Earn to Learn has secured a grant of $1.23 million from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. The three-year grant will expand Earn to Learn’s Next Steps Program, a near peer advising model that recruits, trains and deploys college students to provide college access assistance to high school students.
The Next Steps Program leverages the experience of recent college graduates who are trained to provide college access services and mentoring to economically disadvantaged students. With this new funding, Earn to Learn will grow the program with 50 new AmeriCorps members, who will focus on Title I schools in Pima, Yuma, Navajo, Coconino and Maricopa County.
“There are youth all over Arizona who dream of a college education,” said Kate Hoffman, founder and CEO of Earn to Learn. “Unfortunately, stubborn opportunity gaps and a shortage of knowledgeable support often prevent them from doing so. This grant will allow us to reach thousands of additional high schoolers over the next three years helping them on the path to postsecondary education.”
Trained by Earn to Learn staff members, Next Steps advisors serve as knowledgeable, engaged, near-peer college advisers offering advice, mentorship and support to students in both individual and group settings as they navigate the college enrollment process. They help students with everything from the application process and financial aid to entrance test registration and career exploration.
AmeriCorps State and Nation engages more than 65,000 Americans in intensive service each year. Full-time AmeriCorps members in the AmeriCorps State and National program receive a modest living allowance, health care and childcare. At the successful completion of each service term, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.
Earn to Learn is the largest and most successful matched-savings scholarship program in the country. It combines student savings with scholarships, financial education and college success coaching to help low- to moderate-income and under-represented students obtain a college education and graduate workforce-ready with little to no student loan debt. For more information, visit earntolearn.org.