in our organization, the Keller Family Foundation is a local charitable trust focused on sustaining and improving the Greater New Orleans region, with particular emphasis in the areas of education, youth development, human services, and public affairs. We are grateful for KFF’s continued support, which is focused on our 2016-2017 student coaching cycle.

College Beyond’s work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and their belief in the capacity of the young people in our city. Learn more about our community of support on our investors page.

Join in our mission by making a tax-deductible donation today.

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Donation Total: $25


High School Program Update: Counselors in Action

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Cowen Institute Executive Director Amanda Hill opens the Nov. 10 training.

This week, College Beyond and the Cowen Institute were excited to co-host the second in our year-long workshop series for school counselors at our partner public high schools here in New Orleans.

As a learning community for counseling professionals, the series focuses on college access, financial aid, and laying the groundwork in high school to help students persist in college over the long run. Between trainings, counselor coach Lauren Hitt meets with each school team to directly support continuous improvement unique to each campus.

We are so honored to partner with this dedicated group of professional counselors and to share in the process of learning from each other in service of New Orleans students.

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College Beyond’s work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and their belief in the capacity of the young people in our city. Learn more about our community of support on our investors page.

Join in our mission by making a tax-deductible donation today.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $25


Student Profile: Meet Rana Thabata

Rana Thabata is a leader. We sat down with the College Beyond freshman to learn about her first-year experiences at Loyola University and her vision for the future of college access and persistence in New Orleans.

Rana Thabata is a freshman at Loyola University New Orleans.

Rana Thabata is a freshman at Loyola University New Orleans.

CB: What made you choose Loyola? What are you planning to major in, and why?

RT: Loyola was the right choice because it is home to an overwhelmingly kind and caring community. My older sister was there and would always rave about how Loyola had so much to offer. I chose Loyola because I thought of it as a place I can thrive, it was small enough to make my mark on. I am currently a Political Science major, and I am most interested in studying Social and Public Policy because I want to one day write policy and improve the quality of life for those who experience hardships related to race, class, and/or gender.

…I am most interested in studying Social and Public Policy because I want to one day write policy and improve the quality of life for those who experience hardships…

CB: What’s the best part of freshman year so far?

RT: The best part of my freshman year so far is the relationships that I have made. I never expected to make friends so fast coming into a brand new environment. When I got to Loyola, I was able to meet such amazing people that were in the same boat I was in, and it felt good to have people who understood the struggle of adjusting to a new environment. I have also made friends with upperclassmen who are so kind, and tell you that if you ever needed help with anything, they would be there. Going to a small school meant that I would have smaller classes, and it feels great when your professor knows your name and gives you advice about anything.

The best part of my freshman year so far is the relationships that I have made. I never expected to make friends so fast coming into a brand new environment.

CB: How has it felt to have coaching meetings with Ms. Erica?

RT: Working with Ms. Erica through College Beyond has been absolutely amazing. To know that there is someone who cares about how you are doing, and checks on you frequently feels great. She is a support system I never expected to have entering college. Whenever we get together we talk about my classes, things I am involved in or thinking about getting involved in, or any problems I am having in general. She always has open ears, and she always has the best advice. Her coaching has helped me with time management, and just handling how I deal with certain situations.

CB: You have an internship at 4pt0 Schools this semester! What made you interested in doing an internship? What are you learning?

RT: I knew that the four years you spend in college was a time to not only earn a degree, but also to gain experience. I knew I wanted to intern within my freshman and sophomore year, and when I met Ms. Erica for the first time, she told me about how College Beyond has worked a non-profit named 4pt0 Schools.  As I was reading about it, I came across the internship application and I instantly applied. It has been wonderful so far. I am learning about all the different programs people are creating to help education.

CB: I hear you are interested in starting a college persistence non-profit one day! Can you share a little about your passion for that and what you hope to achieve?

RT: It is incredible to be able to intern for 4pt0 because it finds, trains, and invests in passionate people solving the most important challenges in education. I am passionate about creating a non-profit that helps stellar students from low income high schools with the college and scholarship application process. When I was a senior in high school, I didn’t think I was capable of getting into schools like the Ivy League schools and it was because I had no clue about the process. I want students to know that they have the potential to make it to these schools with the correct resources.

I am passionate about creating a non-profit that helps stellar students from low income high schools with the college and scholarship application process.

CB: Hundreds of high school seniors across New Orleans are applying to college right now. You’re already through that process! What advice would you share with them?

RT: I would tell them to start applying to college now, the earlier, the better. I would tell them to do their research, and to go on tours, they have to be able to see themselves at that school for the next four years. I would tell them not to stress about it, that they will end up where they belong. I would also tell them that they should ask students at the schools they are looking at about their experiences so far.

College Beyond’s work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and their belief in the capacity of the young people in our city. Learn more about our community of support on our investors page.

Join in our mission by making a tax-deductible donation today.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $25


Exec. Dir. Paris Woods Named to Gambit’s 40 Under 40

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College Beyond Executive Director Paris Woods has been named a Gambit 2016 40 Under 40 honoree!

The annual list recognizes young leaders across New Orleans. This year’s group includes professionals from a wide array of sectors, ranging from the arts to technology.

College was a really important experience for me because it exposed me to all that is possible…But it also showed me the vast inequity that we have when it comes to education.

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-10-54-26-amIn the Gambit’s 40 Under 40 web issue, released on October 31, Paris describes her personal connection to College Beyond’s mission: “I’m a first generation college graduate myself…College was a really important experience for me because it exposed me to all that is possible…But it also showed me the vast inequity that we have when it comes to education. That sort of foundation made me interested in leveling the playing field.”

