Friday, December 17, 2010

Op Ed Piece about Strive in the Chronicle of Higher Education!

Strive for College

December 17, 2010, 2:47 pm

As the January 1st deadline for applications at many universities nears, it’s alarming to think about the many talented low-income students who won’t apply to four-year colleges for which they are qualified.

I’ve spent much of the past decade-and-a-half focusing on economic diversity in higher education—with an emphasis on admissions and financial-aid strategies for low-income students. One of the critical ways to achieve greater socioeconomic diversity is for colleges to provide affirmative action for economically disadvantaged students, whom my frequent collaborator Anthony Carnevale calls “strivers.”

I’ve often noted that providing financial aid alone is not enough to improve access for low- income students; in order to receive financial aid, students first have to be admitted. Universities that have generous financial-aid policies, but admit few low-income students, won’t do much for socioeconomic diversity.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Boost for College-Bound Seniors

National nonprofit Strive for College has its roots in Campbell Union High School District.

On Friday, a room full of Del Mar High School students, teachers and mentors got together to celebrate the end of Strive for College's fall session. They also celebrated their future: college.

"If it hadn't been for this program, I would have been tearing out the hair on my head," said Del Mar senior Molica Nol. "It takes time out of school to find some of this information. You don't want to be at home doing it all alone."

Nol is involved in a local chapter of a nonprofit organization that has its roots in Campbell and goes out across the nation to universities for mentors to help guide high school students through the college-application process.

"This is one of our largest chapters, as well as one of the oldest," says Sofia Janney-Roberts, coordinator for Strive for College's nine chapters.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Come Strive with Us! Seeking a Chapter Operations Manager

Strive for College Collaborative
Chapter Operations Manager
Are you passionate about EDUCATION REFORM?
Are you eager to take on serious RESPONSIBILITY and join a TEAM of smart, fun and motivated individuals?
Are you excited to use your SKILLS and CREATIVITY to help grow an early stage organization?
Are you driven to create real and significant IMPACT?
Then come STRIVE with us!

About Strive
Strive for College is a new approach to correcting the inequalities of college access, focusing on the lack of information and motivation that many underserved high school students face. Strive for College’s ‘high-tech/high-touch’ approach helps qualified students successfully identify and apply to their best-fit colleges and universities. Strive accomplishes this though a unique college search tool and individualized online curriculum complimented by a grassroots component of undergraduate student mentors.
With an impressive initial results and a strong support base, Strive has the potential to dramatically improve college access for underserved students over the next few years.  Joining the Chapter Operations Team offers a unique opportunity to significantly contribute, as one of the first employees, to the growth of a early stage startup non-profit organization, helping to build and improve Strive’s core program – the Strive Chapter. Strive Chapters exist at colleges and universities across the country and are made up of undergraduates who provide one-on-one college mentoring to underserved high school students who need it most. More information about Strive for College can be found on our website:

Strive for College is seeking an outgoing, results driven leader with the ability to simultaneously oversee existing chapters, manage new chapter growth, and support the development of a national expansion plan. This person will recruit and manage a growing number of student volunteers throughout the country and will be the major driver for the evaluation and improvement of Strive’s Chapter model.
As a founding member of the Chapter Operations team you will…
·       Have the ability to impact the roles and responsibilities of this position in order to best fit your working style and best serve and improve Strive Chapters
·       Develop a strong role-model and mentor relationship with college student leaders
·       See immediate results in your effort to impact college-going rates among underserved communities across the country
·       Develop connections with influential donors and community members
·       Operate within a small, close-knit and supportive office
·        Travel the country to visit Strive Chapters
·       Contribute significantly to the direction in which Strive grows and ultimately impact the future of the organization

If this sounds exciting to you, please apply if you are…
·       An enthusiastic individual who is passionate about education
·       Flexible and capable of managing Strive’s Chapter program efforts in a period of rapid growth
·       Have a strong attention to detail, a results orientation and problem solving abilities
·       Creative and comfortable with proposing projects and providing constructive feedback at all stages

Strive for College is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This is an exempt position with generous benefits and salary.
Strive for College is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

If you feel that you are the right candidate who can help Strive build a national network of Strive Chapters, please submit your resume with a cover letter to Sofia Janney-Roberts at  with the subject line ‘Strive Chapter Operations – [Applicant’s Name]’.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Come Work for Us!

Strive Paid Internship Program - Marketing


Are you just out of college looking for a chance to make a MAJOR DIFFERENCE?

Are you passionate about improvements to the EDUCATION system in America?

Are you eager to join a TEAM of smart, fun and motivated individuals?

Are you excited to use your SKILLS and CREATIVITY to help grow an early stage organization?

Then come STRIVE with us!


