Strive for Success

Strive for Success (S4S) is a college success program that uses a peer-mentoring model to assist community college students in connecting with the resources they need to persist through graduation.  Strive for Success provides support services through two important mechanisms.  First, it creates a welcoming point of contact for the wide array of non-profit organizations that support college age students.  Second, it provides community college students with a well-trained peer mentor who can help them navigate the complexities of college and life.


The powerful component of the S4S program is its peer mentoring model.  Second and third-year students, known as Student Success Leaders (SSLs), are trained by College Access: Research & Action (CARA) to provide personalized advice and coaching to first-year students. During their in-depth training, SSLs learn about campus resources, academic programs, and faculty, mentoring and counseling skills, and the academic and non-academic skills necessary for success in college.  SSLs have the ability to integrate other students into campus life in ways adults do not and research consistently shows that this type of integration is critical to persistence.  In addition to their primary role, SSL’s serve as ambassadors for the S4S program at the college and are responsible for creating awareness of S4S.

The Goals of S4S include:

  • To increase college persistence and retention rates for students in select CUNY community colleges;
  • To build and diversify the colleges’ capacity to integrate, engage, support, and retain students successfully through graduation;
  • To expand the S4S program to reach a greater number of first-year students;
  • To further integrate the S4S program and SSLs into existing structures and resources on campuses for students;
  • To identify and document promising practices for college retention on commuter campuses.; and
  • To reduce barriers to persistence by better collaborating with CBO counselors and connecting them and their students to CUNY campus supports.


Students receive the following benefits:

  • An assigned student success leader (SSL)/peer mentor
  • Assistance acclimating to campus
  • Personalized one-on-one advisement
  • SSL-led academic success and personal enrichment workshops
  • One-on-one assistance with FAFSA, TAP, and scholarships
  • Additional supports and referrals to resources on campus as needed


Student Eligibility Criteria:

  • Enrollment full or part-time at BMCC, BCC, HCC, or QCC
  • Willingness to work with a peer mentor
  • Not concurrently enrolled in CUNY ASAP
  • Completion of Intake, consent & FERPA forms for the S4S program


Not sure whether you qualify? Contact the Campus Coordinator on your campus:

Campus Contact Person Phone Number Email Address
Borough of Manhattan Community College Dana Stallard, Campus Coordinator (212) 346-8877 199 Chambers Street, Room S-637 New York, NY 10007
Bronx Community College Kimra Matthis, Campus Coordinator (718) 289-5100, ext 3723 2155 University Avenue, Loew Hall, Room 222 Bronx, NY 10453
Hostos Community College Marsha Milan-Bethel, Campus Coordinator (718) 518-6830 475 Grand Concourse, Building C, Room 491 Bronx, NY 10451
Queensborough Community College Michael Gordon,
Campus Coordinator
(718) 631-6605
222-05 56th Avenue, Library Building, Room L-221 Bayside, NY 11364