Our coaches took the stage at the ShoeBox Theater on Saturday, March 18—not to perform, but to spark conversation about college access. They shared their experiences working with students and their families by leading a discussion panel after a production titled Meet Me in the Dark.
The show’s playwright Michael Eichler was eager to have Madison High School Coaches Zoe and Miguel and College Coach Alexsis participate in the event to share their insights.
“The play was a good discussion vehicle about the pressures low-income and working class families feel and how it affects their children’s futures,” he said. “I was impressed with College Possible and its proven track record of inspiring those students not on the college ‘track.’”
As a tech-connected college coach, Alexsis understands the importance of family support for her students. She volunteered to be a panelist because she wanted to share this information with a new crowd.
“The panel provided a new forum for me to talk about my experience as a coach and share more about College Possible with the Portland community in a unique way,” she said.
However, sitting in the crowd was also a learning experience for her.
“Watching Meet Me in the Dark and serving on the panel was a great reminder of the outside influences and circumstances our students face. As a college coach, it was an excellent reminder to ask my students about their family dynamics, living situations, support systems, long-term goals and role models,” Alexsis said.
Zoe’s experience as a senior coach allowed her to relate to performance’s message in a different way.
“Meet Me After Dark encapsulated the tremendous growth and chaos that happens during high school, which reminded me why our work is so important. College Possible creates space for students to feel engaged in school and expand their options after high school,” she said.
Alexsis, Zoe and Miguel used commonalities between the play’s storyline and their own experiences to facilitate an engaging discussion about the roadblocks low-income students face and the opportunity college presents. Together with the shows actors, our Corps members encouraged the Portland community to empathize with students and embrace their potential.