One Million Degrees

One Million Degrees Launches Volunteer Coach Recruitment, Seeking 500 Professionals to Mentor Community College Students

Coyote Logistics employee passes on legacy of mentoring to two Olive-Harvey College scholars, grows in the process


Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/24/2016 -- The One Million Degrees Coach application for the 2016-17 year is now open to professionals from across the Chicago area to make a difference in the lives of One Million Degrees community college Scholars. For a glimpse into the One Million Degrees Coaching experience, meet Jessie Halton, a specialist at Coyote Logistics. Jessie's first interaction with One Million Degrees was through a 2013 Suited For Success event where she met scholars and found how their confidence soared when given the right tools, like receiving their first custom suit—or having a mentor in their corner.

As a volunteer mentor, or coach, Jessie works with two Olive-Harvey College scholars, Sean and Eduardo, to provide the support and guidance needed to navigate school and life. But it isn't just her scholars who are growing in the experience. Jessie says being a coach is a great lesson in self-discipline and accountability.

The driving force that led Jessie signing up as a volunteer was her own experience with mentors in her educational and professional development. Jessie says it was a mentor at her second job who took her under his wing and mentored her with praise, encouragement and advice, giving her the confidence to set high standards and achieve. That confidence also helped her realize how much of an impact she can have in the lives of others.

"When I first considered filling out a One Million Degrees Coach application, a few thoughts had come to mind. Do I have the time? Do I have anything to offer? Can I answer the soul-searching questions that come up in this phase of life?"—One Million Degrees Coach Jessie

Jessie's proudest moment with Sean and Eduardo was the day they called to let her know they were graduating from Olive-Harvey College in May 2016 to further their education and pursue careers in information technology and transportation, distribution, and logistics respectively. After mentoring these promising young scholars once per month over the last year, this was the moment she truly knew the answer to the questions she asked herself—a resounding 'yes.'

To apply to be a 2016-17 OMD Coach, visit Volunteer coaches commit one Saturday morning per month to mentor one or more students attending eight community colleges across Chicago and suburban Cook and Lake Counties.

About One Million Degrees
One Million Degrees is the only organization of its kind in Illinois and one of few in the country dedicated to providing comprehensive supports to low-income, highly motivated community college students to help them succeed in school, in work, and in life. From tutors and coaches to financial assistance and life-skills training, OMD offers the kind of support that empowers scholars to transform their lives in a way that will resonate for generations. OMD Scholars graduate at three times the state average with the skills and experiences necessary to launch upwardly mobile professional careers.

OMD partners with 11 Chicago-area community colleges, including the seven City Colleges of Chicago, College of Lake County, Harper College, Prairie State College, and South Suburban College. In the 2015 – 2016 academic year, OMD serves 441 scholars across the region and will expand to serve 700 scholars in the 2016-2017 year.

To learn more about One Million Degrees, please visit