Heather Hines, Reporter
The National College Access Network honored TWU Ambassador Chad Wick, for his work helping potential college students at their national convention in Orlando, FA Sept. 28.
The students Wick chose to help came from low-income families or were first generation college students. He first became interested in helping students when he began mentoring and tutoring inner-city kids in Ohio.
Wick said: “So many kids had the ability to go to college, but they weren’t getting to college because of lack of information. They had a need for support, money and counseling to feel like college was a possibility.”
Wick and a group of people worked with the local government officials to create the Ohio College Access Network to bring support and information to his community. Wick also headed the Knowledge Works Foundation creating a new, smoother relationship between banks and student loan programs. When it became clear these programs were needed on a national level Wick gathered a group of individuals and created the idea for NCAN, with KWF funding the program’s startup.
Wick explained: “A lot of kids don’t have a caring adult to wade through and guide them through paperwork for college. We were the first place in the country to combine these resources into one place.”
The now nationally-renowned program helps millions of underrepresented students every year in community based centers bringing information to high school students, explaining financial paperwork, applications and scholarship help. Because of his action to bring people together after his visionary ideas about creating the NCAN Wick became known as the “Father of NCAN” and was presented with an award during their annual conference on NCAN’s 20th anniversary.
Wick concluded: “I’ve got more plaques and awards than I’ve got wall space for. What’s most satisfying is the thought that an idea I helped get off the ground, has affected millions of kids.”