Freedom & Citizenship
Started in 2009 with Columbia University’s Center for American Studies, the Freedom and Citizenship program gives rising seniors the opportunity to take part in the rigor of a Columbia College education. This yearlong program, which delves into the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship and freedom, is modeled on the Core Curriculum studied by all Columbia undergraduates.
College Persistence Initative (2015-16 Pilot Program)
DDC will build on the relationship students have with the Center to support their success at college by providing high contact support through their freshman year of college. DDC will help identify, transition, and leverage the vital campus support networks and services to propel student success and completion of college.
In addition to the joint programming with Columbia University, DDC has forged several partnerships throughout New York City and beyond to give students the most diverse and well-rounded educational experiences, career opportunities and personal development. A sample of the partner programs is below:
AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.
Since 2010, DDC students have had the opportunity to study abroad for two to eight weeks during the summer in countries including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia, through a partnership with the AFS-USA Faces of America program. Students live with host families, take intensive language courses, and participate in local community service projects to immerse themselves in the lives and cultures of their host nations.
Goddard Riverside Community Center
Students have the opportunity to enroll in a four-week volunteer internship at Goddard Riverside Community Center, a nonprofit human services organization that assists children, families and the homeless. This hands-on learning experience offers DDC participants the opportunity to work as teaching assistants two days per week with children from two to four years of age. Helping with daily classroom tasks and working closely with the Goddard Riverside staff, participants then connect what they have learned and observed through their work in the classroom with the study of early childhood development in weekly discussion groups led by clinical psychologist, Martha Herman BC’66.
The Macquarie Group is a global investment banking and diversified financial services organization. Since 2009, DDC students have taken part in their Leadership, Education, Advancement, Development and Support (LEADS) Summer Internship Program –a flagship community program in New York City that offers an opportunity for first generation college-bound high school students to better understand the links between education choices and career. This five-week paid internship, involves more than 60 staff members from across Macquarie’s business divisions that participate as mentors, trainers and volunteers. Students experience what it is like to work in a corporate office setting, learn best practices for business behavior, and take part in company projects.
A new financial supporter, Morgan Stanley’s Tech & Data Division organizes and participates in quarterly service learning projects with DDC students and provides much needed college supplies for DDC high school graduates.
New York Cares
New York Cares is one of the city’s largest volunteer organizations. Since 2008, the nonprofit has provided a wide variety of skills-building workshops and service opportunities for DDC students. They include:
- College Planning: Employees from the investment banking industry have conducted seminars on financial literacy and worked with students on organizing their college search and developing a list of schools.
- Kaplan SAT: Provides intensive and extensive preparation for this college entry test. Students strengthen reading, writing and math skills, learn test taking strategies and take practice exams, which provide extensive analysis on where to improve.
- Sophomore Skills: Offers tutoring in math, reading and writing, which helps students on their Regents exams and on academic classes at their high schools.
- Service Projects: DDC students are encouraged to heighten their sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility by participating in a variety of New York Cares organized service projects. Projects ranged from working in a soup kitchen, weeding and cleaning a community garden, to painting a mural to brighten the office of a Brooklyn nonprofit.