“Regardless of how academically prepared students are for college, even well‐constructed educational plans can be significantly altered by both unexpected life events and ongoing personal problems.”

Michelle Cooper, Student Support Services at Community Colleges: A Strategy for Increasing Student Persistence and Attainment.

OMD STAFF SUPPORT

Each OMD Scholar is matched with a caring OMD Program Coordinator who is responsible for providing sustained, intensive, and personalized support to a caseload of 40-50 scholars. Scholars can count on OMD Program Coordinators to help them navigate academic, financial, personal, and professional challenges. Through their relationship with their Program Coordinator,scholars know that OMD is in their corner every step of the way. 

OMD Program Coordinators meet regularly with their scholars to plan for the weeks ahead, to celebrate scholar successes, and to help problem-solve any issues that may derail scholars on their paths to their degree. Program Coordinators are often the first point of contact for scholars whether they are facing daunting challenges or celebrating good news. OMD Program Coordinators work closely with their scholars to ensure they are on track to graduate and have access to an array of support services, whatever the need.

FINANCIAL LITERACY and CAPACITY-BUILDING

Scholars engage in financial literacy training and individual financial coaching to help them plan for their futures and their family’s future. Many OMD Scholars struggle to balance work, family, and school costs on a limited budget.  OMD works with various community partners to offer an array of financial literacy workshops that help individuals by providing key tools and information as they work toward a financial goal.  Topics include monthly budgeting, savings plans, choosing a financial institution, and building and maintaining good credit. 

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Because OMD views scholars as current and future leaders in their families, communities, and professional fields, OMD also provides scholars with civic engagement and leadership development workshops to empower scholars to self-advocate and drive meaningful change. OMD’s civic engagement curriculum is based on scholars’ input about the issues they care about most and combines guest speakers, group discussions and research,  site visits to social service and community-based organizations, as well as service projects.

Scholars engage in hands-on learning about social justice issues such as healthcare, immigration, minimum wage and the workforce, education, the environment, and voting rights and elections.