A Note From Our Founder

When I was growing up, my parents dreamed that my siblings and I would one day have something they never had the opportunity to earn: a college diploma.

I worked very hard toward this goal, but there was no way for me to do it on my own. As a low-income, first-generation student, I know I would never be where I am today without the caring support of dozens of family members, friends, teachers and mentors.

With their guidance, I was able to attend and graduate from Carleton College and earn a graduate degree from Harvard University. I have been able to use my degrees for more than I ever could have dreamed: supporting thousands of other low-income kids like me, who are now on the path to earning their own college diploma.

The hard work of our students, the determination of our Service Corps, and the commitment of our supporters inspires me to continue this work every day. Together, we are building a better future for all, a richer, stronger, America where a student’s socioeconomic status does not prevent them from achieving their dreams.

I cannot wait to see what College Possible students achieve! I know, with the power of education, they will change the world!

Join us!

Our History


Jim McCorkell, a first-generation college graduate has an idea: Young people give a year, low-income students gain a mentor, America benefits from more college graduates.

  • College Possible (then named Admission Possible) founded in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • “I support [College Possible] and I urge all champions of economic justice to give it their full support.” — Senator Paul Wellstone

35 students served. 1 city.


“[College Possible] aims to give poor teenagers the kind of edge wealthy students routinely enjoy.”
The New York Times

  • College Possible launches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

College Possible launches in Omaha, Nebraska.

  • College Possible launches in Portland, Oregon.
  • Admission Possible becomes College Possible.
  • College Possible receives the Innovation Award in Education, an international recognition from Citi and The Financial Times.
  • A Harvard study shows that College Possible significantly increases a student’s chances of enrolling in a four-year college.
  • Founder and CEO, Jim McCorkell joins college presidents, business leaders and White House officials in Washington, D.C. for a summit on college success for low-income students.
  • College Possible launches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • College Possible launches in Chicago, Illinois.
Laura Gillund

Laura Gillund
Vice President of Human Resources and Development,......

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Executive Team
Jim McCorkell

Jim McCorkell
CEO and Founder

Laura Liu

Laura Liu
Chief Operating Officer

Traci Kirtley

Traci Kirtley
Chief Program Officer

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