Who we are and how we got started doing what we do
CACNY was founded in 1989, beginning as an informal gathering of community-based organizations (CBOs) coming together to network since each was involved in assisting New York City's young adults gain access to college. As need and increasing college costs continued to bar so many with hopes of higher education, network members placed a special emphasis on helping students and their families apply for, and receive financial aid. Most of our early CACNY members were college-bound and prep programs within the city's oldest and most well-respected Settlement Houses. Unique to New York City, these community-based agencies are located in dense neighborhoods of high poverty, in need of vast education and academic enrichment
At lively once-a-month meetings, information was (and still is!) shared amongst the CBO's (and our current, much larger membership) regarding individual colleges and admissions requirements, new scholarships offered by private and public entities, Regents diploma and SAT/ACT preparation. Strategies for postsecondary counseling, providing the nurturing assistance and factual information NYC students so deserve continues to be a network focus.
By the mid-90's, CACNY's founders grew the member-base to include colleges, high schools and other diverse CBOs. This expansion permitted us to broaden our knowledge-network, extend CACNY's member services and enhance collaborative participation for professionals working in this specialized arena. College admissions officers, high school college advisors and more education program directors from CBOs throughout the city enthusiastically joined CACNY, and we welcomed organizations with dedicated programming that met our common goal of helping to improve equity and access in education for New York's students. Changes in CACNY's operation and structure included the establishment of membership dues, which then afforded us the necessary resources to begin featuring an information-packed newsletter and create well-attended annual events for students and their families. Because of our outreach and growth, and most importantly, an actively engaged member-network, CACNY begin to offer college trips for students and we allocated a portion of annual member dues to the creation of our own CACNY scholarships.
Another change since founding, was to become a certified 501(3), non-profit entity incorporated in New York state in 2008. Our growth since 1989 has had an important impact on the education professionals and organizations working diligently to help New York students realize their higher education and career goals. To date, almost 300 schools, colleges, and community-based organizations are proud members of the College Access Consortium of New York... and we are still growing.
Consider becoming member! We'd be pleased to engage and support the work of your organization!