Oct 22, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Michael Carter, Founder of Strive for College

How can we get more first-generation students to consider college when they don't have parental role models experienced in the process? Michael's non-profit organization has the answer by providing trained mentors to guide and encourage students so they can achieve their college dreams. Listen to Michael's story on how he has built Strive for College from his dorm room at Washington University (St. Louis) to an organization serving tens of thousands of students. Enjoy the journey of this inspiring social entrepreneur!


  • 0:00–0:58 Introduction
  • 0:59–3:02 Michael Carter’s day job
  • 3:03–7:57 It all started in a college dorm room
  • 7:58–12:36 The early days of Strive For College
  • 12:37–17:13 Michael’s inspiration: “Opportunity was not equal”
  • 17:14–21:44 The value of social capital networks
  • 21:45–25:21 Building relationships through partnerships
  • 25:22–29:47 How Strive For College’s impact is measured
  • 29:48–35:01 The important role that the mentors play
  • 35:02–36:56 Best thing ever purchased for under $10
  • 36:57–39:40 BTW… remember the deadlines!
  • 39:41–42:08 The best resource for the college going process (Hint: it’s FREE!)
  • 42:09–45:02 Michael’s favorite books
  • 45:03–46:26 Conclusion



NGPF game, Payback: simulates the life of what the next 4 years of college looks like

Recommended books:

Notable Quotes:

  • “This seemed to me like [it] was a very a fixable issue...that there are all these talented folks who should be going to some kind of education after high school and bettering themselves and their families economically...but [no one] is mentoring them.”
  • “I’m very passionate about...giving folks the opportunity to excel and have the same networks and support that I was fortunate enough to have in my life.”
  • “There’s no greater feeling than meeting the students we’re helping and hearing their stories… Now we have have [past] students who have signed up to be virtual mentors themselves.”
  • “We have a moment in time to really transform opportunity in America for a lot of deserving young adults, and I think we have the solution with virtual mentoring to do it.”

About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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