College Possible

College Possible makes college admission and success a reality for students from low-income communities through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Today, students from high-income backgrounds are more than twice as likely to graduate college as those from low-income backgrounds, due largely to systemic factors rather than talent or interest. Through our proven, 6+ year curriculum, we work to close the gap in college degree attainment and provide students from low-income backgrounds the tools, strategies and support they need to navigate and overcome systemic barriers to college graduation. College Possible Chicago launched in 2015 and, since then, has supported more than 1,400 high school and college students from over 50 different zip codes in Chicago. All the students in our program come from low-income backgrounds, approximately 90% identify as students of color and many will be the first in their family to attend college. 

While all these capable young people in our program aspire to earn a college degree, they often lack access to the same guidance and resources available to many of their more affluent peers. As a result, many of these students have difficulty navigating the academic and financial complexities of the higher education system. College Possible addresses this critical gap, pairing students with a near-peer coach who provides mentoring and guidance in five core areas: (1) Academic support through SAT preparation; (2) College application assistance; (3) Financial aid consulting; (4) Guidance on the transition to college; (5) Comprehensive support toward college degree completion and career readiness. 

Our unique near-peer model, made possible by AmeriCorps service, is a key element of our success. College Possible coaches, many of them recent college graduates, people of color and first-generation college students, are especially relatable to the students we support and provide invaluable mentorship and guidance on the college process. Unlike some college access and success programs, we don’t wait for students to come to us. Rather, coaches regularly check-in with students and monitor progress toward their individual goals, anticipating and addressing needs before problems become insurmountable challenges. 

Thanks to our work with AmeriCorps members, we have familiarity working with young people and value creating opportunities that enhance students’ career exposure and give opportunities to see behind the scenes of a national youth-serving organization. A PICS intern would join our 12-15 person team, primarily with our program staff and focus on summer transition work helping students have the tools they need to get onto college campuses in the fall as well as support in data analysis. 

City/State

Chicago, IL

Internship Description

A PICS intern would join our 12-15 person team, primarily with our program staff and focus on summer transition work helping students get the tools they need to get onto college campuses in the fall as well as support in data analysis. Projects and tasks may include: working with our local and national program & database teams to understand our reporting systems and make analyses on the data; supporting our team in building and delivering summer transition workshops focused on college enrollment tasks (class registration, financial aid support, etc.), and working with our operations team to prepare for training the new class of coaches. 

# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transit Housing  Format
8 Flexible 9:00am  5:00pm Yes No In Person

Housing Information

Our office is located in downtown Chicago off various train and bus stops. There are many rental opportunities around our office and some housing sublets available near local college campuses. We are happy to support intern in their search.

Internship Qualifications

  • Must be a self-starter, have good communication skills and feel comfortable asking questions 
  • This internship would be most interesting to a candidate with an interest in education policy, non-profit administration, fundraising, and/or research, 
  • Demonstrated commitment to College Possible’s mission and educational equity 
  • Experience working with diverse teams, and commitment to inclusiveness 
  • Experience managing data and working with Microsoft Excel

Additional qualifications:

  • Positive, hardworking and a “happy to help” approach to the work

Writing Sample Required

None

Special Requirements

  • Background check
  • Vaccinations
  • Some weeks/projects may require work outside of the standard 9am-5pm but we would give flexibility during the week when that happens to maintain a 35-40 hour work week.