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Pay It Forward -- Become a College Now Mentor!

College Now is seeking mentors for college scholarship recipients. Matches to start in summer 2023. Volunteers in education are particularly needed to mentor students.

Each year, the College Now Mentoring Program works with hundreds of area college students from high-financial need backgrounds. Most students are also the first in their families to attend college. College Now provides students a renewable scholarship, and also connects them to a mentor for guidance throughout college – and that’s where you come in! By volunteering as a mentor, you can help a local college student reach their full potential!

This virtual program has a light touch but is extremely effective. Mentors and students communicate twice per month online and meet virtually or in-person throughout the year. College Now also provides support to mentors and students, hosts events, and connects students to opportunities. This added guidance has ensured College Now students graduate at nearly twice the rate of their peers nationwide!

As a mentor, you serve in a role that expands students’ support structure beyond friends and family, providing advice and guidance, yes, but most important is the emotional understanding you can offer. In the words of Dawn, current teacher and recently-matched mentor: “Learning about how the college experience has evolved over the last several years has been eye-opening, and I am grateful for the opportunity to provide support and guidance.” Teachers offer such a crucial perspective on mentoring due to their knowledge and professional experience, as well as their ability to relate to young people and inspire them to pursue their dreams.

The program is also mutually beneficial. Mary Alice Conkey, Executive Director of NEOEA and a second-year mentor, shares, “College Now offers all the support necessary to be successful. As a mentor, you can share your thoughts and ideas, but also you learn a lot from a mentee who is embarking on career choice and passion.”

The individual impact is immeasurable, but the time commitment is not. Sue, an NEOEA member and mentor, agrees. Sue’s student graduated from the program, and she reflects on her experience: “I truly enjoyed volunteering as a College Now mentor and it was a rewarding experience. The Chronus app made it easy to communicate, especially during the pandemic since we couldn't meet face-to-face.” Sue’s mentee recently accepted a position as a teacher in her very own classroom. That’s what’s called a success story!

When you become a mentor, you join more than 1,800 Cleveland professionals from over 500 employers– including many local school systems - who have already found that a small investment of time can have a tremendous impact. Education professionals are encouraged to apply to help a student!

Apply at https://collegenowgc.chronus.com/p/collegenow/ by April 1 to be considered for a match in summer 2023. Once your application is complete, a staff member of College Now will contact you about training. For questions, visit their website at https://www.collegenowgc.org/become-a-mentor/ or contact Nicki Price at nprice@collegenowgc.org.

By signing up today, you can help ensure that the next generation has the support they need to succeed!

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