Youth Leadership for College Access


What is Youth Leadership for College Access?

Youth Leadership for College Access positions young people to engage their peers in the post-secondary planning process. Youth Leaders do this by: facilitating workshops; planning events; supporting other students in their search, application, and financial aid process; and working to promote an overall college-going culture within their institutions. Through comprehensive training and support, Youth Leaders develop a range of skills and content knowledge that they then use, not only to improve their own educational and social outcomes, but also as a platform to make college access possible for a wider circle of students.

Key ingredients to a high quality college access youth leadership program:


How does CARA support Youth Leadership for College Access?

  • Training – CARA runs a multi-week Summer Youth Leadership Training Institute on all aspects of the college process.
    The trainings are based at NYC college campuses to give the Youth Leaders the chance to explore different colleges.
  • Coaching – CARA offers site-based support to adult staff at schools and organizations to support the integration of youth
    leadership into existing college access work.
  • Community – CARA brings Youth Leaders from across the city together several times over the academic year and
    establishes an on-going community for learning and support among both Youth Leaders and adult staff.


“As a Youth Leader… I keep students on track and make sure they complete the right steps on time. Because I am also a student, we are in class together, in lunch together, and walking the same hallways. I use all of those times to remind students about what they need to be doing for college.”

-Youth Leader, Franklin K. Lane Campus Student Success Center


Sites and Partnerships

  • Bushwick Campus Student Success Center with Make the Road NY: Academy for Environmental Leadership, Academy for Urban Planning, Brooklyn School for Math and Research, Brooklyn School for Social Justice
  • Central Park East High School
  • Collaborative Academy of Science, Technology, & Language-Arts Education; Henry Street School for International Studies; University Neighborhood Middle School with Henry St. Settlement*
  • East Side Community School
  • Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School with The Children’s Aid Society
  • Flushing High School with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE)
  • Flushing International High School with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE)
  • Goddard Riverside Community Center
  • High School for Fashion Industries with Hudson Guild
  • I.S. 171 & I.S. 308 with Cypress Hills LDC*
  • Lane Campus Student Success Center with Cypress Hills LDC: Academy of Innovative Technology, Brooklyn Lab, Cypress Hills Collegiate Preparatory School, Multicultural High School
  • Taft Campus Student Success Center with New Settlement Apartments: Bronx Collegiate Academy, Bronx High School of Medical Science, Claremont International High School, DreamYard Prep, Urban Academy High School for History and Citizenship for Young Men

*These sites have youth leadership programs for high school choice, modeled after Youth Leadership for College Access.

For more information of Youth Leadership for College Access programs contact Lori Chajet:

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