Fall 2018 Newsletter – College Readiness


Program Spotlight: College Readiness
Union Settlement’s College Readiness Program enters its 55th year

Danese Forbes’ eyes light up when she talks about her students. A Union Settlement College Readiness counselor for over 10 years, Danese has helped over 1,000 students navigate the admissions process and get into college.

“I am always so overjoyed when the kids end up happy and proud of their ultimate plans for college,” said Danese. “This fall, so many of my students are heading off to wonderful schools. One student is off to begin a full scholarship at DePauw University.”

Union Settlement’s College Readiness program has served nearly 23,000 students with guidance and encouragement to pursue higher learning. This past year, we provided college and financial aid counseling to 179 public high school seniors in East Harlem and the Upper East Side, many of whom are prospective first-generation college students.

Being accepted into college is the culmination of years of hard work by the student. “The process really begins as early as freshman year of high school,” Danese explained. “I begin to counsel students from an early stage on how to build on their background, skills, and relevant experience so they are ready when it comes time to apply.”

Our College Readiness services include tutoring, SAT prep, college trips and summer enrichment programs. Students in recent years received acceptances from such schools as Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York, New York University, Spelman College, the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, Syracuse University, Howard University, St. John’s University, Fordham University, and numerous SUNY and CUNY schools.

“We have students who are attending four-year colleges like Syracuse, and we also have students attending two-year schools,” said Danese. “And sometimes, going to college doesn’t make sense for a particular student, but we’re still here to support them on their path to the workforce or vocational studies.”

Our College Readiness program also provides support to students who need additional assistance in managing the transition to college. During the summer before college and during their first year, students receive counseling to help them adjust to the academic, social and emotional demands of college life. Students also receive information and encouragement to help them identify and access on-campus resources that can help them achieve their goals.

“I keep in touch with so many of my past students,” said Danese. “Some for over a decade now. I can’t wait to see what great things are in store for this class.”