April 2022 - Spring 2022 College Tours - First Stop, Princeton!

April 30, 2022

Spring 2022 College Tours - First Stop, Princeton!

In this April 2022 Issue:

  • DDC announces two leadership transitions: Natalie Edwards as Chair of the Board of Friends and Sasha Wells as Interim Executive Director
  • DDC College Tours: Princeton and Brown
  • All Things ALUMNI

DDC announces two leadership transitions: Natalie Edwards as Chair of the Board of Friends and Sasha Wells as Interim Executive Director

DDC was established with a simple and vital mission – improve the educational outcomes of our community youth. We have continued to develop and grow as an organization alongside our students, with the support of their families, as we all seek to put them in the best position to succeed.

We are very excited to announce two important leadership changes that will further strengthen us as we continue our mission.

Natalie K. Edwards

Natalie K. Edwards will lead the DDC Board of Friends as its new chairperson. She is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and an A Better Chance scholar. She has worked at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP (NY, London) and Linklaters LLP (NY, Shanghai) and was recently the Head of the Global Corporate M&A Legal department and a Managing Director at Citigroup Inc. Natalie is currently Managing Director and Head of Legal at Apis & Heritage Capital Partners, a new BIPOC-lead private equity fund founded to close the racial wealth gap through the creation of employee-owned businesses.

One of the first things I tell people about myself is that I am a poor black girl from Brooklyn by way of Kingston, Jamaica. I hope when they hear that they understand that I am proud of my community, and I know intimately the hard work it takes to get to where you want to be. What they won’t necessarily get is how much I appreciate that it is a journey that is nearly impossible to complete without the support of family, friends and organizations like DDC. The continuing impact of the Covid 19 pandemic has made it more important than ever that we strengthen that infrastructure of support. I am deeply honored to be the new chairperson of the Board of Friends and to have this opportunity.

Sasha Wells

Sasha Wells, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Dean, will lead the Double Discovery Center as its new Interim Director. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Teachers College. She joined Columbia University in 2011 to manage alumni leadership volunteers in the Office of Alumni & Development. She then managed key college-wide projects and initiatives for the Office of the Dean at Columbia College and two years ago took the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Dean Valentini.

Prior to Columbia Sasha worked in more traditional nonprofit settings, leading volunteer engagement, youth development, and program management. Sasha will focus on strengthening DDC’s foundation to increase educational opportunities for community youth.

It is an honor and a privilege for me to take on this position to help deepen our support to local students as they embark on their journey to college and career success. As a low-income, first-generation student myself, DDC’s mission is very personal. I know firsthand how education can change a young person's trajectory and break the cycle of generational poverty. I am proud to be able to say that DDC truly changes lives.

DDC has done extraordinary work for more than half a century. Under the leadership of Natalie and Sasha it will get even better, says Roger Lehecka, co-founder of the Double Discovery Center, former Board chair and current Board member.

DDC College Tours: Princeton and Brown

DDC launched its spring 2022 college tours with visits to Princeton and Brown, each led by a DDC alum and current student at the university. As former DDC students themselves, the tour leaders were able to address the specific issues faced by underrepresented students such as financial aid, academic success programs, and other resources available for first-generation, low-income students. About 15 9th to 12th graders used their spring break to join in on these free college tours.

DDC tailors its college tours to the needs and concerns of the students to ensure they learn to feel more comfortable with the process and increase their self-efficacy – the belief in their capacity to succeed. College trips were a big help for me. This is how I got an idea of what kind of campus I would like, and then DDC showed me how to narrow down the choices to get the “best fit,” says Jackie N., DDC ’20, Princeton University, and tour guide for the Princeton visit.

It is very important that our students get this introduction to campus life from DDC alumni who were once in their shoes, and not only made it to college, but are now enjoying their studies there, says Sasha Wells, DDC Interim Executive Director. They answer their questions, offer an insider perspective on student life, and explain the assistance they can get from DDC to succeed in college. This is how our students can see themselves on campus in the future, and that significantly affects their preparation and decisions.

In their own words:

Sandra C., DDC '23

I am a first generation, low-income student, and this opportunity to explore Brown and Princeton is really empowering. DDC has given me so much individual support and guidance on college and career choices, and this is crucial for someone in my circumstances. DDC is an amazing community!

Bianca W., DDC '23

Jackie N., who led the Princeton tour, opened my eyes to so many possible options. I’m in the beginning of my college journey and this visit actually made me think of so many more questions to ask!

Yadelyn P., DDC '22

At first I didn’t have a clear idea where I wanted to go, but DDC has shaped how I think about college and the choices I have moving forward.

All Things ALUMNI

DDC Emergency Funds:

The DDC Emergency Fund is available for students, alumni, and families who need short term financial support. The Emergency Fund can be used for expenses across five key areas that may impact a student's ability to stay engaged in their education: food, housing, utilities, healthcare, college tuition, and transportation to and from college. Financial needs outside the previously listed categories may be considered on a case by case basis. A maximum of $800 in funding is allowed per student at this time. If you are interested, email Kristan Rosenthal to set up a time to meet.

Graduate School Test Prep with Kaplan:

If you are interested in Graduate School Test Prep, there are currently 4 available vouchers for the LSAT and GREs, and 5 vouchers for the GMAT. Please email Yarisell Hernandez with any inquiries.

Careers at DDC:

For open positions at The Double Discovery Center, visit our Careers Page

Summer Internships brought to you by Jopwell:

Class of 2023:

Citi (Business/Finance Majors)

2022 Consumer Banking Summer Analyst

Class of 2024:

UBS (Business/Finance Majors)

2023 Summer Analyst Program - Global Banking

NielsenIQ (All Majors)

NielsenIQ University - Fall 2022

Class of 2025:

RBC Capital Markets (Business/Finance Majors)

2023 Pathways Diversity Award Program

Citi (Business/Finance Majors)

2022 Freshman Discovery Diversity Program

*For more summer opportunities sign up for Jopwell and receive their newsletter!*

For any other alumni related questions, please email Yarisell Hernandez

Double Our Discovery, Double Our Impact!

Click Here to “Change a Life”

Calling All DDC Alumni and Former Volunteers!

Tell Us About Your Time at the Double Discovery Center!

If you are an alum from classes 2019-2021, please share your favorite DDC moments: your Summer Academy experience, your favorite class project, your relationship with your counselor, and more.

We want to know how DDC impacted your life!

Click Here to reconnect!

Double Discovery Center

Alfred Lerner Hall, Room 306

2920 Broadway, MC 2604

New York, NY 10027

Phone: 212 854 3897

Fax: 212 854 7457

[email protected]

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