Professor Mary Brown: Community Leadership Program

August 21, 2014
  • This photo of the Community Leadership Program ran in a local newspaper, Park East, September 11, 1969. It is now in the MMC Archives.

In 1967, Marymount Manhattan College launched its own war on poverty by contacting Sister Marie Thomas of Fort Greene’s Dr. White Community Center.  Later, MMC connected with Mattie Cook of East Harlem’s Addie Mae Collins Community Center.  Both women identified promising girls in their senior year of high school.  Twenty girls received tutoring at the neighborhood centers during their senior year and the summer afterward, leading to their admission to MMC in fall.  Twenty more students were enrolled in the Community Leadership Program, as it was called, in the fall of 1968 and 1969.  In 1969, New York State introduced its Higher Education Opportunity Program.  MMC joined HEOP immediately, and has participated ever since.  HEOP allowed MMC to reach out to traditional-age students who would need both financial and tutoring assistance to attend college.