We are pleased to announce that College Access Now (CAN) is joining the national nonprofit, College Possible, to become its seventh site, College Possible Washington! By aligning efforts and leveraging a national infrastructure, College Possible Washington will be able to serve more students effectively and efficiently reaching 650 high school and 1,600 college students in the Seattle and South King County area.
Founded in 2006, CAN is a member of the AmeriCorps National Service Program and Julia Schechter, founder of CAN, designed its program based on College Possible’s nationally-recognized and rigorously-evaluated model of near-peer mentoring and coaching. In May 2019, the Board of Directors for both CAN and College Possible voted unanimously to merge into one organization. This marks the first merger for either organization.
CAN Executive Director Guadalupe Torres — a highly experienced nonprofit leader skilled in organizational growth, program excellence and community engagement, joined the organization in 2017 and will continue to serve as executive director of College Possible Washington. While Washington’s educational attainment exceeds the national average, there are large achievement gaps in the Seattle region and across the state.
“Despite Seattle’s thriving economy, there is a growing population of underrepresented students who need support. As the daughter of an immigrant from a farm-working family and a first-generation college graduate – I know the challenges. I am honored to lead an organization that promotes the opportunity for students to reach their full potential and creates a talent pipeline that is reflective of the rich diversity of our local communities,” Torres said. “Joining College Possible will enable us to scale a proven model to serve more students in Washington and draw on the expertise and reach of partners across the United States.”
The merger brings together two mission-aligned organizations focused on improving higher education access and outcomes, strengthening support for low-income students and expanding College Possible’s presence in the Pacific Northwest.
“This partnership will enable us to change the odds for thousands of students and help them achieve their full potential in college,” said Jim McCorkell, founder and CEO of College Possible. “The Washington team shares a deep commitment to equity and our mission of helping students from low-income backgrounds access and thrive in college. We’re excited to welcome them to the team.”
Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, College Possible also operates in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; and Portland, OR. With the addition of the Washington site, College Possible will reach 25,000 students nationally during the 2019-20 school year.