MILWAUKEE - Planning to go to college can be stressful enough at any time -- without the added challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning.
College Possible is helping to make a difference. The pandemic and all that has come with it has been no match for the 1,800 determined local "scholars" working for the non-profit organization, partnering with AmeriCorps.
"It’s been tough but it’s worth it," said Bawi Par, a College Possible star scholar. "I had a huge language barrier, I did not know anything about the school system, or how the education system worked."
Par immigrated from Myanmar and Malaysia in third grade.
"I tried to get more into my schooling, or, know more about myself and the future that I wanted," Par said. "When I overcame my language barrier, I was like, oh, I can do so much more."
Par is one of 600 local high school juniors and seniors facing unique obstacles, relying on College Possible for advice on preparing for the ACT and applying for college and scholarships. with the goal to complete a two- or four-year degree with as little debt as possible.
"Our mission is to work with scholars who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds, to help them gain access to, and continue all the way through college graduation," said Kellie Sigh, College Possible executive director. "People should not find themselves not receiving a college degree because of either their race or because of their income. It should very much be because of their desire to go to school and a will to complete college."
With College Possible's help, Par said she will attend UW-Milwaukee this fall.
"I love it. I know more about college than I ever did," Par said. "I am very interested in majors law and business."
If you would like to look into opportunities with College Possible to help with virtual coaching, or if you have a student who may be interested in becoming a College Possible scholar, visit collegepossible.org.