August, 2015
College Now Mentoring Program Kicks off Fifth Year with More Than 1,000 Mentor-Mentee Pairs

College Now scholarship recipient Jerry de la Pena and Board Chair Alan Kopit at the 2015 Mentoring Kick-off
On July 30, nearly 500 mentors and mentees gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland to kick off the 2015-16 academic year.  For the 240+ freshman mentees who attended, this was the first opportunity they had to meet their mentors in person; it was also a chance for them to meet other students who will attend the same school. They also had a chance to hear from current scholarship recipient, Jerry de la Pena, who talked about his experience in college and with the mentoring program and how to get the most out of both.

The College Now Mentoring Program is unique in that the bulk of communication is done through an online platform. Mentors and mentees communicate several times a month via this platform, using a curriculum developed by College Now, and they are asked to meet in person three times every year. The time commitment is minimal; but the impact is significant, as the program boasted a 97% retention rate from students' freshman to sophomore year during its first three years. Cleveland's business community has supported this program, too, with mentors representing more than 250 local employers participating in the program.

The College Now Mentoring Program has been so successful that this year we're replicating it on a small scale with students from the Barberton High School Class of 2015, as part of our collaboration with The Barberton Community Foundation and the City of Barberton. Nine college-going seniors from Barberton High School opted to participate in the voluntary mentoring program, and they will follow the same model as College Now's scholarship recipients.  

A sea of mentors and mentees at the July 30 event at the Renaissance Hotel
College Now Receives Two 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants Worth $1.2 Million

College Now was recently awarded two 21st Century Community Learning Center grants.  The award, $400,000 per year for three years (total of $1.2 million) is passed through the U.S. Department of Education to the Ohio Department of Education, then on to College Now and will allow the organization to expand the impACT the 216 after school programming it has been providing to students in four branches of the Cleveland Public Library.  Starting this fall, impACT the 216 will be delivered in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and Esperanza, Inc. to serve students primarily from Lincoln West High School and with the Warrensville Heights City School District to serve students primarily from Warrensville Heights High School.
impACT the 216 is an eight-week program that runs three times each school year designed to increase students' reading and math proficiency and boost their ACT scores.  In addition, students who participate in the program are required to develop a college plan that they will present to their families at the end of their eight-week session.  So not only do College Now advisors guide students through the process, they educate their families on the college-going process. This increased awareness among families will support students' postsecondary aspirations.  Additionally, participants take part in college visits and are eligible for a stipend and a potential internship upon successful completion of the program.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center grants are extremely competitive. In this grant cycle, 241 applications for new funding were submitted, and only 75 were awarded. College Now received two of the 75 new grants.
Students who participate in impACT the 216 will take a pre- and post-test using ACT's researched-based student data and assessment tools to set benchmarks in reading and math and determine students' progress in those two areas throughout the course of the program.  The goal of impACT the 216 is for College Now advisors to work with students one-on-one and in groups on activities that will polish their reading and math skills as well as familiarize them with the ACT so that they are more confident in their understanding of the subject matter and the test itself the next time they take it.

Students can enroll in impACT the 216 at one of six locations:
  • Eastman Library (11602 Lorain Avenue Cleveland, OH 44111)
  • Harvard-Lee Library (16918 Harvard Avenue Cleveland, OH 44128)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Library (1962 Stokes Boulevard Cleveland, OH 44106)
  • South Brooklyn Library (4303 Pearl Road Cleveland, OH 44109)
  • Esperanza, Inc. (3104 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44109)
  • Warrensville Heights High School (4270 Northfield Rd, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128)
impACT the 216 meets for eight weeks Monday-Thursday and Friday as needed from 3:30 - 5:45 p.m.  

Click here to learn more and enroll!
Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars Take on D.C. and Philly

The Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars at Howard University, where they met up with recent CMSD graduates beginning their freshman year
Last week, the Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars went on a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to visit some of the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities.


The Scholars are the top-performing students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and the program is designed to expose students to colleges and universities they might have thought were out of reach, and, vice versa, to expose these exceptional institutions to this bright group of students.


Over a period of four days, our busy students and advisors visited American University, Bryn Mawr College, Carnegie-Mellon University (they made a special stop in Pittsburgh on the drive home!), Georgetown University, George Washington University, Haverford College, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania.


It wasn't all college visits, though. The Scholars did a national monument scavenger hunt while in D.C., and made some time for fun in Philly, too, taking a Duck Tour of the city and grabbing a Philly cheesesteak for dinner! 

College Now Congratulates Long-Time Partner, Kiwanis Club, on Centennial Anniversary

As the 2015-2016 school-year gets underway, College Now would like to thank the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland for its long-standing commitment to postsecondary educational attainment and for the dozens of scholarships the Club has funded with College Now!
Indeed, since the 1993-1994 school year, the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland has given College Now over $125,000 for scholarships that have benefitted 120 college upperclassmen, each of whom graduated from a high school within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Of all these recipients, a very impressive 89% have since graduated from college!
College Now salutes both the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland and Kiwanis International on the organization's centennial anniversary! We are grateful for the Club's multi-faceted focus on Cleveland's youth and community involvement.
Finishing up Your Back to School Shopping?

Here's another easy way to help College Now: make your purchases through Amazon.Com
1. Type into your browser before shopping
2. Log in to your Amazon account
3. Type College Now Greater Cleveland into the charity/organization search bar
4. 0.5% of your total purchase amount will be donated to College Now!