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Double Discovery Center

Columbia University

Educating children of promise since 1965

History & Mission

History of DDC

Founded in 1965 as Project Double Discovery, the program was the creation of Columbia undergraduates moved by the disparities between their Ivy League institution and an impoverished Harlem community. Our goals now, as they were then, are high school graduation, college enrollment and completion, career preparation, and responsible adulthood.

Our Mission

To provide model educational programs, shared experiences and lasting ties through “double discovery” between positive role models and underserved New York City youngsters to instill the confidence and hope needed for those historically underrepresented in higher education to pursue their highest aspirations.


Double Discovery Center is a department of Columbia College of Columbia University reporting to the Dean of Columbia College. The Center is a nonprofit educational organization.

In June 1984 a Board of Friends was established as a volunteer advisory body to the Dean of Columbia College and Center’s Executive Director. Its central focus is the development of new programs, the enrichment of existing services, and the long-term well-being of the Center and its programs including support funding.

The Double Discovery Students Organization (DDSO) is a recognized Columbia student activity that promotes and facilitates Columbia community interaction with DDC students. Annually elected student leaders guide the organization and the DDSO president is an ex-officio member of the DDC Board of Friends.