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Double Discovery awarded $10,000 grant from Morgan Stanley Foundation

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Double Discovery Center (DDC), a Columbia College program that works to enhance the higher education opportunities for low-income and first-generation youth in the surrounding community, received a $10,000 grant from the Morgan Stanley Foundation. The grant will assist with the daily operating costs of DDC's Upward Bound and Talent Search programs.

“Morgan Stanley’s generosity will enhance our efforts to expand college access to underserved youth and nurture the spirit of community service with our students,” said Joseph Ayala, executive director of DDC. 

Founded in 1965, DDC was the creation of Columbia undergraduates moved by the disparities between their Ivy League institution and the surrounding Harlem community. The center’s core services include afterschool tutoring, Saturday enrichment classes, and college application and financial aid assistance. Annually, 90 percent of high school seniors participating in Double Discovery graduate from high school on time and enter college the following fall semester, which surpasses city, state and national outcomes for low-income, first-generation college and minority students.

DDC's Upward Bound program is an intensive academic immersion for 195 students who show promise for college success. Students enter in the 9th and 10th grade for year-round academic enrichment, skills building and character development, continuing each year through high school graduation and college entrance. Regular components include after-school homework help, tutoring, Saturday enrichment classes and a residential UB Summer Academy on campus.

DDC's Talent Search program is a  youth development program with a broad array of services for more than 750 students ages 12 through 27, which aims to ensure quality high school enrollment, rigorous high school course selection, high school completion and post-secondary education. The program offers one-to-one advising, workshops, homework help, tutoring, academic classes, internships, field trips and special events, ranging from career days to science labs.

Double Discovery students and Morgan Stanley employees have worked together on service projects through New York Cares, the city’s largest volunteer organization. Prior collaborations include clearing brush area, repainting a basketball court and weeding the welcome garden at Morningside Park, and making costumes for patients who were performing in a play in a children’s hospital. Later this year, Morgan Stanley will host an office visit for DDC students.

Upward Bound and Talent Search are also funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education.