As part of the visit, leaders observed a sociology class led by Columbia Ph.D. student Jay Brown and learned more about how high school students in Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, Harlem, Washington Heights, and from select partner schools across the city, participate in academic enrichment, socio-emotional learning, and a long-term network of support. Following the classroom visit, leaders participated in a roundtable discussion about the DDC model.
Representatives from Community Board 9, Community School District 5, Manhattan Borough President's Office, NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, as well as New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu (CC'14), himself a graduate of the DDC program, joined the event alongside DDC Executive Director Sasha Wells, Columbia College Dean Josef Sorett, DDC Founder Roger Lehecka, DDC Board of Friends Chair Natalie Edwards, and several other Columbia leaders.
"The growth and evolution of this program, over the years, has also provided the University and our neighbors with a brilliant example of the kinds of investments and partnerships that produce exceptional results for all involved," said President Shafik. "It is exactly the kind of work my colleagues and I are eager to build upon and deepen in the months and years ahead."
"People in the local neighborhood can support DDC by being our advocates and getting the word out," Wells said. "Telling one student is impactful. The program can change not just their life, but the lives of their family and their community as well."