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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

A Call To College

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: “To assure every qualified Newark High School graduate the opportunity to pursue higher education.”

Results: Highlights: Early Awareness The PEAK Program provided over 800 hours of targeted, activity-based college outreach to 2,000 second, fourth, sixth and eighth grade students in nearly 100 different classrooms. Over three-quarters of the 59 Newark City School partner teachers at each of these grade levels chose "strongly agree" when asked whether PEAK programming was a valuable use of class time. High School Sixty percent of the junior class received assistance preparing for the ACT. Evening help sessions and in-office appointments assisted over 100 parents and students with submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visits to four colleges and a regional college fair trip offered over 300 juniors and seniors a closer view of college options and campus life. Five specialized junior and senior information sessions provided approximately 225 parents and students valuable college timeline and cost-saving tips. Grant Recipients Last-Dollar Grant awards now total over 3 million dollars since the organization's founding in 1991 Last-Dollar Grant scholarship checks were sent to over 61 different colleges and universities across the country Community Support Over 500 individuals from 33 states supported the program financially. A Call to College was named the 2014 Non-Profit of the Year by The Licking County Chamber of Commerce State Farm awarded a $15,000 strategic focus grant for personal financial literacy to support PEAK’s fourth and eighth grade programming.

Target demographics: Newark City School District students and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 3000 students from second grade through senior year and hundreds of Newark families

Geographic areas served: Newark City School District (6700 students in 1 high school, 3 middle and 7 elementary school buildings)

Programs: need-based scholarships, ACT test registration and preparation assistance, help with filing the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and comprehensive early college awareness outreach for elementary and middle schoolers.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you to all of the staff at ACTC! They are helpful, passionate and knowledgeable. They have made the college preparation and admission process so easy for both of my children and the FAFSA boot camp they hold is so great. The Last Dollar Grant awarded to graduates who are eligible is also a huge help, especially towards room and board which is not covered by many other scholarships. My son went on to graduate from Denison University with a degree in Physics, was accepted to Officer Training School afterward for the ASAF and is now a Second Lieutenant working in logistics. My daughter will be a sophomore at Wittenberg University looking to major in Sociology and Philosophy. A Call to College helped give both of them confidence and opportunity.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A Call to College is one of the best, if not the best, nonprofit organization out there. Their programs have helped not just me, but thousands of other students grades 2-12 embark on their college journey. I know that second grade may sound a bit young to be thinking about education after high school, but each project and event that they host leaves a new impact for the student's memories to hold.

My personal experience with this organization is nothing but good things! They have helped me with things such as preparing for the dreaded ACT test, finding what college would best fit me, and they have even held my hand through signing up for college orientations and paying my initial fees. Without A Call to College I don't think that I would have made it this far when it comes to my education. They have helped me so much and have always done so with a smile. I appreciate all of their hard work and I am excited to see what more they can do in the future!

1 Faith Hammer P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Not only am I a proud Board Member with A Call to College (ACTC), but I have also volunteered with this wonderful organization for over 20 years. The way in which ACTC assists students through the entire college admissions and financial aid process is significant and unlike other college access programs. They plant the seed of "College is Possible" as early as second grade with their elementary and middle school programming. Then they continue this groundwork by assisting juniors and seniors through the college process. And then to award over a million dollars in need-based grants just speaks volumes for what ACTC is capable of. Newark City Schools are so fortunate to have this resource available to students and parents. They serve as a model to other schools for how to run a successful program. To say I am proud to be involved with ACTC is an understatement. The co-founders would be so proud to see where their vision has gone!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with A Call To College, and for recieving their assistance with my plan of action for college.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with Newark City School's A Call to College program for many years, as I am a classroom teacher in the District's high school. I have watched the program continue to be focused on its mission of helping students find and secure funds for post-high school education. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to meet with students, to help them understand the college and financial aid process, and to celebrate their commitment to furthering their own education. In my years in the classroom I have watched the A Call to College program grow from only counseling college bound seniors to now helping juniors prepare for the ACT and the college search process, working with freshman and sophomores learning about post-secondary and career education opportunities and conducting programs for 8th, 6th, 4th and 2nd graders to further their "college knowledge." A Call to College has secured funding for grants and scholarships for students committed to furthering their educations. They provide tremendously valuable counseling for students who need help understanding the many elements of paying for college. In a district where there is a very high rate of poverty, A Call to College has provided a treasure chest of opportunity and access for first generation college students as well as those seeking professional trade educations. It has been an honor and a privilege to be affiliated with this incredible organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We, at Newark High School are so lucky to have this program. The staff is so kind and understanding, and very knowledgeable. about college information. They helped us every step of the way, from the FAFSA to acceptance letters, and then followed through with our student. My student was very nervous about the process and they worked with him and made the process very smooth. Thank You!!! My son is heading to college this fall.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

A giant Thank You for being there every step of the way!!! A Call to College helped us with setting up our FAFSA account with all the passwords, encouraging my student to apply for all kinds of colleges and scholarships and they even had a REMIND TEXT, which was so helpful!! I needed those reminders!!! Thanks also for being friendly and supportive!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I think that call to college is very helpful! Their very welcoming and I did not feel like it was just a meeting to talk about my future. They made a connection with me and really encouraged me to go somewhere that I was going to love! As well as finding a place to reach my full potential and I cannot thank them enough!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A Call to College has been a valuable resource for my husband and I as we help our oldest prepare for the next step in her academic career. The college process has changed since we were seniors in High School, therefore making the staff and advisers a huge help to not only our daughter but to us as well. Thank you so much for helping our daughter prepare for this exciting chapter in her life.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

