Earn to Learn Florida (ETLF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college, announced that Cheyenne Ram has been named Near Peer Coach program coordinator for the Tampa Bay region.

“Near Peer Success coaches support students as they transition from high school to a postsecondary education institution,” said Brenda Tate, CEO of Earn to Learn FL.  “Members focus on advising students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, through the complex steps toward college enrollment, including the admission and financial aid processes.”

Cheyenne’s personal experience with mentors who supported her to complete her college education make her the perfect choice for this position,” said Tate.  “Her communication skills, professionalism, and positivity will be tremendous assets as she finds, recruits, trains, and supports our peers and students.”

AmeriCorps funds the Near Peer program in partnership with Volunteer Florida.  The program targets economically disadvantaged students in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Lee, and Collier Counties, with plans to expand to other counties.  The Near Peer program helps students pursue their dream of completing a postsecondary education with little or no debt.  Not only do the students benefit, but the peers find themselves growing as they share what they have learned through their own experiences.  Each Near Peer Coach receives a stipend of $9,900, plus a $3,000 scholarship for their continued education upon completion of 12 months of service.  This year ETLF will deploy 72 Near Peer coaches.

Ram attended The Boys and Girls Club in Sarasota while attending high school.  “I am a first-generation college graduate, and The Boys and Girls Club provided me the mentorships and opportunities that made college a reality,” said Ram.  “I am grateful for the support and resources I received, and that inspired me to serve with Earn to Learn FL.”

Ram’s experience includes working as a program supervisor for The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.  Her responsibilities included recruiting, interviewing, and selecting intervention specialists, providing training, coaching, and feedback, setting programmatic objectives, defining roles, and prioritizing tasks for direct reports.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of South Florida.  She served at her local Boys and Girls Club during the last semester of her master’s program.

Earn to Learn FL empowers low-to-moderate income students in Florida to earn college degrees and professional certifications with little or no debt through matched savings, personalized financial capability training, and success coaching.  In addition, eligible students who establish a habit of saving for higher education can receive matching funds for financial assistance provided by Earn to Learn FL supporters committed to enhancing workforce development and the economic well-being of Florida communities.  For more information, please visit EarntoLearnFL.org or email Brenda Tate at Brenda@EarntoLearnFL.org.