A-List Education is proud to announce the commencement of the COLLEGE CONNECTION Program, a partnership between five New York City child-welfare agencies—New York Foundling, Episcopal Social Services, MercyFirst, Children’s Village and Jewish Child Care Association—the Federation Employment & Guidance Service (FEGS), and A-List. COLLEGE CONNECTION will provide New York City foster care youth with expert educational resources.

Inspired by the success of A-List’s Graham Windham Scholars Program, this new endeavor will help students in foster care excel beyond high school to obtain bachelor degrees. Nationally, 13% of youth in foster care enroll in college, while only 2% graduate. Our education initiative seeks to change this statistic to ensure bright and self-sufficient futures for our scholars. Graham Windham Scholar and current John Jay College of Criminal Justice junior, Emily Dominguez, notes her experience with A-List:

“The Guardian Scholars Program and A-List have helped me in many different ways. Not only have they helped me in my academics, but also with personal issues. If it wasn’t for the support they’ve given me, I probably would have dropped out of school. Even when I gave them a thousand reasons to give up on me, they believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. A-List gave me something that’s unexplainable. They gave me hope. For that I am very thankful.”

COLLEGE CONNECTION will provide 32 hours of SAT instruction (with 3 diagnostic tests) and 32 hours of tutoring and academic support. In addition, the program will provide a series of college readiness workshops and individual advisement sessions covering all aspects of the college application process from college selection to financial aid. A-List aims to provide these students with not only the tools to get into college, but the academic resources to do well. FEGS will provide support through their Youth Advisors; each student will be assigned a Youth Advisor to serve as a student’s educational advocate, providing ongoing support and academic tutoring. High-quality internships will also be made accessible to students leading to potential employment opportunities. A-List will offer a professional development component as well as access to our SAT/ACT assessment and detailed analytics portal to all partnering agencies to extend the program’s reach beyond the selected College Connection cohort to include as many students possible.

The participating organizations have been collaborating on this project since 2010 and could not be prouder to finally see College Connection come to life. Director of Education at Jewish Child Care Association, Jonna Dugan, sums up the collective excitement:

“JCCA is thrilled to have our youth be a part of the first cohort of College Connection! The need for college preparation specialized for youth in foster care is huge given their specific needs. Youth in foster care hit road blocks constantly while planning for, applying to and attending college, and College Connection will be able to give them the support and skills they need to succeed. The partnership between College Connection staff, agency staff, families and students will certainly make the difference for these youth who are selected.”

About A-List Education
A-List has helped thousands of students from all over the United States and the world prepare for college entrance exams, with median SAT/ACT score improvements for institutions of more than three times the national average, and for individuals by as much as 10 times the national average. These score improvements have been instrumental in helping A-List’s students secure acceptances to many of the most prestigious colleges across the United States and earn millions in merit and need-based financial aid. A-List also provides teacher Professional Development aligned with the Common Core State Standards and has developed extensive learning and tutoring materials for students and teachers alike. These include SAT/ACT preparation books and materials, comprehensive study guides, workbooks, e-learning applications and more. As part of our ongoing effort to be an active participant in the communities we serve, we have also partnered with hundreds of incredible nonprofit organizations, high schools and colleges across the country including Hunter College School of Education, The Harlem Children’s Zone, Year Up, Manhattan Hunter Science High School, Magnolia Science Academy, several New Jersey school districts, and charter school networks representing schools in CA, AZ, UT, CO and NV.

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