About the Program
Recently, Paul Forbes visited Central Park East HS in East Harlem to see the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program in action. PGC program is a model where juniors and seniors complete a yearlong, credit-bearing leadership course where they practice group exercises and discussions. Once a week these upperclassmen (young men and women) meet with 9th graders to complete the exercises that they practiced in their class. There was excitement and positive energy in each session that was visited but a greater “buzz” was created because star wide-receiver from the New York Giants, Victor Cruz, was in the building to promote and support one of the programs in the school, College Bound Initiative.
The Principal, Bennett Lieberman, discussed the added value that partnering with College Board Initiative has brought to his school’s community:
Having created CPEHS’ College Office from the ground up over the past nine years we were extremely proud of all of our post-secondary planning accomplishments. When a transition happened with personnel in our Guidance Office we explored an opportunity to partner with College Bound Initiative (CBI) to have them run and manage our College Office. CBI is a year-round comprehensive college guidance program that works with students from the 6th – 12th grades to ensure that they have access to and can afford a college education.
Prior to the school year, CBI recruited, hired, trained, and placed a full-time college guidance expert at CPEHS that seamlessly integrated with our school community.
After almost a full first year as partners we can clearly see that the level of information gathering, data analysis, access, and opportunity afforded to both the students at CPEHS as well as the adults will increase and improve our post-secondary outcomes tremendously.
Our CBI Director of College Counseling is supported by an organization whose sole mission is to increase post-secondary opportunity for our low-income students. This partnership is an irreplaceable asset to our school.