Congratulations, Paris!

College Beyond’s work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and their belief in the capacity of the young people in our city. Learn more about our community of support on our investors page.

Join in our mission by making a tax-deductible donation today.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $25


Accelerating with Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation

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Propeller’s 2016 Startup Accelerator Class Photo: Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation

This fall, College Beyond is excited to join 30 other local social impact ventures in the 2016 Accelerator Program at Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation.

Through the Accelerator, the College Beyond team will get coaching, community, and support to deepen our impact in the greater New Orleans area. And, we get to learn from the inspiring and exciting projects underway at other ventures in our cohort, whose work ranges from education to issues related to water, food, and health.

Check out more info about the Accelerator and our amazing cohort here!

College Beyond’s work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and their belief in the capacity of the young people in our city. Learn more about our community of support on our investors page.

Join in our mission by making a tax-deductible donation today.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $25


Celebrating our New Name: College Beyond

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Dear Community,

I am writing to you with exciting news!

As we shared in our most recent Impact Report, College Bridge is poised to make a significant expansion in our service offerings this year, reaching over 1,000 students via a combination of high school and university partnerships.

What we have learned serving students over the past three years is that the work we do supporting students through the transition to college has lasting effects. We not only help students enroll and succeed in college, but we equip them with the skills, habits, and mindsets that empower them to take charge of their lives.

As an organization, we believe in deep, lasting, and systemic change for the young people in our community. This is why we have expanded our partnerships to include high school counselor trainings, so that we can reach many times more students by building capacity at the building level. This is why data collection and best-practice sharing are such critical components of the value we add to all of our partners. And this is why we are committed to offering our services to students on a completely free, open-enrollment basis, with the vision of one day reaching every single college-eligible student in the city of New Orleans.

Our vision is large and the resulting impact on our city will be even larger.

Given the expansiveness of our mission and the innovative reach of our programming, we have decided to unveil a new name for our organization.

Welcome to College Beyond.

College Beyond is more than a bridge between high school and college. We are a citywide movement and a statement that every college-bound young person, irrespective of racial background, socioeconomic status, or parent education level, deserves the support needed to enroll and succeed in college.

We, together with you and all of our supporters, are the change we seek in our communities and city as a whole. We are called to great work and are happily answering that call.

Celebrate with us as we enter this new chapter in the development of our organization as College Beyond.

With gratitude,

Paris Woods

Co-founder & Executive Director

College Beyond     Sign up for our newsletter here.

P.S. Please update your records with our new name and new web address, https://collegebeyond.org. Our mailing address and telephone contact information will remain the same. We will be in touch regarding any other updates to ways you can remain in contact with us.


Announcing our 2015-2016 Impact Report

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 9.18.16 AMAfter a full and inspiring year, we are excited to share our first-ever Impact Report.

The report, designed by our friends at Heartsleeve, details the outcomes of our work in 2015-2016 and lays out where we are headed in 2016-2017.

Here’s a quick preview:

  • In 2015-2016, we helped 250+ students beat the odds in college enrollment and persistence.
  • In 2016-2017, we are excited to launch counselor training, college partnerships, and a peer mentoring program which together will help us reach roughly 1,000 young people.

This work would not be possible without our students, team, partners, and growing community of support — and we are delighted to feature them in these pages.

Download the full report here!

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Partnering on Common Ground: College Bridge & UNO

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Board President Ben Kleban, Exec. Director Paris Woods, and UNO President John Nicklow

College Bridge is launching two university partnerships this year, including working with the University of New Orleans. In 2016-2017, we’ll provide personalized college success coaching to 40 incoming UNO freshmen. They’re all from New Orleans, and they’re all pretty amazing human beings.

We are so excited to work with them — but we’re also excited because their institution’s leadership shares our vision for improving college retention and persistence among New Orleans youth.

UNO plans to grow, to serve more youth in the Greater New Orleans region, and to make sure that even more of its students succeed in earning a degree. In July, UNO President John Nicklow laid out his approach to do just that, and we are delighted to join him in the shared effort to serve the young adults of our community.

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Rising UNO Sophomore Asia Carter and College Success Coach Erica Martinez welcoming UNO freshman to College Bridge in early August.


Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation Supports College Bridge with Start-up Grant

We are delighted to share that the Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation has made a grant to College Bridge in support of our 2016-2017 programs.

The Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation is a charitable trust focused on granting financial assistance to educational, cultural, civic, philanthropic and charitable organizations in the Greater New Orleans region. We are grateful for its support as we launch our 2016-2017 student coaching cycle.

College Bridge’s work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and their belief in the capacity of the young people in our city. Learn more about our community of support on our investors page.

 


UNO Orientation Night: So. Excited.

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Students, family, and staff gather on UNO’s campus for College Bridge’s 2016 cohort Orientation.

Last Wednesday was College Bridge Orientation at the University of New Orleans. Just look at these beautiful people!

As we are wont to do at College Bridge, we talked a lot about why we were all gathered. We heard students and parents share important, thoughtful goals for the coming year. We imagined together how we’ll overcome challenges when they arise. And we celebrated our UNO College Bridge community.

And the bottom line is that we are just thrilled to get to work with these young people, their families, and their institution this year.

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Raffle winner and UNO freshman Darius Martin.

A special shout out goes to Carlos Gooden and the UNO Admissions team for their support, to College Bridge intern and rising UNO sophomore Asia Carter for documenting and lending a helping hand at the event, and to College Bridge alum Jesstillia Harris for attending and sharing her wisdom.

We can’t wait for the semester to begin!

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Incoming UNO freshman Bryn Dyal displays her new College Bridge t-shirt.