Anyone Can Achieve

A Uniquely Different Mentoring System To Increase Diversity In Top Occupations – A Nationally Available College Persistence Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is’s mission? is an innovative, web-based college persistence program primarily for minority college students. Anyonecanachieve provides cyber mentor guidance, information, encouragement and support. Through mentors, it provides information about: (1) academic preparation, (2) careers (3) career entry and (4) career advancement (coaching). Anyone who can use the website is welcome but the site’s main purpose is to encourage African American college students to complete college work and prepare for better, higher paying professions in which, now, they are now grossly underrepresented. We do something typically not done by others. We tie academic training to vocational skills acquired and to labor market opportunities – the more usable skills the better ones’ economic outcomes. Ultimately our mission is to increase African American participation in the best jobs in Management and Professional Specialty Occupations – the highest median pay occupational groups. We do this through highlighting 330 wonderful and varied careers we’d like to see diversified. Among high pay jobs of which there are over 30 million, African Americans occupy only about 7 percent of such jobs. We believe this poor participation can be improved.

Why does the website target minority students currently enrolled in college? Why not offer a support program at the elementary or secondary level of education?

There are already lots of educational intervention programs for minorities in elementary and high schools. Some of the interventions work as seen in “high poverty, high performing” schools across the country. Some of the interventions don’t work as well. Because there is no shortage of people coming up with innovative programs to improve performance in pre-college issues, we felt in light of the high college attrition rate for minorities, it was crucial to develop strategies to help people persist once in college.

A good number of African American students do well enough to be admitted to college programs. The problem is that too many admitted students fall through the cracks and end up not completing college. Only about 34 percent of black males persist in college to earn a bachelor’s degree. Black women do a little better in earning bachelor’s degrees.

The biggest problem is persistence in college. Imagine what the labor market outcomes of African Americans would be if we could increase their college persistence to the level of white or Asian Americans – essentially doubling the number of African American college graduates. Leaving college programs is often not simply a matter of not having college potential. It is also known that minority college students leave school for many reasons other than financial problems.

We believe that our mentoring program will enhance minority college persistence in several ways. We will help students develop a firm rationale for staying in college. We will help them identify the skills they need to acquire and we’ll encourage their vision of great occupational opportunities (available primarily to college graduates). We’ll offer advice, encouragement and support.

Is for everyone or minorities only? is for everyone. It is an equal opportunity website. We believe earning a college degree is a worthy goal regardless of race, gender, creed or color. The twenty first century marks a new era. It is an era where science, technology and information define occupational possibilities. More than ever in a global economy Americans will have to be better educated, better prepared to compete with the best trained minds elsewhere. Otherwise, Americans will occupy low skilled and semi -skilled jobs that pay little while the best jobs requiring advanced training and credentialing will end up elsewhere in the world. It is true that is particularly concerned about underrepresented minorities most as they are disproportionally clustered in the lowest unskilled and semi-skilled professions.

Who are cyber-mentor volunteers? volunteers are successful professionals representing the 330 occupational titles we’ve identified. The titles represent about 36 million jobs in the U.S. labor market. The titles span a broad range of interests and aptitudes. Our mentors are volunteers who vary in race, gender and age who are experts in the fields we identify. They are willing to answer young peoples questions and willing to provide realistic career information and encouragement. We also have “peer mentors” who are college students pursuing one of the 330 great career we’ve identified. The purpose of having these young mentors is to offer real-time strategic advice given by so-called “coping models.” We believe this will add an important dynamic dimension to advice giving.

Will there be more than one mentor per recommended field?

Yes! We plan to have many mentors within each of the fields recommended. There are several obvious reasons for this. The most important of those reasons has to do with offering our subscribers more than one point of view within a professional field.

Do I have to be and active professional to join as a volunteer mentor? mentor volunteers are mostly career active individuals but some will be retired. We know that retired people are full of expert advice that they would like to pass on to young adults and we definitely seek their kind assistance. The majority of our mentors will be active professionally at the early, mid or full career stage.

How can I become a mentor at ACA?

To become a mentor all you have to do is complete an application form at This can be done in two ways. Fill out an application form online or download the PDF application form and mail the completed for to Dr. Thomas. We plan to respond to mentor applications within two weeks of receipt.

Does ACA interview candidates before accepting volunteers?

Yes, selectively some will be interviewed. There would be a couple for reasons for this. First, some candidates might have unusual expertise in a profession that we’ve listed but listed more generally. Therefore it would be helpful to talk with the mentor volunteer so that we can refine the area description on our website. Secondly, a candidate might be interested in mentoring in a field that we have not listed as a recommended field. Our direct conversation with such a potential mentor might clarify for us whether the field should be added to our list. The usual way interviews will be conducted will be by telephone.

Does ACA have a volunteer mentor-training program?

No! Our mentors will all be individuals who have given career advice before in their field. They will be highly experienced in their field and comfortable answering a broad range of questions. We don’t believe additional training is needed. Because we focus on advice to minorities, however, we will make sure mentors appreciate our general guidelines for providing culturally competent advice to subscribers.