College Beyond

The Pitch

A nonprofit that acts as the connective tissue between students, families, high schools and higher education by leveraging the power of relationships to guide students through the academic, social, and financial transition from high school success to college persistence.


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College Beyond
Paris Woods & Sarah Payne

Paris Woods & Sarah Payne

The Entrepreneur

Paris Woods (co-founder & Executive Director)
Paris Woods is co-founder and Executive Director of College Beyond. A first-generation college graduate, Paris earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University where she studied African American Studies and Education Policy & Management. Paris worked in college admissions, financial aid, and student advising at Harvard, before moving to New Orleans to become the founding Director of Alumni Support for New Orleans College Prep Academies. As a result of her work with NOCP, Cohen College Prep became the #1 open enrollment high school in the city of New Orleans sending students to college. Paris has been honored in Gambit’s 40 Under 40 and as an Innovation Award recipient by the Alliance for Diversity and Excellence. Paris’s and Sarah’s work together supporting New Orleans students has been featured in numerous news outlets including the Times Picayune, Hechinger Report, Education Week, and WWLTV Channel 4 News.

Sarah Payne (co-founder & Director of Strategy)
Sarah Payne is co-founder and Director of Strategy for College Beyond. Prior to starting College Beyond, Sarah served as the founding Director of College Counseling at Cohen College Prep High School, where she directed College Prep’s college readiness programs and supports and served on the school leadership team. She has worked in state government, education non-profits, and as a middle school teacher, and holds bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and French from Wellesley College. She is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where her research is focused on college persistence and post-college outcomes.


2017 Growth Ventures2016 Startup Ventures




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