Where it Started

The Missing Link

The idea for Project Transition is the brainchild of SU alumna Jan Strauss Raymond ’65, who was running a learning disabilities program for Dominican families in New York City when she came to realize that parents are the missing link in student achievement.

“These parents wanted their children to go to college,” says Raymond, an active volunteer and longtime champion of New York City youth. “But none of them had ever seen a college and didn’t know they lived just two subway stops away from Columbia, one of America’s great universities. Without personal experience, it would have been hard for them to help their children with the admissions process or motivate them to complete their college education.”

Determined to do something about the Dominican parents’ lack of exposure to the world of higher education, Raymond arranged for them to have a Columbia University tour and orientation session with a Spanish-speaking tour guide.

“We spent the whole morning on campus and it was incredible to see, firsthand, the impact that tour had on the mothers,” she says. “As the country moves forward, we are seeing an ever greater need to increase access and retention for underserved populations. I am so pleased that Project Transition is filling that need at Syracuse University, my own alma mater.”

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