The Civic Opportunities Initiative Network (COIN)

Expanding Educational Opportunity & Building Community

The COIN Framework                                     

 The COIN program is a national education, leadership and community development program at the high school and college level in poor communities. It encompasses programs that tie individual opportunity for minority youth to community renewal and resilience.

Through leadership training, educational achievement, college access, and long-term skill development, COIN hopes to seed a new generation of local leaders that are committed to re-weaving and strengthening their home communal fabric.

The COIN model is adaptive to the particulars of local challenges and opportunities. It leverages local assets, resources, capacity, infrastructure, and capitalizes on existing programs, to build a community-focused agenda “in place.”

The distinct framework is built on the potential of emerging leaders to contribute to community life with support from a network of local institutions:

  • Community-based organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Philanthropic institutions
  • Government agencies
  • Schools

Key COIN Components—Customized in Locality:

  • Guaranteed Access to Higher Education
  • A one-to-one student-to-adult mentoring ratio in school or corollary education activity
  • Leadership advancement/civic training based on field-based internships in local neighborhoods
  • Wellness development—self-esteem and feeling valued by others
  • Scholarships that link individual success and community improvement

Various COIN Models Operating Nationally

I.         Community-Based Organization Model

  1. CBO’s identify program participants & manage the cohort
  2. Beginning in 10th grade of High School through college
  3. Full-tuition college scholarship funded by philanthropic institution
  4. Individual mentors providing year-round coaching, guidance, and academic support
  5. Summer learning retreats
  6. Civic & leadership education
  7. 6 years of confirmed internship placements
  8. College readiness programming
  9. Professional development workshops

II.         Local Network Model

  1. Local High Schools identify program participants
  2. Beginning in 10th grade through college
  3. Eligible to apply for one of four full-tuition college scholarships offered by partnering institution
  4. Year-round individual mentorship by high school teachers, principals, guidance counselors as well as college or university students & faculty
  5. Year-round academic enrichment coursework focusing on writing and math & college readiness
  6. Complementary summer leadership academy during high school focusing on academic and personal skill development in which college credit is awarded to participants
  7. Community-focused summer internship placement with local CBO
  8. Summer scholarship stipend
  9. Educational savings account housed at a local bank to be utilized upon graduation from high school

III.         Undergraduate Model

  1. Beginning in the summer of Freshman or Sophomore year in college
  2. $4,000 summer scholarship stipend
  3. Nine-week, full-time community-based field placement in non-profit or government agency in students’ home community
  4. Complementary academic and policy training academy coordinating by the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network
  5. Work Study Placement in College or University community when back on campus
  6. Credit bearing Social Justice Seminar on Campus following summer work

IV.         National Organization Model

  1. Creating specialized initiatives with national organizations that:
  • Through the local chapters and memberships, foster summer internships and leadership academies focusing on societal inequities
  • Add new dimensions to existing national college access, scholarship, and youth development programs

V.         Post-Graduation COIN Fellowships

  1. Supporting a one-year independent community work experience upon graduation.
  2. Fellowships benefit community life, continued personal growth, professional goals and aspirations, and reflect individual talents, concerns and commitments.