Nonprofit Hub’s INSPIRE Hubcast series shares powerful and impactful stories of organizations persevering to create the change they want to see in the world. Each episode features a new guest with their own unique story. It’s our hope that their words motivate you to power through whatever obstacles stand in your way of achieving your organization’s mission. In this episode, Randy talks with Jeff Nelson, CEO and co-founder of OneGoal.

Jeff leads the organization as it tackles one of our nation’s greatest injustices: the college graduation gap. He has led OneGoal since March 2007, overseeing vast programmatic expansion and guiding strategic planning efforts. Jeff grew the organization from a small start-up in Chicago, with two staff members supporting 32 students, to a leading college access and success organization with a staff of 150 supporting 13,000 students in Chicago, Houston, New York, Massachusetts, Metro Atlanta and Bay Area.

Jeff began his career as a sixth grade elementary teacher and Teach For America corps member at O’Keeffe Elementary School in Chicago. He was awarded the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching and went on to support new teachers as a Teach For America Corps Member Advisor at the Philadelphia Training Institute. During his tenure at OneGoal, Jeff has been awarded the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship Award, the Community Renewal Society’s 35 Under 35 Award, Teach For America’s Distinguished Alumni Award and most recently was named one of the “40 Under 40” by Crain’s Chicago. Jeff graduated from the University of Michigan and earned his MA in Teaching from Dominican University. He received his MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.