AmeriCorps members serve College Possible at Coon Rapids High School

This year’s College Possible program at Coon Rapids High School has 75 students enrolled.

College Possible makes college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive two-year curriculum of coaching and support.

Chris Stoltenberg is returning to Coon Rapids High School as the senior coach with 38 students, while Kelley Redmond is the junior coach with 37 students.

Stoltenberg, originally from Madison, Wis., is a 2012 graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cites. There, he studied biology and Spanish and was able to spend five years volunteering at the University YMCA with the Y-Mentors program.

He enjoys working with youth, reading, being active and spending time with his family and friends, according to Stoltenberg.

After his time with College Possible, Stoltenberg said he hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in family medicine.

Redmond grew up in Hartford, Wis, a small town outside Milwaukee, before attending the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. There, she studied psychology and developed a passion for social justice and community engagement.

She is thrilled to continue life in the Twin Cities and to begin this new journey with College Possible, Redmond said.

Her first venture outside North America was a semester abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, during her junior year — an experience which has given her a permanent case of wanderlust, she said.

In addition to dreaming of traveling to places around the world, she enjoys exploring the Twin Cities, listening to and making music (she’s played the violin since elementary school), reading great books and cheering on the Green Bay Packers, Redmond said.

Stoltenberg and Redmond, serving as AmeriCorps members, guide students through all of the key aspects of preparing for college during after-school sessions for two hours twice a week.

Over the course of their junior and senior years, students complete 320 hours of curriculum in a supportive group of college-bound peers.

The junior year curriculum orients students to the college application process, provides extensive preparation for the ACT/SAT exam, introduces students to college life through campus tours and allows time for students to apply for summer enrichment opportunities, according to the College Possible website.

The core senior year curriculum leads students through the college application process, assists students in applying for financial aid and scholarships, and guides students through the transition to college, the website states.

Launched in 2000, College Possible Twin Cities serves more than 10,000 low-income high school and college age students through its college access and completion programs.  Nationwide, College Possible’s model serves nearly 15,000 Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon and Wisconsin students.

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