In partnership with College Success Arizona – AdviseAZ, Earn to Learn placed 70 half-time AmeriCorps members in public schools throughout Arizona. These members provide support to high school students and college enrolled students in the areas of college access, personal finance, financial literacy and career planning in low income, Title I designated schools in Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff and rural areas in Yuma, Pinal, Cochise and Maricopa counties.  AY2019-2021 we provided college access support to over 4,000 high school students throughout Arizona and ultimately, increased college-going rates among low-income, first-generation students.

What better way to impact the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of young minds, than using existing Earn to Learn students as mentors. Our mentors will pass on their passion, experiences, challenges and successes with many young students. Excitement for this program lies in mentoring and programming activities using a “Near Peer” intervention model pioneered by College Advising Corps.

 “Being a college student and more importantly a first-generation college student from alow-income background helps me connect to a lot of other students in the same situation. Often students of this background do not believe they could attend college because of their lack of support. I am an example to these students that college is possible.”

The Near Peer intervention model provides support to pre-college and college enrolled students. Our mentors meet with students in partner schools 1-2 days per week. Using every modern technology available, we reach students through text, phone, skype or other electronic means. Continued pandemic-induced isolation, along with other stresses, means virtual success coaching will play a critical role to support students’ persistence, retention and completion of high school and higher education or technical skills training.