Two institutions recognized for their contributions to the field of education have joined together to capitalize on each other’s strengths.
Colorado College and the Greater Educational Opportunities (GEO) Foundation’s recent collaboration is continuing to grow, allowing more rich and skill-building experiences for CC students that also contribute towards a larger impact on the Colorado Springs community. Starting out as a single fellowship for one graduate, the partnership now entails a growing fellowship program, and offers tutoring opportunities and connections for student teaching.
Assisted by Dean Mike Edmonds, CC Class of 2013 graduate Lauren Schneider originally approached the GEO foundation in 2013 for a fellowship opportunity with them.
One year later, the GEO Foundation now has three CC alumni working as fellows. Although the GEO Foundation is a research and educational institution, the fellowship aims to provide a wide range of opportunities for different backgrounds and interests.
Megan Nicklaus, Director of the Career Center, is actively working with the GEO Foundation to flourish the partnership.
“A lot of the time people think education, you know, since it’s the GEO Foundation,” said Nicklaus. “They’re working around education – private, public, charter, all those areas. But we also have a business intern there, someone who is doing analysis, looking at the numbers, and writing grants. It’s not just about being a teacher.”
The GEO Foundation aims to provide all families and children meaningful educational experiences and access to higher education, regardless of income or ethnicity. Programs often include community outreach, educational empowerment, and assistance in legislative work.
The GEO Foundation also operates three schools, two in Indiana and one in Colorado Springs.
The Career Center assists the GEO Foundation in identifying their needs, providing job descriptions for the fellowships, and drawing the attention of students to the opportunities. This year, the Career Center provided funding to the fellows, and the GEO Foundation followed suit by matching the same amount.
Marina Long, ‘14, is one of the three fellows currently with the GEO Foundation. Her position is described as both Business Associate Fellow and part of the staff responsible for Community Outreach/Engagement. In her time working with the GEO Foundation, she has already written a $20,000 grant proposal for improving school safety that was successfully approved.
She also is currently planning an educational trip to Washington D.C. for eighth graders with the GEO Foundation covering over half the expenses.
“One of the biggest things this fellowship has taught me is the importance of just going for it, scaffolding off of past experience and education, and trusting my instinct,” said Long. “I have learned the power of humans being humans. When [people] are working from their hearts as well as their heads, great things can be accomplished.”
Students who are interested in applying for the fellowship should look for position openings in February. Applications will be available through the Career Center’s SuCCess page.