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Impact Update: Third Quarter – 2023

Measurable Progress

Growth numbers were presented at the September TEF board meeting, indicating a 14% increase in the graduation rate at Greene County High School over the first five years of the career coaching program, along with improvements in various categories among the first two graduating classes.

A table showing considerable increases in several measurable outcomes

Program Enhanced to Opt-In

After five years of observation and data collection, it became evident that a different approach was necessary for a small portion of the student population. The primary objective was to have participants in the program who genuinely wanted to be a part of it. Surveys were administered to the freshman through junior classes, as well as incoming eighth graders, to gauge their desire to join the career coaching program. Over 94% of them opted in. Alongside the acceptance of the over 400 current students in the program came a commitment to working responsibly with their career coach and displaying positive behavior. The group of students who did not opt in will have access to a different support structure and will have the option to join at the beginning of each school year, except for seniors.

Profile of Georgia CTAE Graduate

Starting in 2023, the curriculum and instruction focus within the pathway classes will be based on students exhibiting the six traits of a successful CTAE graduate shown below. We request that career coaches consider their students' progress in these six areas when nominating them for recognition.

Six colorful posters with white icons demonstrating values
Six CTAE Areas: 1. Be workplace ready; 2. Demonstrate academic & technical skills; 3. Communicate effectively; 4. Solve problems creatively; 5. Collaborate Purposefully; 6. Act responsibly

Bilingual Career Coaches

Our Hispanic student population has grown to around 19%, sometimes presenting language barrier challenges. In the past five years, one of our career coaches managed all Hispanic students with English language difficulties. This year, among the 30 new career coaches, three are bilingual. As a result, we now have a team of four to support our Hispanic students with language challenges and transition them to regular career coaches when appropriate.

First Meeting Freshmen Student/Coaches

One of the most exciting events in the entire career coaching program is when 30 freshman career coaches meet their 100 freshman students for the first time, all at once. It is a spectacle to see and the beginning of four-year relationships.


#Giving Tuesday

The objective for each Giving Tuesday is to replenish the amount of financial assistance awarded to the previous graduating class. Last year's event successfully replenished the $120,000 awarded to students in our first graduating class in 2022. The objective for this year's event on November 28th is to replenish the $137,000 awarded to our second graduating class in May 2023. The process involves obtaining pledges for half of the total amount before Giving Tuesday ($70,000) and offering matching funds for all donations made on Giving Tuesday (up to $70,000). We will send an email to well over 1,000 people a few weeks before the event, in addition to radio announcements and interviews.

Currently, we have pledges for $30,000 of the needed $70,000. Anyone wishing to contribute to raising the remaining $40,000 can submit a pledge on our website through the link provided in this Quarterly Impact Update.

Students Continue to Cash in Earned Dave Dollars

GCCA students who have recently graduated pick up career related equipment and supplies purchased by cashing in their earned Dave Dollars.

Professional Dress Day

CTAE Professional Dress Day was a success! As part of our effort to emphasize soft skills, we designated August 31 as Professional Dress Day, encouraging students to dress professionally. We organized a brief activity in the Common Areas where students had to introduce themselves to the professional staff and career coaches, sharing their names and their goals and dreams for the future. Several students enjoyed this activity so much that they expressed a desire to do it once a month!

a group of students in professional attire

Salesforce Portal

The Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system plays a pivotal role in overseeing our career coaching program, encompassing students, career coaches, and financial assistance management. Recently, we successfully executed a software development initiative, generously funded by a valued business partner, to tailor Salesforce precisely to our unique requirements. As the school year progresses, our 130 dedicated career coaches will gain access to our customized system via Salesforce portal licenses. This enables them to seamlessly capture and record student school activity data, which can then be seamlessly integrated with data furnished by our alumni career coaches who maintain ongoing connections with their former students. This dynamic synergy promises to deliver an unprecedented wealth of student tracking insights, shedding light on their post-secondary outcomes like never before.

Business Partners

Our valued business partners have played a crucial role in providing steadfast support to our students and the comprehensive career coaching program. Within the vibrant community of Greene County, Georgia, numerous enterprises are eagerly seeking promising future employees. Our distinctive collaboration between the school and the community is marked by daily, hands-on engagement to impart education, training, and coaching tailored to fulfill these demands. These enterprises are poised to provide invaluable work-based learning experiences, internships, in-kind resources, career mentorship, as well as financial assistance for scholarships and career launch packages. As a prominent focus of our ongoing efforts, we are actively working towards expanding our network of partnering businesses.

Based in Greensboro, GA, the 501(c)(3) Thillen Education Foundation (TEF) is a distinguished community-based earned financial assistance program based on personal coaching and committed to honoring the achievements of over 400 currently enrolled students in Greene College & Career Academy at Greene County High School, a Title I school. Through business sponsorships and individual funding support, TEF strives to break the cycle of systemic poverty by financially enabling post-secondary education and skills training for hardworking students

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A student holds two Dave Dollars

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