Hundreds of NYC High School Seniors March Toward Bright Futures

The College and Career March is a NYC-born tradition that celebrates the perseverance of students and the support systems that prepare them for college, careers and life.

New York City, Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Friday, December 8, 2023, nearly 1,000 seniors from nine NYC Outward Bound schools across all five boroughs marched letters of gratitude — to counselors, mentors, teachers, family and friends — to their local post offices as part of the 13th annual College and Career March, cheered on by fellow students, teachers, family members, local businesses and elected officials. 

“The College and Career March is a ritual that shows off all the dedication and the hard work we’ve been doing these past couple of years to get to the point where we are now,” said Evan Kuilan, a senior at West End Secondary School, a NYC Outward Bound school in midtown West, who will be attending Babson College on a Posse Scholarship this fall. “We’re all very proud of the work we’ve done, and today is a celebration for all the seniors.”

While students no longer mail their college applications at the event, as they did in the early years of the March, the December date continues to serve as motivation for meeting college application deadlines and to sharpen their postsecondary plans.

“We reimagined the name and purpose of the event this year to better align with the changing postsecondary landscape and celebrate all of the pathways that our students choose,” said Vanessa Rodriguez, CEO of NYC Outward Bound Schools. “Today is a reminder that with perseverance and support, all our students can graduate with a high-quality plan and go on to lead fulfilling, purposeful and economically secure lives.”

Recognized by President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address, the College March began in 2011 at the NYC Outward Bound school WHEELS, and by 2012 had spread throughout NYC Outward Bound’s network of New York City public schools. By 2014, several schools from the national EL Education network and the North Texas-based Uplift Education network had joined the March, which is open to any high school interested in participating. To help others to replicate the practice, NYC Outward Bound Schools created a set of open source resources

“There is a notion and constant desire to make sure everyone is heard, valued and known at this school,” said Isaiah Harrison, a senior at Brooklyn Collaborative, a NYC Outward Bound school in Carroll Gardens. “And now being a senior, and being able to attend this College March, I feel that in abundance.”

About NYC Outward Bound Schools

NYC Outward Bound Schools is the founding organization of the College and Career March. The nonprofit organization partners with over 70 public schools annually across New York City, engaging students in equitable, immersive and joyful learning that prepares them to thrive in community, college and career. NYC Outward Bound’s student-centered model integrates social, emotional and academic development — all critical components of student success. Through coaching, professional development and direct student services, NYC Outward Bound helps students graduate with a solid postsecondary plan and the skills necessary to pursue their plans. 

Two-thirds of the students NYC Outward Bound Schools serves qualify for free or reduced lunch. Ninety-four percent graduate on time, compared to 84% city-wide. In addition, NYC Outward Bound graduates have enrolled in college at higher rates than the national average for the past seven years.


Students celebrate the 2023 College and Career March in NYC Elementary school students line the streets to cheer on seniors during the 2023 College and Career March