| Press Release

Degrees of Change Names Act Six National Director

Tacoma, Wash., August 26, 2019  – Degrees of Change announced that Marquise Dixon has been named as the national director of Act Six, a cohort-based leadership and scholarship program that connects local faith-based community affiliates with faith- and social justice-based colleges to equip emerging urban and community leaders to engage the college campus and their communities at home.

Dixon comes to Degrees of Change from Urban Ventures, where he served as vice president of youth and family services, guiding strategy and leading a team of 16 staff delivering a comprehensive suite of youth and young adult programming for families in South Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2014, Dixon spearheaded the launch of Act Six in the Midwest, serving as the initial Act Six site director for the Minneapolis-St Paul program. During his time at Urban Ventures, the local program grew to include six partner colleges selecting more than 50 scholars per year, becoming the largest Act Six program site in the network in just five years. Dixon also brings experience in college admissions and student life, having served as an assistant dean at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and an admissions counselor at Crown College.

“Marquise is an extraordinary leader whose skillset, experience and proven track record with Act Six uniquely prepare him to guide the Act Six network to the next level as it continues to expand across the country. He has been a trusted mentor and coach for other Midwest Act Six staff and has built deep and trusting relationships with both frontline staff and senior leadership at a wide range of Act Six college partners,” said Tim Herron, Act Six founder and CEO at Degrees of Change.

In his role as national director, Dixon will provide primary leadership for the Act Six national network, guiding the program’s continued expansion while ensuring that it holds true to its original mission and maintains its exceptional outcomes for scholars, colleges, and communities across the country.

“I never would have imagined when Act Six launched in the Midwest that I would have an opportunity to continue to support students, program staff, and our college partners at the national level. I’m eager to join the amazing team of Degrees of Change and I look forward to continuing the work of educational equity across the network as we look to see our communities become more vibrant and thriving places to live,” said Dixon.

About Act Six

Since the program’s inception in 2002, Act Six has enrolled more than 950 ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholarship recipients from Tacoma, Seattle, Yakima and Spokane, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis-St Paul, Minn.; Chicago, Il.; and Indianapolis, Ind.
at 17 private colleges and universities.

Act Six develops leaders through a simple, but powerful, four-step strategy:

  1. Recruit and select diverse, multicultural cadres of the most promising urban and community student leaders.
  2. Train and prepare these groups of students in the year prior to college, equipping them to support each other, succeed academically and grow as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation.
  3. Send and fund the teams together to select faith- and social justice-based colleges across Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana on full-tuition, full-need scholarships.
  4. Support and inspire by providing strong campus support, ongoing leadership development and vocational connections to inspire scholars to serve their home communities.

Eighty-three percent of Act Six scholars earn their bachelor’s degrees within six years, more than double the rate for low-income, first-generation students nationwide. Moreover, fifty-five have earned master’s degrees and four have earned doctoral degrees. Nearly two-thirds of the program’s graduates have returned to their home communities to lead and serve: 70% work for non-profits or in the public sector; 30% serve in leadership roles outside of employment; and 76% volunteer in their communities.

Learn more about Act Six online at www.actsix.org.

About Degrees of Change

Degrees of Change (DoC) partners with community organizations, high schools, colleges and employers to provide cohort-based leadership training, college success support, career development and alumni programming to underrepresented students who desire to lead and serve their home communities. As both a national backbone organization and local, direct service provider in Tacoma-Seattle, DoC provides and utilizes research-based programming, cutting-edge evaluation and data tools, and innovative operational systems and technical assistance to support all aspects of our integrated programs.

Learn more about Degrees of Change online at www.degreesofchange.org.

Tim Herron, CEO, Degrees of Change
(253) 444-0011 or tim.herron@degreesofchange.org

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