If you are looking for a way to give back, here’s an option to consider.

The first time I became aware of College Forward, I was walking across campus at Southwestern University when I saw a group of high school students taking a tour. High school students touring a college campus is exactly abnormal, but there were two things that seemed different about this group.

Firstly: they weren’t seniors, but rather a group of freshman and sophomores. Typically, when we saw high school students, they were either seniors narrowing down their college choices or being recruited for various reasons.

Secondly: the majority were minorities. Southwestern, although making an effort to change, isn’t exactly known for its diversity. There are various scholarship opportunities, institutional initiatives, and a diversity center with a capable staff, but the results will take time to realize.

I asked about the group and found out they were students being benefited by College Forward’s services. According to their website, their mission is:

College Forward provides college access and college persistence services to motivated, economically disadvantaged students, in order to facilitate their transition to college and make the process exciting and rewarding. We believe access to higher education is the right of every young Texan.

A friend of mine worked with them for a year through AmeriCorps, and had nothing but positive things to say about the organization. In 2008, I participated in a career panel they hosted, where I met some wonderful people.  Throughout the year, they organize several events promoting leadership, literacy, and skills to help make college a reality.

Recently, I found that my time has become consumed with nothing but work. When you’re working all the time, it’s easy to forget that there are others with bigger problems than your own. Volunteering, speaking with the youth, and being involved with people who want to help others have been the most rewarding experiences in my life. I decided to do something about the “service to others” void that I’ve been feeling for the past few months. College Forward was a natural place for me to contact.

I called Karena Rogers, Volunteer Coordinator for College Forward, and explained that I am out of the country, but would like to become involved in some capacity with the organization. She was very helpful and let me know of some virtual volunteer opportunities such as proofreading essays, etc. It feels good to be involved in something with such a positive aim again.

For more information about the organization and how you can help please contact them right away.


College Forward Website

Volunteer Coordinator: Karena Rogers

Phone: +01 (512) 452.4800