One Million Degrees

One Million Degrees Welcomes 41 Harper College Students Into Its First Ever Cohort at Harper College

Forty-one Low-Income Harper College Students to Receive up to Three Years of Academic, Professional, Personal, and Financial Support from One Million Degrees


Palatine, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/05/2014 -- One Million Degrees (OMD) is thrilled to welcome the first ever class of OMD Harper Scholars. Forty-one low-income, highly motivated Harper College students have been selected to become One Million Degrees Scholars. OMD empowers community college students to excel academically, and ensures that they are well prepared to enter the workforce in diverse and meaningful careers.

“We are excited to be working hand-in-hand with Harper College to ensure their students excel in the classroom and beyond,” said OMD CEO, Paige Ponder. “This partnership is a great example of how community colleges and community-based organizations can effectively partner to support more low-income students as they earn degrees and move into the middle class.”

One Million Degrees is providing the forty-one Harper College Scholars with comprehensive student support services, including a dedicated staff person, a personal coach, monthly professional development workshops, financial literacy training, career exploration activities, leadership development, and financial assistance. Harper College is providing staff support, weekly individual tutoring, space and materials for OMD programming, and help with recruiting volunteers and partners to support the program.

When Hoffman Estates resident Homira Wardak was in high school, she volunteered at a hospital and fell in love with the field of health science. This passion led her to pursue a degree in science at Harper College. She is now thrilled to have the support of the One Million Degrees program as she works towards her degree. “I believe the program will help me be more involved in my community, find more confidence in myself, and more importantly, help me achieve my goals.”

OMD Scholars are graduating from community colleges at a rate of 70 percent – three times the state average – and transferring to four-year colleges and universities or entering the workforce in high-demand fields.

One Million Degrees empowers low-income, highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work and in life. From tutors and coaches, to life-skills training and financial aid, One Million Degrees provides our scholars with supports that are critical to their success in the classroom and beyond. If you would like to support or learn more about One Million Degrees, please contact:

One Million Degrees
226 W. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60606
(312)920-9605 or Fax (312)920-9607