COOL Program

  “College Offers Opportunities for Life”

Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, Abilene Education Foundation placed a full-time college advisor at each AISD high school campus to work in conjunction with high school counselors. Generously funded by the Shelton Family Foundation, these advisors assist students who are underserved or who will be the first in their families to attend college. They also help students with financial aid, college applications, and college visits.

With the help of the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, in the fall of 2012, the COOL Program was able to expand the services offered to AISD by hiring two additional college advisors.

Please read more about our amazing 2016-2017 school year in our COOL Annual Report.

 (please be patient, the report is very large and can take a minute to download)

College advisors provide the following services:

  • Help students register for college entrance exams (SAT/ACT), including providing fee waivers, when applicable
  • Assist students in completing college applications
  • Guide students toward making realistic, attainable post-secondary goals, particularly regarding college selection
  • Assist students in applying for financial aid through completion of the FAFSA, including hosting FAFSA workshop nights on each campus
  • Help students to access and apply for scholarships
  • Assist students in crafting the college essay and collaborate with English teachers on essay topics
  • Meet with parents to share information about colleges and the college admissions process
  • Host college admissions representatives on the high school campus and take students on guided tours of various college campuses
  • Establish and maintain relationship with admissions and financial aid departments of colleges
  • Facilitate summer Application Camp for incoming seniors
  • Encourage and support students through the college experience
  • Provide interactive workshops and classroom presentations to classrooms at all levels, from elementary through high school
  • Conduct 5thgrade pep rallies on elementary campuses
  • Sponsor a Leadership Retreat for 8thgraders

Letter from the COOL Team

In the lyrics of the band Kool and the Gang,

“There’s a party going on right here, a celebration to last throughout the years!”

The COOL Program has much to celebrate, as this year marked one decade of service for our organization. Since its inception in 2007, the AEF COOL Program has assisted over 2500 AISD students achieve their dreams of a college education. Our ultimate goal has been to impact the lives of the students we serve by effectively addressing their needs, and we are eager to continue exploring every avenue possible to stay true to this goal. As we celebrate our past, we are excited about our future, and our staff is dedicated to expanding our outreach while strengthening our programs and services.

Over the past year, the COOL team served over 600 high school seniors, presented multiple middle and high school workshops, and continued our educational outreach on campuses across the district, while also focusing on the hands-on assistance and one-on-one mentoring for seniors on all four high school campuses. Whether through expansion of existing programs (like the expansion of Application Day to all AISD campuses this year) or implementation of new programs (such as Summer Application Camps and Scholarship Seminars), the COOL Program is intent on offering valuable lessons and lifelong experiences to the students of AISD.

Our students are the life of the COOL Program’s party, and we are always ecstatic to hear about the great things going on in their lives.

Thank you for being a wholehearted part of the COOL Program for the past ten years. Our community is strong and vibrant, and it is because of you that COOL has had tremendous success for over a decade. We hope you enjoy looking back over the past year with us. It is truly our honor to serve the students of Abilene ISD.

AEF College Advisors


Amanda Wiskow
C.O.O.L. Program Co-Coordinator/College Advisor
325-677-1444 x1736


LaQuiera Gantt
Cooper High School
C.O.O.L. Program Co-Coordinator/College Advisor
Room 1104
325-691-1000 x7871

Dustin West
ATEMS/Woodson Center for Excellence
IT Coordinator/College Advisor
325-677-1444 x5723

Hannah Holmes-0926

Hannah Holmes
Abilene High School
College Advisor
Room 1316
325-677-1731 x1808