LOVE this program! They offer so much support and direction to students and their families in preparing for the future. I cannot express the amount of gratitude our family has for this program. From exciting kids at an early age, to facilitating college visits and ACT prep....Call to College in Newark Ohio is one of a kind and we are lucky to have them in our community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent three years volunteering with A Call to College through their Reading Rocks program. A few times a month we would meet with them at the local library to read the book The Little Engine That Could. The staff from ACTC was remarkable. They were always so excited to work with us as volunteers but more importantly, were incredibly exciting and friendly to the kids they were serving.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

A Call to College is a phenomenal organization! The staff went above and beyond to assist my daughter with her pursuit of a college education. They provided her a wealth of valuable programming and services, including free ACT prep and testing, college information and planning nights, advising, college visits, an application blitz night, college fairs and a Last Dollar Grant. Moreover, they extended their services to assist me with completing the FAFSA, kept me up to date on upcoming events through text reminders and provided me with helpful tips and information through periodic newsletters. In addition, Brett always took the time to patiently answer my MANY questions and provided reassurance. I sincerely appreciate everything the staff has done to assist us with my daughter's pursuit of a college education. Without a doubt, the efforts of A Call to College have a positive impact on the students at Newark High School!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A Call to College is a wonderful program. I have been fortunate to have had experiences with this program as a second grade and an eighth grade teacher and as a step-parent of children in the district. The program exposes students to the importance of getting a good education and to what options are available to them after they graduate high school. Volunteers begin talking to students in elementary school and continue all the way through high school. Students learn about college, saving, budgeting, planning ahead, and moving forward with their education. They provide numerous resources to students who are applying to college and/or post-secondary education. The program also offers assistance for parents who are in the process of filling out the FAFSA. Our community is very lucky to have a program like A Call to College that is so devoted to continuing education.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What an energetic, fun-filled, informative experience at The Works! The creators of the program were very knowledgeable and presented the subject matter clearly so that maximum learning occurred. They also visited our school to link the learning to activities in the classroom. I cannot think of a thing that could have been improved!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with A Call to College for 3 years now. Over the last 3 years I have been amazed at how well this organization connects with students in a way that can make a very stressful time, like preparing for college, and make it less stressful by guiding them through the process. They truly care about the future success of students after high school.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are the parents of four children who have gone through this school system. When our oldest daughter was a senior, A Call to College was there for us every step of the way. This was our first experience with college and the work it takes to prepare. ACTC made it seem effortless. They were positive and practically held our hand. I will be forever grateful for their assistance as we had three more children coming up behind her.
I can remember when the Peak Program began. It was that same year that our oldest was a senior. Our 2nd grade son came home so very excited about the visitors in his classroom that day. He couldn’t wait for me to read the book he was given called I Know I Can. What a wonderful way to start small minds geared toward further education.
A Call to College explains the process in such a way that every parent feels they can help their child achieve their goals. The students understand and in turn get excited about the possibility of attending college. Even after the first year, students are encouraged to continue their studies with the opportunity to have The Last Dollar Grant for the entire four years!
ACTC invites colleges to come to the high school campus and set up a table with representatives to help answer questions or apply for their schools. They also take the students on college campus tours. Some of these students may not have visited otherwise. They provide workshops for filling out the FAFSA, ACT Prep and a free ACT test to all seniors and guidance for additional scholarships.
My husband teaches in a different school district and dreams of having this program for his student!
We want to thank the generous donors with the vision to begin this program. It has been a true blessing to this family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit not only gives funds to students but does so much more! They start in elementary school by just having conversations with the word college . Many students in this school district do not have knowledge about continuing their education. This continues in middle school. At the high school level, they have study sessions for the ACT and provide one free ACT test. They also take students to different college trips. This is how my daughter found her college choice. When she returned from her trip, we knew that she would attend Ohio University. During a student's jr and sr years of high school, the program helps them apply to schools and guidance to make their applications better. The Call to College Program has the Last Dollar Grant. Both of my daughters were fortunate to receive this grant. One great thing about this is that they can reapply for the four years in college-just not their freshman year! The one thing that the recipients have to do is give back to the program by visiting their school and talk about their college experience. What a way to give back and encourage others to continue their education!

Client Served

Rating: 5

A Call To College has helped in anyway that they can. By having this nonprofit organization in a high school, it allows the students to get information on colleges that they need in order to continue their education. A Call to College helped me by showing which college best fit my interest and which college best fit my budget. Even though each student is different, this organization leads students to success!
-Brittany Butler

Client Served

Rating: 5

My students look forward to this program year after year. A Call To College engages my 4th grade students to learn about college-going behaviors and the vocabulary that is associated with college in fun way. They also teach them the importance of financial literacy and money skills such as saving, investing, spending, and donating. Students actually get to earn money, decide how they want to spend it and choose a philanthropy to donate to. This is always a rewarding learning experience. A Call To College has been such a valuable experience to my students that they continue to look forward to it throughout their school years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the things I look forward to each year is volunteering for the Reality Store Liberty Middle School. This activity is a great way to show them the little steps that life brings in the adult world. It is a real world activity within the safety net activity to help them see the actions and the decisions they make have consequences. Some turn out well and others learn hard lessons. I think this is a great way to help them prepare for life and responsibilities as well as how their education now and continuing will play a crucial part in their lives. I believe this is something we need to continue to educate and enrich the children of our community now and in their future.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with A Call to College over a number of years.
They do a tremendous job helping high school students get into colleges and universities.
Actually, ACTC starts younger school age students think about college while still in their elementary grades. They challenge public school students to think about life and what goals they want to pursue.