Volunteer Robert Scholl

Robert SchollMeet Robert Scholl, West Virginia native and retired college admissions professional who is celebrating 11 years as a volunteer for PeerForward! He currently serves as a Director of College Coaching.

 I am a product of the coal industry. My grandfather came to West Virginia to be a mining engineer. Both of my parents attended college and became schoolteachers. This was in the 1940’s, mind you, a time when college wasn’t a given, and teachers were rare. Education was a major part of our household.

We’d often talk at the dinner table about my classmates who were so capable, but who didn’t have the resources or encouragement to go on to college. My folks would say “So and so is a bright young girl, it’s just a shame there isn’t any way to help her go to college.” My brother and I always knew college was the next step. And guess what? We both went to college and became educators! Guess the apple doesn’t fall far.

I got my Bachelors from Bluefield State College and then went on to get my Masters from Marshall University. After graduation, I took a job with the welfare department. At the time, my wife was hoping to switch schools, and I accompanied her on an interview. The interviewer asked me what I was going to do. I told him I would either stay with the welfare department or teach…he responded “you’ll starve to death!” That’s actually how I got into college admissions! I was initially at Alderson-Broaddus College and then served as both Enrollment Manager and Registrar & Enrollment Manager at West Virginia Institute of Technology, where I stayed for 30 years.

After I retired, a high school counselor contacted me about PeerForward coming to West Virginia. The part about workshops that really hit home for me was seeing the Peer Leaders return as Alumni, ready to train the next generation of college-goers. It’s so gratifying, seeing the students I worked with graduate from college and start successful careers.

I was at the grocery store one day and the checkout girl said “I remember you from PeerForward!” She told me she’s now a sophomore in college and remembers everything I did to help her realize her goals.

If that doesn’t keep you coming back, I don’t know what does.

For more information on how to become a volunteer, visit peerforward.org/volunteer. If you have any questions or would like to request more information, please contact Natasha Bailey at nbailey@peerforward.org

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