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Long-time OCCF donor Ranney Draper is driven by a passion for helping deserving, often first-generation students gain access to higher education. After years of effort and millions of dollars of philanthropic investment, Ranney realized that the students he had worked relentlessly to help get to college faced significant barriers to completing their college degrees.

Giving Underserved Students a Chance to Beat the Odds

Ranney realized that a new approach was needed, and he was committed to being part of the solution. He turned to OCCF with his idea, and our research identified a promising partner in InsideTrack, which coaches students to meet financial aid deadlines, develop effective study habits, set short- and long-term academic and professional goals, and foster a social connection within their campus communities. Their methods were effective in keeping kids on track toward college completion, and they had the data to prove it.

Challenges Are Meant to Be Overcome

In partnership with OCCF and several fellow donors, Ranney launched the OC Promise Initiative, a comprehensive program of mentoring, coaching and support. The end goal? Help each student develop the self-reliance and accountability to earn a four-year degree. In 2019, the first 50 OC Promise students benefited from the support of InsideTrack for their freshman year. More than 75% announced plans to return to their school for their sophomore year, and many were inspired to enrich their undergraduate years by exploring opportunities to study abroad or begin career-related internships. A second pool of 60 students has now commenced its participation in OC Promise, with nothing but success on their minds.