What a Thing Chronicles: Chapter 9

My dearest Pelotonians, it’s Ashley, one of your loyal CCAs, here with Chapter 9 of the What a Thing Chronicles. We have about a week left of September (also known as Recruitember). From our numbers, we can tell that you’re hard at work telling your friends, family and co-workers about PelotonU. Personally, I have had two dreams where I’ve told people about PelotonU. The first wasAngelina Jolie and the second was this family I side-swiped (in my dream, not real life!); my brakes never work in my dreams. That’s how deeply embedded PelotonU is in my subconscious.  Confession. I’ve never…

What a Thing Chronicles: Chapter 8

It’s Ashley! I’m back by “popular” demand writing Chapter 8 of What a Thing. Many times when I write, I write to the students who have been in the game a while in hopes that newbies will glean motivation from my words. This time I want to talk to the newbies, especially those who recently started AO a month ago or even yesterday. There’s a section in the orientation when we go in depth about why we request that students spend 12 hours in the office. My favorite reason is that we all need a sacred space. If you’ve ever…

What a Thing Chronicles: Chapter 7

Yep, you guessed it. It’s Ashley writing Chapter 7 of What a Thing. As you may know, we have a degree celebration coming up next week on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central site. Of course, the anticipation of this celebration started me to thinking. Remember when you were a kid, and everything you did – every poem, every painting from art class, every ribbon from little league –  merited display or celebration? Perhaps that’s something you do with your own child. I can remember when my cousin, who’s now a twentysomething with a son of her…

The PelotonU Playbook: This Only Applies if You’re Human

A few years ago I moved rather abruptly from Boston to Austin. I was sorting through the pieces of a breakup so rough that I hadn’t even told most of the people in my life I’d left Massachusetts. – Oops. One of those people, my friend Darcy, wrote me a couple letters that summer (yes, people DO still send snail mail!).  She called and texted a few times, too. Apparently, I never responded.   A few months later, she texted again – this time to ask if I was mad at her. “Hey Holly, I haven’t heard from you in a…

What a Thing Chronicles: Chapter 5

Ashley, here, with Chapter 5 of the What a Thing Chronicles. I hopped on the phone last week to talk with a PelotonU partner- and our conversation stayed with me longer than most. In addition to being gracious via phone and email, she thanked me for doing the Lord’s work. The Lord’s Work. The comment caught me off guard, but more than anything, the comment humbled me. We here at PelotonU know that we do important work, but I’ve never thought of it in that context. Earning an education is a transformative experience – what you gain is far beyond what…

What a Thing Chronicles: Chapter 4

Ashley, here, writing Chapter 4 of the What a Thing Chronicles. It’s graduation season! I always get a little sentimental around this time of year because I think of my graduation day, and those moments I will never forget, like my mom wearing her pearls and lipstick. If my mom wears pearls AND lipstick, y’all it’s special!  Enrolling in college was one of the best decisions I ever made. Earning my degree allowed me to make amazing memories, meet awesome people and visit exciting places. I’ve worked in higher ed for about a decade, and I hit my stride teaching…

The What a Thing Chronicles: Chapter 3

Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky at PelotonU… Angelice earned her Associate’s of General Studies with a concentration in Business from Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America program! Angelice lights up any room she enters with her joyful personality and always greets her mentor with, “Hello, Sunshine!”  You may remember Angelice from Chapter 2 of the What A Thing Chronicles for earning Employee of the Year at her company, but her hard work and grit also earned her an AA in under 10 months!  She will be starting her Bachelor’s on 5/1 and looks forward to the additional…

The What a Thing Chronicles: Prologue

Sarah here, kicking off the newly-minted What a Thing Chronicles with a “guilty pleasure” confession: I *love* Grey’s Anatomy reruns. They’re my favorite thing to watch when I can’t fall asleep or when I’m washing dishes to procrastinate a challenging grant proposal or when it’s just been a long day and I need a brain break.  In season 1, Meredith Grey has this line that’s stuck with me since I first watched the episode back in April 2005 when I was (oh goodness) only 20 years old. She’s talking about getting legal power of attorney for her mother, who has an…

Q2 2016: Students First

Over the weekend on Facebook, I noticed a picture from three years ago. It showed PelotonU’s third enrollment party — back before Sarah, Khan, or our office — when we gathered with 6 new students on the roof of Whole Foods to celebrate their college aspirations. A lot has changed since then. We stopped offering housing, became co-ed, lifted the age cap,and began working with College for America (CFA). What’s remained consistent is that when we make decisions, students come first. Our first priority is to be accountable to you — for finances, student support, communications, and community. You are our most important stakeholder, and it’s in…

Who Do You Serve First?

Teddy Roosevelt famously once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” For a start up like us, this triggered an important question in the early stages of forming our higher education non-profit. What can we actually do right now with what we have? In short: with limited staff, money and time to demonstrate our viability, let’s serve students with the smallest barriers to college now so we can serve students with more complex barriers later. Early in our formation, we tried to achieve our mission of helping working students graduate from college on-time and debt-free in a…