Our mission is to facilitate college readiness for economically disadvantaged student athletes through persistent mentoring  and academic tutoring, to assist with all aspects of the college admissions and financial aid process, and to support our students towards a successful completion of college.


Our vision is for our student athletes to become empowered and successful adults who engage with their communities and support and fortify the next generation of deserving young people.


In 2006, a small group of volunteers ran a summer reading program for the Mount Vernon Boys Basketball team. The idea was simple. Help the team become better students who might then be academically eligible for NCAA scholarships. Our volunteers quickly saw the students' potential and wanted to do more. Since 2006, DC has grown from one team to a non-profit organization supporting Student Athletes from a variety of teams at several high schools. Our program now offers students weekly reading groups, academic tutoring, SAT classes, college and financial aid application assistance, college retention support, mentoring and scholarships.

Our program is based on the belief that we can harness the perseverance and dedication of successful athletes to help them become successful Student Athletes. While we consider every athlete who gains an appreciation for the value of their education a success story, we are continually amazed at the accomplishments of our Student Athlete alumni. That success flows from the dedication, love and commitment of our volunteers, donors and staff. As much as our Student Athletes gain from us, we receive even more in return. Join the team today and learn for yourself what a little time helping others can do.



Michele Roque

Executive Director, March 2023


Melissa Cortés

Director of College Access, July 2024



Laura Amigone

Director of College Success, March 2022

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Nancy McKenna

Founder 2006 | Board Chair

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Emily Kirschenbaum,M.D.

Board Member since 2013 | Vice Chair

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Tracy McVey

Board Member since 2013 | Vice Chair

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Maureen Barton

Board Member since 2010 | Secretary

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Richard Rugani

Board Member since 2010 | Treasurer

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Danielle Browne

Board Member since 2023

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Ronnie Cox

Board Member since 2010

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Ann W. Jackson

Board Member since 2010


Clayton Pope

Board Member since 2021

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Chris Cooney

Board Member since 2019

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Dwayne Murray

Board Member since 2014

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Vera Kiernan

Board Member since 2013


Joan Henle

Board Member since 2010

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Heidi Paul

Board Member since 2018

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Fern Watters

Board Member since 2015; Emeritus, 2021 | Emeritus Vice Chair

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Ira H. Kirschenbaum

Vice Chair Emeritus