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Giving Back to College Possible: Cha’s Story

When Cha Lor was looking for a project to complete his Eagle Scout award, he knew he wanted to give back to an organization that was important to him.

“I started thinking about donating to something I was really passionate about,” says Cha. “Since [College Possible] affected my life, I chose it to be my partner and my recipient of the donation.”

Cha’s project idea came from an experience he had. As a College Possible high school student, Cha remembers being unprepared for a winter campus visit. The cold weather prevented him from enjoying his visit.

“I didn’t want other students to have that mindset,” says Cha. “I thought if I could provide winter clothes for campus visits, they wouldn’t be focused on how cold they were and instead they could focus on how much they were enjoying that campus visit.”

By organizing and leading a winter clothing donation drive in his community, Cha will impact College Possible students for years to come. Thanks to his hard work, there is an entire cubicle at the College Possible office in St. Paul filled with winter gear that students will use on campus visits.

Cha started his first year at St. Olaf College this September. While he says college is intimidating at first, he loves to learn. His College Possible coach, Sarah, encouraged him to apply to St. Olaf because of the school’s rigorous academics and robust TRIO program. Those two qualities, plus the generous financial aid package, made his college decision easy.

Cha’s big goals for his future are supporting his family and giving back — specifically to his Hmong community and Frogtown, the urban area of St. Paul where he grew up. He wants to use his education to help others from those communities succeed. “There’s a greater opportunity gap there,” says Cha. “I want to help close that gap the best I can and give people equal access to opportunities.”

In true College Possible student fashion, Cha left these inspirational parting words for future students. “I’d say that if you do invest your time and are passionate about College Possible, it will for sure impact the doors that open for you in the future,” he says. “It did for me.”

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