A celebration of graduation

College Possible held its annual year-end graduation celebration for over 1,200 low-income students in the Great Hall of the Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus May 18.

The program highlighted accomplishments of more than 750 high school seniors who have earned admission to over 100 colleges and universities across the United States.

These students worked with their AmeriCorps coach to complete over 320 hours of intensive curriculum over their two years in the College Possible program, ranging from ACT practice tests to campus visits, with a goal of earning admission to college, securing financial aid and choosing a school that is the best fit.

Coon Rapids High School senior Raymond Twumasi was one of the students at the celebration.

“My favorite part about today is all the emotion — to see how everyone impacted their coaches,” Twumasi said.

“I mean no coach can go up there with a straight face. They all end up crying. I love seeing the emotion and love knowing we made an impact on their lives just like they have made an impact on ours.”

Asked about college, Twumasi said, “I’m excited about the new experiences, new things I’m going to learn, college life, independence, just everything. I’m one that always thinks highly of myself — I thought I was on track for college.

“But College Possible showed me so many new things, so many scholarships that I could not have gotten without the help from College Possible.

“It also helped me stay more organized and gain a better understanding of college. How to transition, how to be successful, and how to use my resources around me.”

College Possible serves 1,600 students in the Twin Cities at 19 partner high schools, including Coon Rapids High School, through its core high school program. Its students have an average grade-point average of 3.0, 91 percent are students of color and they report an average annual family income of less than $25,000.

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