Right to College


What is Right to College?

The Right to College program positions Youth Leaders 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 and success possible for a wider circle of students.

Key ingredients to high quality youth led programming:


Clearly Defined Role:
Carefully articulated
responsibilities, required
work hours, and well-de-
fined and achievable goals

Youth to Youth
Time within
the schedule and physical
space to connect to other
young people

Training and Support:
Training in the relevant
information about the college
process and careful and
consistent adult supervision

Demonstration that the
contribution is valuable,
through pay or academic

How does CARA support Right to College programming?

  • Training – CARA runs multi-session Youth Leadership Training Institutes for Youth Leaders on all aspects of the college application process.
  • 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 regularly 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*
  • DeWitt Clinton High School with Good Shepherd Services
  • Bronx Theatre High School and ELLIS Preparatory Academy with Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
  • Flushing High School, Flushing International High School and Queens High School of Language Studies with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE)
  • High School of Fashion Industries with Hudson Guild
  • High School for Hospitality Management
  • Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
  • 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 Business, 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 contact Ariela Friedman: ariela.friedman@caranyc.org

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