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One Million Degrees Student Supports and Volunteer Opportunities Open at Prairie State and South Suburban Colleges

One Million Degrees Student Supports and Volunteer Opportunities Open at Prairie State and South Suburban Colleges [06/19/2018]

Local nonprofit recruiting students to access financial, academic, personal and professional supports, and volunteer professionals to mentor students.

Submitted by: One Million Degrees (OMD)

A Chicago nonprofit organization that empowers low-income, highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work, and in life—is expanding to South Suburban College (SSC) and continuing its work at Prairie State College (PSC). The organization is currently recruiting Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) residents who will be enrolled full-time at South Suburban or Prairie State College in fall 2018 to enroll in the OMD program.

Students (“scholars”) enrolled in the OMD Program receive access to the organization’s comprehensive on-campus supports, including free tutoring, monthly mentoring from a volunteer professional, career development services, and up to $1,000 annually in cash stipends.

There are limited spots available so current and prospective SSC and PSC students are encouraged to apply today at www.onemilliondegrees.org/apply or contact Neal Spann at nspann@onemilliondegrees.org. Eligible students must be HACC residents or voucher recipients, have a 1.8 GPA or higher, be enrolled full-time in fall 2018, apply and receive the Pell grant, and qualify for in-district tuition at either SSC or PSC.  

To work with the expanded student populations at SSC and PSC, OMD is recruiting volunteer mentors (“coaches”) to provide monthly in-person professional guidance and supports. OMD Coaches provide one-on-one and small-group professional and personal support throughout the academic year, while helping broaden scholars’ horizons of career aspirations and possibilities. Coaches are supported with ongoing training by OMD, and also have opportunities to connect with fellow coaches to expand their own professional networks.

Coaches give just a few hours each month and make a profound difference in the lives of OMD Scholars. “I have loved my mentee and everything about my mentoring experience at OMD,” said coach Neha Gupta, HR Specialist at PwC, “The two hours I spend monthly with my mentee are easily the two most meaningful hours of my month!

Current and retired professionals from a variety of fields are encouraged to apply today to become a volunteer coach, which has a one academic year (September – May) commitment. Applications are now open at www.onemilliondegrees.org/coach.

OMD provides a variety of holistic supports—financial assistance, mentoring, academic interventions and professional development—to hundreds of community college students across 10 Chicago-area community colleges each year. It is one of the only organizations in the country working directly with low-income community college students. OMD Scholars graduate from college at over two times the national average. Upon completion, its scholars transfer to four-year colleges and universities to earn their bachelor’s degrees and enter the workforce in high-demand fields, such as health care, IT and engineering. OMD Scholars build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities, while helping to strengthen the local and national economy.

In the 2018 - 2019 academic year, OMD will serve up to 850 scholars across all of its program locations including all seven campuses of the City Colleges of Chicago, Harper College, Prairie State College, and South Suburban College.  


About One Million Degrees

One Million Degrees believes that when given a solid system of support, every student has the ability to reach his or her full personal and professional potential. Since 2006, One Million Degrees has provided critical supports to help empower hundreds of community college students to succeed in the classroom and beyond. One Million Degrees Scholars are equipped with the skills necessary to help them reach their full potential in school, in work, and in life.

To learn more about One Million Degrees, please visit www.onemilliondegrees.org.