Pathways to College – A Website Story
Most of you know that MGR Consulting Group is a relatively small Phoenix, AZ based Internet Marketing Agency. However, the projects that we complete for our clients are usually large in scale, varied in content and extremely successful in the results that they generate. A couple of days ago today we launched a new website for Pathways to College. But unlike any of the dozens of projects that are completed by our agency on a weekly basis, this one had a significant relevance for us due to the noble non-profit cause that it supports.
Pathways to College provides motivated teens with the information, guidance and support they need to become the best high school students, college applicants and college graduates they can be. Pathways has developed a successful strategy that links college access with school improvement. At each participating high school, up to 100 high-potential students with a broad range of academic accomplishments are identified and paired with committed teachers who work with students after school hours as a structured teaching/learning team. Pathways students are also coached to be intentional, productive school leaders who model success for their peers and demonstrate that a college degree is an achievable goal, thereby positively and demonstrably impacting their schools’ climates. Since establishment as an independent nonprofit, in 2003, nearly 2,500 students have been enrolled, and 100 percent of graduates have been accepted by at least one college.
“Every now and then we come across unique opportunities to work on projects that go beyond the traditional “for-profit” sales, revenue generating and marketing goals.”
This project was quite challenging though. I received a call just a couple of weeks ago to produce a brand new website for Pathways to College, nothing unusual there. But then, I learned that the new website had to be ready to go live by March 18th in time for an “important news announcement involving a celebrity endorsement” that would generate quite a bit of traffic for the newly launched website. I thought “great, new website, ten days to complete it, and rather than a soft launch, we had to make sure that it was flawless and ready for prime time from day one!”
Little did I know at that time that the celebrity in question would be no other than Oprah Winfrey. And it doesn’t end there. The endorsement happened while Howard Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO of Starbucks and Oprah Winfrey announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to co-create Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea in an auditorium full of people at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Beginning April 29, Teavana Oprah Chai will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S. and Canada. All proceeds (and Oprah emphasized ALL as only she can do!) from the sale of Oprah Chai will go to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which funds the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls-South Africa. In addition, Oprah also announced that the proceeds will also aid four other nonprofit organizations, one of them being Pathways to College.
Fortunately, the new website project, from conception to design, programming and final launch went through without a hitch. It’s already getting a lot of traffic due to the number of news organizations that have press releases linking to it. But the most important result is the fact that Pathways to College will now be able to become the inspiration, motivation and hand up that helps bright young children of color realize their college aspirations.
“All of us at MGR Consulting Group are extremely proud of our little contribution to their success and look forward to working on this common goal for many years to come.”
Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)
Photo Courtesy Oprah.com