In June of 2017, Peter Kiewit Foundation (PKF) awarded College Possible Omaha a $750,000 grant for general operating support over a three-year period. That support ensures that college admission and educational success is possible for capable low-income students through an intensive curriculum of near-peer coaching and support.
“College graduation should be determined by a student’s talent, motivation and effort; not by their zip code or family income,” says Arvin Frazier III, executive director for College Possible Omaha. “When we talk about the economic development of our community and how we can break certain cycles, the tried and true method of addressing generational poverty is through education.”
Powered by AmeriCorps members, College Possible Omaha assisted nearly 2,000 students last year in ten Omaha area high schools and over 90 colleges across the U.S. Coaches, who are recent college graduates themselves, meet with junior and senior high school students after school for two hours twice a week. High school students benefit from over 320 hours of programming that equips them with not only knowledge and information, but step-by-step guidance to finding the right college fit, filling out college and scholarship applications, writing essays and preparing for the ACT/SAT among other college ready activities.
But the support doesn’t stop there. “Our focus is two-fold, to and through college,” says Frazier III. “It’s about graduation, that’s the end goal.” College Possible Omaha continues to support and encourage students all the way through to college graduation with on-campus and virtual coaching. “We are putting together the necessary resources and supports to ensure the investment up front in our high school programming is successful for those students on the back end. It is important that we don’t lose sight of those end goals and prepare accordingly,” Frazier III adds.