Last Sunday, I took a crazy red-eye flight home from what was a whirlwind of a trip to San Francisco. I almost spent more time traveling than I did in the actual city, but I used my time well! The purpose of my trip was to attend the Scholarmatch Coach Convening, a day of training and networking for all college coaches volunteering with them this year. It is my first year working with Scholarmatch and I am very excited about their mission. ScholarMatch began in 2010 as a scholarship crowdfunding platform but is now a large organization offering a full range of college access support services to high achieving, low-income students across the country. They have coaches working directly with students at their SF headquarters and offer virtual coaching to all others. Last year they helped over 1500 students and that number will certainly continue to grow. I look forward to working with Scholarmatch and supporting these underserved students on their journey to college and beyond. What amazed me at the convening was the number of exceptional volunteers they have and the amount of excitement and positivity that was radiating from our group. I met a lot of fantastic coaches from across the country and even a few from Europe. We had a great time networking and learning how to best support our students.
In between flights and training, I had a chance to tour the two beautiful campuses of UC Berkeley and University of San Francisco. Berkeley surprised me with the quality of facilities and green space. Although they have 28k under grads, it still has a great campus centered, smaller feel. Add that to the 91% graduation rate and 97% retention rate and I like it even more! University of San Francisco had such a small campus I would not have guessed that they have over 10k students. The views from their original buildings on top of the hill, the Harry Potter-esque library, the beautiful Saint Ignatius Church, and wonderful new Koret Health and Recreation Center are surely loved by all of their students. I am happy I got to see both campuses and learn more about their excellent academics as well.