CLEVELAND -- Forty-four individuals representing 39 employers were recently selected as the inaugural members of the College Now Emerging Leaders Association.

This group, which is chaired by Hudson resident and President of Estrela Consulting, Kristina Dooley, is tasked with creating an alumni association for College Now scholarship recipients as well as helping the organization increase awareness about its mission and work.

"As a first-generation college student who benefited from the services of College Now myself, I am happy to have been selected to lead this inaugural group of young professionals to increase awareness and engagement and give back to the organization," said Dooley.

Since its inception, College Now has served thousands of students in schools and awarded over $68 million in scholarships but has never had a formal alumni association.

"As College Now prepares to kick-off its 50th anniversary, and with the success of our mentoring program deepening the connection between the organization and its scholarship recipients, we felt the time was right to launch this initiative," said Lee Friedman, CEO of College Now.

The Emerging Leaders group will work to identify and (re)connect with individuals who received scholarships from College Now, or as the organization was previously known, the Cleveland Scholarship Program.

They will promote the ways that College Now can continue to help alumni by helping them manage debt through the Student Loan Rescue program and how alumni can give back to students like them through the Mentoring Program.

"There are 50 years of College Now alumni making contributions to our community," Friedman continued. "We want to find them, highlight their good work and give them meaningful ways to connect with us. I am thrilled that this group will be re-engaging our alumni."