College Access Now (CAN) empowers students from low-income families to access, enroll, and graduate from college at rates equal to their more advantaged peers.
CAN is a comprehensive in-school advocacy and after school support program that helps students perceive themselves as “college material,” navigate the college application process, secure funding for college, and persevere in their studies. An eight year program, even after students graduate high school they receive support and coaching from CAN to help them achieve their goals.
Its methodology is unique; it promotes college attendance through a best practice combination of full-time on-site staffing and services, after-school class sessions, campus visits and individualized coaching. With their unique College Persistence Program, CAN is helping students stay the course through graduation. SVP has supported CAN since 2011.
Strengthening College Access Now
In partnership with SVP, CAN tackles projects like:
- Mission and Strategy: Completing a new strategic plan and developing a suite of materials to announce the plan to funders and supporters (worked with SVP Partner Bonnie Berk and paid consultant Brian Murphy)
- Human Resources: Developing strategies and tools to help CAN attract, retain, and grow a diverse and highly functioning team of talented employees who are committed to the organization and fully engaged in their work (worked with SVP Partner Matt Shaw)
- Photography: Creating a library of images of their students to help build CAN’s visual identity, better tell their story and inspire others to join in supporting their mission (worked with SVP Partners Lisa Merrill and Lisa Bontje)
SVP’s Impact — In Their Words
SVP empowers College Access Now; College Access Now empowers students — to enroll and graduate from college, positively impacting themselves and their families for generations to come. Our partnership with SVP provides more than just funding, but also mentorship, networks, and skills-based volunteers. With this help, we are scaling to double the number of students we serve by 2018 – all while creating a sustainable organization.
— Susan Mitchell, Former Executive Director
More Stories about College Access Now
When College Access Now (CAN) first applied for an SVP grant, no one could have predicted how the organization would evolve. Now in their final year as an Investee, CAN has worked with SVP Partners on everything from strategic planning to building a portfolio of photos that captures the depth of their story and diversity of the communities they serve. The growth they’ve experienced as a result is dramatic.
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After a decade of service in the community, College Access Now’s results speak for themselves. More than 99% of their students have graduated high school and been accepted into college. Of those students, 94% have gone on to enroll—twice the national average for students from low-income families, and even higher than the enrollment rates of their more advantaged peers.
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Okay, I’m totally dating myself (and subjecting you to bad puns), but I can’t help it. Whenever Lisa Bontje and Lisa Merrill are on a photo shoot, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam just pops into my head! And while SOME of you might debate the brilliance of 80’s gems like “Lost in Emotion” and “Head to Toe,” you simply cannot miss the vibrancy of the students captured by Lisa and Lisa in a photo shoot with College Access Now!
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Since I was a young child, I’ve wanted to become a doctor. I became interested in this field when I was admitted to the hospital and treated for two months with malaria. I was inspired by the way the doctors constantly checked up on me until I was well. Since that time, I have had an idea of what I want to do in life, but I never understood what steps it would take to reach my goal.
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