Strive for College is seeking an enthusiastic individual to join our innovative three-month internship program to help with marketing. We are looking for an outgoing, results oriented recent college graduate able to communicate Strive verbally and through online and print materials. As a member of this internship program team, you should be willing to take the initiative to come up with your own ideas to help us take Strive to the next level.

What you can expect from Strive:

Located in the Menlo Park area, these internships include a $5,000 stipend and could lead to a full time job! This internship provides a unique opportunity to gain incredible leadership experience and learn essential business skills while making a tangible difference working for a fast-paced startup nonprofit with tremendous potential.


What Strive expects from you:

As a startup organization, we need people who can fill a variety of roles. You will come to the program with moderate to exceptional web, video, print design and PR experience and willingness to learn how to perform any design or communication tasks that you haven’t had experience filling before. Your position will entail generating Strive’s press, creating print and web design materials, and managing Strive’s social media outlets.
Additionally, we are seeking individuals with the following personality traits:
•Highly creative and ambitious
•Ability to design, format and produce professional promotional materials
•Excellent written, communication and analytical skills
•Proficient in Microsoft Word, InDesign, PhotoShop, DreamWeaver or other graphic design programs
•Quick learner with an aptitude for problem solving
•Enthusiastic about college access


Monday, November 15, 2010

A Question of Bridges

Tom Vander Ark, one of Strive's Board of Directors, was asked to provide an expert response to an article in the National Journal on Thursday. Vander Ark eloquently explains the need for programs like Strive and describes why Strive's approach is so effective.


Tom Vander Ark
Partner, Revolution Learning

Strive for College matches mentors with bubble kids and helps them make positive high school choices and the best possible post secondary choice. I'm a director and believe kids need more support than most get. Here's advice from Executive Director Michael Carter.

The college application process, like navigating the job search process for the first time, is not rocket science. However, both are often confusing, counterintuitive and very time-consuming. Most importantly, both are subjective - there is no such thing as the best college, despite what the US News and World Report would like you to believe. When a high schooler asks the question "What is the best job?", the response is always another question: "Well, what do you want to do?". Traditional education is not designed to support dialog; individualized instruction has been impossible due to the prohibitive cost. Technology makes individualized education possible and it can be less expensive than traditional education. Outcomes are better b...

Read More

Friday, November 5, 2010

Faces of Strive for College

Exciting news! The new Strive video, complied by Chris Sopher with footage taken from my site visits around the country is finally here!

The video premiered at our Nov 1st event with Joe Stiglitz and is now available for you all to see as well. Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Introduction: Strive@CMU

The Carnegie Mellon University chapter of Strive for College began in Fall 2009. Since then, we have been regularly mentoring at Westinghouse Highschool, Pittsburgh. With each semester, Strive has gained more mentors and mentees; this semester we have a total of 15 mentors, representing the freshman through senior class at CMU.We will be posting about our mentoring sessions, efforts to fundraise and more! [the picture in this post is from Spring'09, you can see the mentors and mentees wearing Westinghouse t-shirts!]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Strive at UGA

Hey guys!
So here at the University of Georgia we are in our second year of Strive, which means we're still in the creation and promotion stages of development. Last year was impacting, as expected, with mentors working hard at Classic City High School. This year, we're hoping to expand our outreach to more than one high school and have already heard positive feedback from at least one more school.

Being a relatively new organization on campus, we have a lot of opportunity to do things big and do things right, which is what we're currently striving to do. We have a lot of big things planned for our campus and our community! One way is through our percentage nights at local venues, bars and restaurants in Athens that serve the dual purpose of getting our name out AND getting funds for transportation costs to and from the high schools, meeting essentials (can't forget the pizza!) and campus tours for our mentees.
We're really looking for to the growth that's going to happen with Strive at UGA over this next semester and next year. We'll definitely keep you updated!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Site Visits Round 1!

Last week, I had the great fortune to travel on site visits all over the South. It was amazing and so inspiring to spend a week interacting in person with chapters instead of sitting in front of my computer all day at the national office in San Francisco :)

Highlights include:
  • Being present for the very first mentor session at University of Georgia led by the fabulously upbeat Ellie Schultz
  • Savoring the delicious feta fries from the famous "The Grill" in Athens, GA over a productive meeting with the UGA Executive Board
  • Staying up till 3am for a passionate brainstorming session with Jonathan Safron of Vanderbilt, despite the important debate he was scheduled to participate in the next day (what a trooper!)
  • Attending a mentoring session at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, NC with the University of North Carolina chapter--I was so impressed about how ready for college those students were!
  • Watching more late night Jersey Shore than I've ever seen with Chapter Director Wes Wollard at UNC

Check out more photos from the trip at, username, password "strive" and look out for a video in the next few weeks!

Sofie Janney-Roberts
National Chapters Operation Manager