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Say Yes to Education’s Cleveland chapter begins work

Call for mentor applications from Case Western Reserve community

As the cost of education continues to rise, Say Yes to Education is working to try to make college affordable and attainable for every public high school graduate.

The national nonprofit organization recently announced Cleveland as the site for its next community chapter, a result of local partners’ collaborative efforts and commitment to providing Say Yes scholarships and support services to every qualifying graduate of the Cleveland Metropolitan City School District. Since then, efforts have begun to make these resources available to students, beginning with members of the district’s graduating class of 2019.

One of 117 private colleges and universities in the National Higher Education Compact, Case Western Reserve University has committed to providing scholarships to qualifying students and working to help cultivate a college-going culture in historically underrepresented communities in Cleveland.

And beginning this spring, members of the Case Western Reserve community can make a difference: College Now Greater Cleveland invites college degree-holding individuals to apply to become mentors for college students in the Say Yes to Education program.

“Serving as a mentor is a valuable opportunity to make a lasting difference in a local student’s life,” said Rick Bischoff, vice president for enrollment management. “Scholarships help make higher education financially accessible, but interpersonal efforts like mentorship and tutoring are what ensure students’ readiness and success as they embark on the next steps of their academic journeys.”

According to the organization’s website, the College Now Mentoring Program is a high-quality, high-impact mentoring program that uses a unique online platform to guide communication between mentor and mentee.  

The time commitment for mentors is minimal: The program requires that each sends two emails per month to their mentee and attends three meetings per year.

College Now lists numerous benefits to becoming a mentor:

  • Help students graduate from college and realize their dreams
  • Network with over 1,100 professionals
  • Practice your leadership skills
  • Learn from your mentees

Applications to the program are due by April 1. In addition to completing the online application found here, applicants must undergo a 15-minute phone interview, a one-hour orientation and a background check via College Now.

For more information on becoming a mentor with College Now, contact Madeline Rife, director of the organization’s mentoring program, at or 216.635.0163.