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Coach a Scholar at Kennedy-King College

The One Million Degrees Volunteer Coach application for the 2016-17 year is now open to professionals from across the Chicago area to make a difference in the lives of One Million Degrees community college scholars. For a glimpse into the One Million Degrees Coaching experience, meet Asiaha “Mrs. Englewood” Butler, an OMD Coach and President and Founder of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood.

As a volunteer mentor, or coach, Asiaha works with Tamera, an OMD Scholar from Kennedy-King College, to provide the support and guidance needed to navigate school and life. But it isn’t just Tamera who is growing in the experience. Asiaha is moved by the fact that her scholar truly values their relationship. Being an OMD Coach has allowed her to reflect on how much of an inspiration one can be to others simply by being there. This is a lesson she hopes others in the Englewood community can learn from as well.

The driving force that led to Asiaha signing up as a volunteer was the desire to connect to youth who are from Englewood and attending Kennedy-King College. Being a woman from the same neighborhood, a community leader, and alumna of Kennedy-King herself, Asiaha wanted to inspire current community college students and be inspired in return. Although she lives and works in Englewood, Asiaha says she feels disconnected from the students at Kennedy-King. If more community members stepped up to become coaches (mentors), she feels the students could gain a restored sense of hope and aspiration.

“Mentorship can be formal or informal, OMD provides a structured way of mentoring, but the relationships can blossom in an organic way,” Asiaha says. “Everyone in life needs a mentor. You can really help students at Kennedy-King College, and you’ll find there are a lot of remarkable people.”

To apply to be a 2016-17 OMD Coach, visit Volunteer coaches commit one Saturday morning per month to mentor one or more students attending eight community colleges across Chicago—including Kennedy-King College—and suburban Cook and Lake Counties.

About One Million Degrees

One Million Degrees is the only organization of its kind in Illinois and one of few in the country dedicated to providing comprehensive supports to low-income, highly motivated community college students to help them succeed in school, in work, and in life. From tutors and coaches to financial assistance and life-skills training, OMD offers the kind of support that empowers scholars to transform their lives in a way that will resonate for generations. OMD Scholars graduate at two times the state average with the skills and experiences necessary to launch upwardly mobile professional careers.

OMD partners with 11 Chicago-area community colleges, including the seven City Colleges of Chicago, College of Lake County, Harper College, Prairie State College, and South Suburban College. In the 2015-2016 academic year OMD serves 441 scholars across the region and will expand to serve 700 scholars in the 2016-2017 year.

To learn more about One Million Degrees, please visit

Keywords: College, community, community activities, community engagement, Education, Education in Englewood, Mentoring, professional development

Posted in Community Organizations, Education

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