Every year the Schuler Scholar Program recruits recent college graduates to serve as AmeriCorps members in Schuler partnership high schools. The members, called Scholar Coaches (SCs), provide one-on-one support to the Schuler Scholars and deliver a wide range of programs throughout the year. They are integral to the implementation of the program and gain valuable experience that enhances and furthers their professional development.
Additionally, SCs develop programs, plan and execute exposures, and assume leadership roles within the organization. They serve as tutors, mentors, and role models for the Scholars, and Schuler staff members provide the same support for the SCs.
Scholar Coaches are highly motivated college graduates who commit to two years with Schuler so that they are better prepared for graduate school and/or professional pursuits. They are usually interested in education, education reform, social services, youth development, social justice, or a related field. SCs possess a desire to work with young people and families and have an appreciation for the value of a college degree from a highly selective college or university.
First-year Scholar Coaches receive a $12,530/year living stipend and second-years receive a $14,930 stipend; both receive paid health insurance. Full-time AmeriCorps members who complete their service (a minimum of 1700 hours each year) earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,775 to pay for graduate school or to pay back qualified student loans. During the term of service, AmeriCorps members can apply for loan forbearance or deferment. Upon successful completion of service, a portion or all of the interest accrued on qualified loans will be paid by the Trust.
The Schuler Scholar Program provides AmeriCorps members with group housing, a transportation stipend, a cell phone stipend, and a one-time relocation reimbursement up to $500 for moves over 50 miles. In addition, Scholar Coaches participate in extensive training in cutting-edge educational programs, ongoing professional development workshops, and exposure to cultural activities in the Chicagoland area. For Scholar Coaches interested in pursuing graduate school, Schuler offers a test preparation benefit program. Any Scholar Coach or permanent staff member who enrolls in a test prep program (e.g. Princeton Review, Kaplan, etc.) is eligible for a 50 percent match from Schuler up to $800. Some of these programs offer additional discounts and/or matching to AmeriCorps Scholar Coaches.
AmeriCorps Scholar Coaches celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with projects in Chicago and Highland Park.
AmeriCorps Scholar Coaches have the opportunity to hold coordinator positions to gain experience in multiple areas of the organization. SCs Bes and Njeri helped plan the College & Alumni Winter Reunion.