Double Discovery Center


Educating Children of Promise since 1965


Our Formula for Success

The Double Discovery Center works with low-income, first-generation college-bound youth from Harlem and Washington Heights to help ensure their success to, through, and beyond college. We leverage and coordinate University resources to provide students with a comprehensive network of support that includes Academic Enrichment, College & Career Success and Healthy Minds & Bodies.

Change a Life

DDC gave me the audacity to think I belong on the Columbia campus.
If it was not for DDC, I would not be where I am now.

Faith A., DDC ’06: BA, Binghamton University; MA, Teachers College, Columbia University

Launched in 1965 during President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” initiative, the Double Discovery Center has remained faithful to its founding mission – increase the rates of high school graduation, and college enrollment and graduation for low-income and first-generation college-bound youth from Harlem and Washington Heights.  

We are proud of what we have accomplished:

  • As of 2019, the Double Discovery Center has made college access and success a reality for over 15,000 individuals. 
  • Every year, about 90% of DDC high school seniors graduate from high school on time and enter college the following fall semester – far surpassing city, state and national outcomes for low-income, first-generation college-bound and minority students. 
  • Between 2001 and 2018 alone, over 120 DDC alumni received advanced degrees – 110 Master’s degrees and 12 PhDs.

DDC’s Recent Updates

Congratulations DDC class of 2019!

On May 16th, DDC celebrated its 12th graders who are college-bound. This year, DDC students were accepted to more than 100 schools, including Boston College, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Georgetown University and Vassar College, to name a few. DDC counselors also helped students overcome the financial challenges of going to college: our 12th graders were offered over $3,700,000 in grants and scholarships alone as part of their admission package. 

Spring 2019

Some of DDC’s Spring 2019 classes included:

  • Examining justice and race through the written word – Part II
  • Exploring the Health Sciences
  • Algebra 1
  • NYCLink for NBCUniversal (a social justice media and arts course)

Fall 2018

  • This year, DDC served more than 1,000 students by helping them to identify and access their “best fit” college so that they persist to graduation and fulfill their potential as productive and civically-engaged citizens. To address the growing needs of our young people, our program model now reflects a more comprehensive approach with an emphasis on three key areas: Academic Enrichment; College & Career Success; and Healthy Minds & Bodies.  This semester, students created individualized schedules that included activities across each of these three areas based on their needs and interests.
  • To provide our students with a more diverse and comprehensive system of support, we expanded our partnerships across Columbia University to now also include: Teachers College, School of the Arts, School of Social Work, Mailman School of Public Health, Zuckerman Institute for Brain Research, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. We also worked with several NYC nonprofits with youth development expertise and high-quality programming aligned with our program model: Young Audiences New York/YANY, New York Cares, and BlackFem.

Partner Schools for 2018-2019

Our current partner NYC public schools include: A Philip Randolph Campus High School; Frederick Douglass Academy; Frederick Douglass Academy II; Global Learning Collaborative; High School for Media & Communications; Maxine Green High School for Arts Imagination & Inquiry; Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts; and Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School.

Summer 2018

  • Ten students developed their professional skills through the Macquarie LEADS internship. Macquarie is a global diversified financial group with a presence in 25 countries.  The Macquarie Group is a long term partner of the Double Discovery Center.
  • Three students received full academic scholarships to attend the Columbia University School of Professional Studies High School Program.
  • Forty students experienced college life through DDC’s Summer Residential Academy on the Columbia University campus.

We thank all of our donors, supporters, and partners for your continued support that has allowed us to persist in our mission and transform the lives of so many community youth through education.  Without your financial donations, large and small, we wouldn’t be able to meet the college-going needs and aspirations of low-income and first-generation youth from Harlem and Washington Heights. 

To Change a life with the Gift of Education, CLICK HERE!

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