College Possible Philadelphia is pleased to welcome Rosie Doolan and Mohamed Hassan to our leadership team as the Operations Specialist and High School Program Coordinator, respectively. In addition, we are pleased to announce that Senior College Program Coordinator Jose Rodriguez will be leading the college program.
Jose Rodriguez, College Senior Program Coordinator
As Jose Rodriguez moves forward in his professional career, he continues to contemplate how he can challenge himself. And when the opportunity arose to manage the college program in Philadelphia, he knew he wanted to apply for the position.
In July 2018, Jose started in his new position as senior program coordinator for the college program, and during the 2018-2019 school year, he will be managing six tech-connected college coaches and working to establish new partnerships with colleges and universities.
Leading the college program is a full circle moment for Jose. “I was a low-income, first-generation student who had idea how to get to college and felt alone in [navigating] the process,” Jose explains. “Now, because of College Possible, I have the knowledge to help students who were like me get to and through college.”
Jose began his journey with College Possible serving as an AmeriCorps member with College Possible Omaha. After completing his second term of service, he became a program coordinator in Omaha and joined the Philadelphia team in 2016.
As Jose prepares for his new role with the college program, he is focused on generating strong student outcomes. “Next year Philadelphia will have its first graduating class. That’s really exciting. It’s important to me that the college program focuses on increasing persistence numbers and keeps students engaged.”
Reflecting on his time with College Possible, Jose credits the students as his motivation: “What we do for our students works. It is empowering for me because they are going through what I went through, but now I can be an advocate for them and their abilities.”
Mohamed Hassan, High School Program Coordinator
Before joining College Possible Philadelphia in July 2018, Mohamed Hassan served as a faculty member at Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts, religious and gender studies. Years of mentoring students cultivated Mohamed’s interest in college access and success.
“Throughout my teaching career, I interacted with a lot of students from low-income or minority backgrounds who were struggling. Even when they were so close to graduation, students would drop out,” says Mohamed. “I wanted to do something about it. Through my research, I found College Possible and was interested in the work that they were doing.”
Reflecting on his own college experience, Mohamed understands the struggles that students in the program face. “I was a first-generation, low-income student from an immigrant family,” he explains. “It was not on the radar that I would go to college. I simply fell into college and made it up as I went.”
As a recent college faculty member and his experience navigating higher education as a student, Mohamad hopes to be a resource to his high school coaches, providing insights into some of the difficulties that their students may experience. He also wants his coaches to make the most of their year of service. “Everyone is here for a reason, and I want them to get something out of their participation from the program and grow in some way.”
Rosie Doolan, Operations Specialist
As Rosie Doolan plans for her first full year of programming with College Possible Philadelphia, she’s focused on recruitment and professional development. “I want to equip every AmeriCorps member with the tools and resources they need to be successful, not only during their term of service but for whatever their next step might be.”
To help accomplish this task, Rosie is committed to establishing a positive and supportive workplace. “I want to make sure that every Corps and staff member enjoys their experience and are excited and ready to come into work each day, despite the challenges they may face.”
Prior to joining as Operations Specialist in May 2018, Rosie was a corporate recruiter and a Curriculum Writing Fellow for Bridge International Academies. The mission-driven nature of her fellowship is what sparked Rosie’s interest in joining College Possible. “I really wanted to get back to the interpersonal nature of a mission driven organization and be a part of something that I really cared about.”
As she helps others navigates their careers, Rosie reflects on the impact of the fellowship on her career: “I understand the challenges that our AmeriCorps members face participating in a program that involves very difficult work, all while living on a tight budget. One of my purposes is to help each member understand their own strengths and make the most out of their term of service.”
– By Ian Reitz