For Kevin Bautista, serving as an AmeriCorps coach with College Possible Chicago meant providing students the same support he once needed when preparing for college. In high school, he remembers feeling stressed about how to navigate the process.
"As a first-generation college student, I wasn't always sure what to do when it came to things like applying for scholarships or filling out the FAFSA," said Kevin.
When he learned about College Possible at the start of his junior year at Lake View High School, he immediately applied. Then, after graduating from DePauw University, Kevin returned to Lake View, this time to serve as a College Possible coach himself.
Kevin’s passion for service began at DePauw, where he participated in the Bonner Scholars Program, a competitive scholarship for students committed to volunteering in their communities. As a Bonner Scholar, he was able to draw from his own background in computer science, volunteering to teach robotics to students at a local community center. For Kevin, this opportunity strengthened his interest in not only service, but also education, a field he hopes to continue to pursue in the future.
"Volunteering in college was an impactful and eye-opening experience for me," said Kevin. "It helped me realize that teaching students, especially those with limited access to resources, was something I was very passionate about."
This experience, combined with his own background as a College Possible student, drew him to serve as a coach after graduation. Through an AmeriCorps year of service, he hoped to make a difference for other first-generation students, helping guide them through the often-overwhelming college process.