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Day in the life of a College Possible coach: Omaha edition

The Omaha skyline reflects on a pond luminated by the dusk sky.

According to Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, Nebraska public high schools reported college continuation rates just under 67 percent for 2021 graduating high school classes across the state. This number drops even lower, to roughly 53 percent, for students from limited-income backgrounds, meaning about half of students from underrepresented communities won’t continue on to college after high school. “It was my coach seeing the potential in me and relaying that back to me, recognizing my value as a student,” shares Decker, a College Possible student. “Working on my college essay, she just reminded me that I should go to college. She would ask, ‘Why would you waste your potential?’”

At College Possible Omaha, near-peer coaches help narrow the college graduation gap for students throughout the city, starting in the students’ junior year in high school and following them wherever they go to college. Let’s dive into some unique benefits of AmeriCorps service at the Omaha site, and see how College Possible Omaha coaches spend their time in and outside of their service hours.

Enjoy an AmeriCorps service year empowering college opportunity

College Possible Omaha offers AmeriCorps service positions supporting both high school and college students to and through college; these roles are called college access and success coaches. Running August through June, this service term averages 40 hours per week, with every Friday devoted to professional development for coaches.

As a college access coach, you work with an assigned cohort of students at various partner high schools throughout Omaha. Your coaching runs Monday through Thursday and may include in-person support, tech-connected support, or both. During a typical school week, you’ll manage day-to-day interactions with students while logging student engagement data into Salesforce to track student progress. Time with students is spent helping them navigate key college preparatory milestones: college selection, test prep, applications, and financial aid. “I knew I wanted to go to college, and I knew I needed help — especially with my ACT,” shares Jose, a College Possible student. “Connecting with the College Possible coaches made me realize this program would help me get to where I needed to be.”

If you’re selected to serve as a college success coach, you’ll support a cohort of college students to stay on track through degree completion – typically with students spanning multiple universities and colleges. In this role, you’ll help students navigate common college barriers by helping them find study groups, directing them to campus and community resources, and strengthening their time-management and budgeting skills.

"My service term made me realize I love working in higher education and being in a role where I am directly supporting students on their journey to college graduation and beyond,” says Michaela, a college coach. “Your service term is not just for the students you serve, it’s for you as well!”

Live in exciting and affordable Omaha neighborhoods

One of the best perks of serving at the College Possible Omaha site is living in the largest city in Nebraska. Known as the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement and home to the award-winning Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, there’s a thrill around every corner in Omaha.

Omaha is one of the most affordable places to serve as a College Possible AmeriCorps member, as residents enjoy a cost of living that’s eight percent lower than the national average. Most Omaha coaches have found that living with one or more roommates is the most cost-effective housing option in the city, while others have found studios or one-bedroom apartments in the Aksarben, Dundee or Benson neighborhoods. If you’re looking to relocate to Omaha for your service year, you’ll receive a $500 relocation reimbursement to offset the cost. Funds can be used for a variety of expenses, including hotel fees while you search for your new apartment in the area, a lease deposit, or a moving truck, just to name a few.

Getting around the city to your assigned schools is a breeze with public transportation. The College Possible Omaha office is located a short ten minute walk from the Route 18 bus stop via the Metro. Bike sharing is also available 24/7 through Heartland Bikeshare, or if scooters are more your speed, Lime rental stations are located throughout the city.

Explore Omaha with your fellow college coaches

An AmeriCorps service year with College Possible is one of the best ways to gain invaluable professional skills to jumpstart your career. It’s also a transformative time to build lifelong friendships with your cohort of college coaches. “Enjoy your time,” says Marisa, a college coach alumna, to future AmeriCorps members. “I made friendships and connections that have lasted long beyond my service term. College Possible still helps me in my day-to-day work in higher education and I was better prepared for my career because of College Possible.”

When they’re not working with students, College Possible Omaha coaches can be found enjoying all that the city and scenery has to offer. The Omaha Riverfront, a middle point between Omaha’s historic Old Market and downtown, is a favorite coach destination for gathering outdoors. Spanning 73 acres, this space connects the Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, and Lewis and Clark Landing. The riverfront’s calendar of events boasts everything from food trucks to fitness classes, and book carts to dance nights, offering activities for everyone.

If a night on the town is what you’re looking for, Midtown Crossings Turner Park is your next stop. Coaches frequent this Omaha destination to grab a bite to eat, shop, or enjoy one of the many events sponsored in this dog-friendly, green space! Home to Jazz on the Green, Turner Park Night Market, Yoga in the Park, and Wednesday Workouts – just to name a few – Turner Park always has a unique event for you and your coach crew to attend.

A service year at College Possible Omaha offers a unique way to empower college opportunity throughout the city, and it’s an excellent launching pad for those deciding between disciplines for master’s degree programs, or for those seeking tangible experience before entering into the nonprofit or education work field. If gaining invaluable professional skills and making a proven impact in your community sounds like a year well spent, please join us at one of our upcoming information sessions or browse our open positions.


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