Whole School + Peer-to-Peer Programming

“Our partnership with CARA has been a game changer in terms of how we approach college access and post-secondary planning. It has allowed us to shift college access from the college office to the entire school community, by building understanding that post-secondary planning for all students needs as much attention as our core academic subject areas.”

-Robert Schwarz, Assistant Principal, Richmond Hill HS


“Speaking to seniors as they were talking about their plans for next year, there was such purpose and understanding behind what they were saying. They knew what they were doing and why they were doing it…[At the same time] everyone said different things, they didn’t come out with the same cookie cutter answer…This is deep, meaningful work: When you think about how much it costs… it’s really very cost effective.”

-Mayra Segura, Assistant Principal, Central Park East High School

Peer-to-Peer Programming

“College Bridge coaches are the best bargain in town. They add so much value: they are so skilled, they are our own homegrown talent, they come in with such huge advantages because they know the school, and the students know them.”

-JoAnne DiLauro, College Counselor, International Community High School


“CARA’s work in training Peer Leaders has allowed the college work on the Franklin K. Lane campus to continue to evolve, expand, and deepen every year.”

-Lisa LoFaso, Student Success Center Director, Cypress Hills LDC

“CARA has been instrumental in developing our peer mentoring program at the BMCC Learning Academy, from a peripheral program to an integral one that is foundational to our department’s goals.”

-Jordan Evans, Associate Director, BMCC Learning Academy

Early FAFSA Completion

Early FAFSA completion increases by 12% within 2 years at schools implementing CARA’s Peer Leader programming or Whole School + Peer Leader model.


Early FAFSA completion is a critical step in successful matriculation, ensuring students receive the full amount they are entitled to, giving them time to complete the process before summer’s end, and thus removing last-minute obstacles to matriculation.

Impact on Peer Leaders

Because of all of the skills I learned about advocacy as a Youth Leader, I asked my college if I could do my work-study position with the SSC at my high school. I got to keep helping my community… I was a psychology major and wanted to be a school psychologist at first – but then I looked into counseling and realized that I had a lot of skills from being a Youth Leader so I decided to pursue a Masters in Counseling after I graduated.

-Anna Cruz, College Counselor, A. Philip Randolph High School


After I finished at Queens College, I heard from CARA about a maternity leave coverage role leading the Student Success Center at Mott Haven for Right to College. All the experience I had as a Bridge coach caught their attention, like the work I did with the toolkit for undocumented students, and all the different ways I’ve used data and spreadsheets to keep track of student progress. Everything I learned as a Bridge coach is related, and it all helps me now.

-Luz Espinbarro, College Counselor, Student Success Center at Mott Haven