Across the nation there are numerous college and university alumni associations that go back to their institutions. But how many high school associations do the same? Maybe a few. And probably even fewer in the same fashion as the Calvin Coolidge Alumni Association, Inc., in
Established in 1987, the Calvin Coolidge Alumni Association, Inc. was founded on the principle of "enhancing student life at a notable institution of higher learning," says the organizations co-founder and current President, Frank Jones, III. The other co-founders are James A. Scott, Jr. and Barrington D. Scott.
"A major goal is to establish functional program and activities that will reinforce student education academic support, career orientation and college preparation," Jones adds.
The purpose of the association is to “give back” to the students, school and community. The association plans to implement activities that represent an investment in the students that attend the school and the community of families and friends that support the school. To accomplish the goals of the association, a major ongoing effort of locating and enrolling alumni has been key to the success of growing the organization’s membership. The association continues to support students by providing mentoring programs, assisting students with identifying career goals and providing college scholarships and financial assistance.
To this degree, upon the association's founding it established a partnership with Mentors, Inc. Since 1987 more than 100 students have been mentored by members of CCAA Inc.
The mentors are alumni of Coolidge who spend time with the students in an effort to enhance the students' transition to either post-secondary education or entry level employment says Neil Faulkner, past president of CCAA Inc. and twice mentor of the year in 1992 and 1995. "Spending time with the students provide opportunities to foster their self-esteem and decisions, making skills," Faulkner says. To honor Coolidge distinguished graduates, the CCAA Inc., annually host an alumni breakfast ceremony.
In addition to CCAA Inc.’s, participation in the mentor program the association annually partners with the entire school as hosting career day at Coolidge. The yearly program occurs the second week in December and is "ever increasing" says James Proctor of CCAA Inc. "We take over the entire school and all of the student body participates," Proctor says. He adds there are approximately 60 - 80 facilitators who address the Coolidge student body of approximately 900 students in groups of 25 to 30 students.
During the past 12 years of partnering with the school, almost 700 different mentors have participated in the career day experience. Some of Coolidge graduates include: business man and former publisher of the Regardie magazine, Bill Regardie; sportscaster Warner Wolf, former professional basketball player Kermit Washington; former professional football player Mike Butler; the late television producer Linda M. Marmelstein, whose shows and series earned Emmy awards; and the late architect at the Capitol Donald Gunnell, and Neil Shulman, Author of “Doc Hollywood” which later became a movie starring Michael J. Fox; Dennis (’61) and Phillip (’56) Ratner of the Ratner Museum in Bethesda, Maryland, Dennis found and CEO of the hair salon chain, Hair Cuttery and Phillip the sculptor with works at the U.S. Supreme Court, Liberty, Ellis Island.
Who We Are and What We Do
The Calvin Coolidge Alumni Association, Incorporated, (CCAA, Inc.) is an organization incorporated in 1987. CCAA, Inc. prides itself on its adherence to the philosophy of ‘giving back to the community’. The Association provides mentoring programs for students and supports students in identifying career aspirations.
CCAA, Inc. is unique because it is a high school, community-based organization, steeped in diversity in Washington, DC. CCAA, Inc. strives to establish and maintain contact with high school students before graduation and continue to be a source of support to graduates when they return to their communities. Every student is encouraged to join the CCAA, Inc. and bring their talents and gifts to strengthen the long-term mission and goals of the organization.
To become a member of CCAA, Inc. you must have attended Calvin Coolidge. Membership categories are Lifetime Member, General Member, Student Member and Affiliate Member. All new members receive CCAA By-Laws, Constitution, Mission Statement, Quarterly Newsletters, Membership Card, and Embossed Membership Certificate.
Annually, during the 2nd week in December, CCAA, Inc., partners with the school to host CAREER DAY AT COOLIDGE. CCAA, Inc. recruits alumni and professionals from the community to discuss their fields of expertise and educational background. Facilitators classify careers according to science, trade, civil service, health, and the arts. The students select two career seminars to attend. During the past 14 years of partnering with the school almost 1000 different professionals and mentors have participated in the career day experience.
For the past 21 years, CCAA, Inc. has awarded scholarships to deserving seniors to aid in their post secondary education goals. The largest fundraising event of CCAA, Inc. is the Annual Alumni Scholarship Awards Breakfast held every October. Distinguished alumni are honored for achievements in their careers and communities. Although we honor our alumni, the main purpose of this event is to raise funds for scholarships. In 2007, we have the honor of presenting two additional scholarship awards, the Phyllis S. Wells Scholarship and the Joe Shamwell Memorial Award.
A special thanks to Lawson Community College for this amazing Black History Collage