Who We Are
BCCP IS BUILT ON THE FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF THAT EVERY YOUNG INDIVIDUAL POSSESSES THE POTENTIAL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
Established in 1991 under the guidance of Nancy Romer, a professor of psychology at Brooklyn College, BCCP is built on the fundamental belief that every young individual possesses the potential for higher education. We nurture this belief through our dynamic and adaptable programs, designed to engage youth by harnessing their creativity and drawing from their life experiences. Our dedicated staff undergoes continuous professional development, including a robust 5-week program each summer. Comprising working artists and creative professionals, our team brings a profound respect for the students they serve. Academic and emotional support naturally flow from our youth-centered approach.
In collaboration with the Brooklyn College psychology department, we maintain an enduring partnership. Undergraduates enrolled in a comprehensive youth development course spend 63 hours per semester leading activities, offering tutoring, and mentoring our youth participants. This creates a deeply personal connection to higher education, reinforcing our commitment to fostering the potential in every young person we serve.
WHAT WE DO
BCCP POSITIVELY INFLUENCES THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 1500 YOUNG INDIVIDUALS ACROSS 6 PUBLIC AND CHARTER SCHOOL CAMPUSES BOTH MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL. WE ALSO EXTEND OUR REACH TO THE BROOKLYN COLLEGE ARTS LAB (BCAL), SITUATED ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS
Empowering youth Through School - Based and Campus Programs
Our school-based initiatives offer students the opportunity to access our programs after school and during their free time, providing essential support in academics, immersive hands-on creative projects led by accomplished artists, comprehensive college readiness resources, and spontaneous counseling when needed.
Discover BCAL at Brooklyn College Campus
At BCAL, situated on the Brooklyn College campus, we create an inviting space where 50-80 students daily, representing various locations, can truly embrace the college atmosphere. Here, they engage in after-school and weekend workshops that span a wide range of arts and technology disciplines, including fashion design, electronic music, web design, filmmaking, yoga, and poetry.
BCAL also serves as the focal point for our distinguished college access program, "The Brooklyn College Experience." This program offers students an exciting opportunity to explore the campus through a participatory research-based scavenger-hunt tour, capturing their journey with cameras, participating in BCAL's enriching arts activities, and potentially meeting with college admissions counselors, esteemed faculty, and fellow students. This initiative serves as a vital bridge to the college campus, extending its reach to all BCCP students across different sites, including younger participants and those residing at a greater geographic distance. Moreover, it connects students from schools currently not in partnership with BCCP to our array of empowering programs.
Addressing Inequity, supporting Marginalized Youth
In the communities we serve, the average graduation rates in schools stand at a challenging 59%, where pursuing college is not the norm, and poverty is pervasive (with an average poverty rate of 73.5% in our partner schools, as reported by the Department of Education).
Our programs are designed to attract and retain young people from diverse academic backgrounds, appealing even to mid-range students who may not typically seek out academic enrichment opportunities. While higher education is an expected path for mid-range students in middle-class schools, their counterparts in under-resourced urban schools often receive limited encouragement beyond high school graduation.
BCCP is deeply committed to bridging this gap by connecting these young individuals to higher education in practical and meaningful ways. As we expand the boundaries of our students' imaginations, the horizons of their futures broaden. Notably, between 2008 and 2012, 85% of participating BCCP seniors secured college acceptances, showcasing the diversity in their academic standings and parental engagement.
Transforming School Cultures
Being part of BCCP means embracing the idea of college. When students engage in BCCP programs, they invest in college as a tangible and achievable goal. Schools that partner with us, whether on their own premises or at the Brooklyn College campus, witness their students discussing, dreaming about, and applying for college. This palpable enthusiasm for higher education has a profound impact, particularly in under-resourced urban schools where college aspirations may have seemed unattainable. Teachers, counselors, and administrators begin to view their students differently, mirroring the expanding horizons of our students as they incorporate college into their aspirations. The demand for our day program, "The Brooklyn College Experience," has surged beyond our current capacity as schools experience its concrete outcomes.
Service Learning Program
BCCP collaborates closely with dedicated faculty members at Brooklyn College to offer students a robust service learning experience focused on youth development. Every semester, we assemble a cohort of up to 30 motivated students who enroll in our psychology fieldwork course. In return for their involvement in our youth programs, each college student commits to dedicating 63 hours to service learning at an assigned program site, collaborating alongside seasoned professionals in support of under-served youth.
This distinctive opportunity, an integral part of our mission, serves as a bridge between the broader college community and the diverse neighborhoods of Brooklyn where we are active. It fosters enduring connections between college mentors and the youth we serve. Our service learning program not only enriches the personal and professional development of college students but also opens doors to work and volunteer opportunities within the BCCP network.
Network Model - Creating Connections
Across all our programs, our network model amplifies the impact of our work, transcending the sum of its parts. By engaging parents, school staff, college students and faculty, working artists, and community members, BCCP weaves a robust support network that allows young people to envision college in their future. As an independent entity separate from both the public schools and Brooklyn College, BCCP forges connections between these institutions while delivering unique, youth-centered programming. With Brooklyn College as our central hub, our programs reach every corner of Brooklyn. Students are served in their own neighborhoods and are introduced to the college experience through participation in programs at BCAL.