Celebrating Our 25th Year With Our

Largest Graduating Class

Since 1995 Bro/Sis has provided comprehensive and holistic college support to our members,  resulting in more than 95% of our membership attending college. This year, our largest graduating class ever has completed high school and enrolled in college. As always, Bro/Sis is committed to continuing to support our members through their college years – with mentoring, regular check-ins, care packages, internship opportunities, summer jobs, and college scholarships.

As the country navigates the COVID pandemic and more widely confronts systemic racism, our young people often feel overwhelmed. Sudden loss in household incomes has led to additional insecurities around meeting basic needs, such as mental health support, technology to complete schooling, and the ability to pay for urgent personal expenses. In response, Bro/Sis has increased its support to help alleviate some of the external stresses to keep our youth engaged and excited about their future and post-secondary transitions and reinforce the holistic support our members need to thrive. We have expanded our mental health support services, purchased laptops, paid crucial bills, and helped to cover college expenses. We have provided virtual spaces for our members to find healing, support, encouragement, and guidance throughout their process. 

Through all these challenges presented, our members have still shined! Our high school senior graduating class consists of 67 members from across all of our programming. Our young people have been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, have successfully completed remote courses, and have used their voice to promote change and protest against injustices.

Increasing College Access For Underrepresented Students

Members of the graduating class of 2020 have been accepted to over 125 different colleges and universities , including Barnard College, SUNY Albany, Babson College, SUNY Buffalo, Fordham University, SUNY Binghamton, University of Connecticut, SUNY New Paltz, Haverford College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Spelman University, Morehouse College and Northeastern University. Acceptances range from schools within the State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), and private institutions inclusive of those in and out-of-state, as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

About Our College Advisory Program

Our College Advisory Program (CAP) supports students who, overwhelmingly, will be the first in their families to go to college. We begin to build a college-going culture with our members with the exploration of college in their elementary years and deepen their interests in higher education throughout their time at Bro/Sis via college visits, college fairs, career days, mentorship opportunities, jobs and internships, and more.

The Dream Team

CAP is coordinated by Silvia Canales , Director of College, Career & Wellness, who has been on staff for nearly 19 years, and Quanasa Wright , College & Career Facilitator, who joined Bro/Sis through her internship placement as she pursued her MSW from Columbia School of Social Work where she assisted Silvia with the class of 2018. In addition to member support, Silvia and Quanasa also guide program staff on identifying appropriate colleges, building robust applications, assessing financial packages, and other critical components of the college process.

“The strength, endurance, and resilience our members have shown through these unprecedented times is astonishing. They are the future and worthy of every effort made in support of their dreams. Much respect and the most heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to our CLASS of 2020! “
– Silvia Canales

“Our members never cease to amaze me! It’s been a pleasure to watch them grow these past three years. I’m so excited for this next chapter in their lives to begin.”

– Quanasa Wright

Over the recent months, we have been working diligently with our members to ensure they can afford their college journeys, advocating with colleges for increased financial aid, and providing direct financial assistance through scholarships of our own. We are also supporting them in this difficult and uncertain time as they await word on whether their colleges and universities will open in the fall due to the COVID pandemic. Regardless of when their journeys begin – we will follow them through college, providing them with guidance, resources, and love to assist them as they navigate young adulthood. Please join us in celebrating all of their accomplishments!