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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Strategic Policy Advocacy
Type: Press Advisory

Urban Youth Collaborative members Defend their Right to Equity in College Access

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2009   Contact: Caitlin Ervin, 646-379-2204

Urban Youth Collaborative members Defend their Right
to Equity in College Access

Student testimony and rally for Student Success Centers

100+ high school students and their allies will testify about a
transformative model of college access that puts student voice and
leadership into college access at four NYC high schools. The event will be entirely led by youth, who will ask Deputy Mayor Denis Walcott to renew funding.

WHEN:    Wednesday, June 3rd at 4:30 pm

WHERE:   New School University, 55 West 13th Street between 5th & 6th Aves. 2nd floor

Over 100 high school youth members of the Urban Youth Collaborative;
their allies; principals & school staff; Deputy Mayor Denis
Walcott; Interim Acting Deputy Chancellor of Teaching & Learning
Santiago Taveras; City Council representatives (City Council members
have been invited).

In the last few weeks of budget negotiations, the UYC will be asking
Deputy Mayor Walcott to support Student Success Centers (SSCs). 15 year
old UYC member Jorge Padilla says, "I never thought I could go to
college because I’m poor. Now, I’m teaching other students that money
doesn’t have to be an obstacle." Student Success Centers (SSCs) are
transforming college access for low-income students of color at four
NYC high schools by training and paying high school students to help
their peers navigate the college process. In just one example in a
school with an SSC, numbers of applications and acceptances to private
universities has more than doubled.

UYC members, all high school students,
will present the compelling data around SSCs and will ask Deputy Mayor
Walcott and Deputy Chancellor Taveras for their support in re-funding
these programs.

As 15-year-old member Jauna Williams
says, "This is about justice. Low-income students shouldn’t bear the
weight of the economic crisis — we’re always the ones who get burned,
and we’re not taking it. We need this."