Low-income and first-generation students face long odds on the path to earning a college degree: their graduation rate is just 16% nationwide. CDI provides 270 first-generation high schoolers with the wraparound support they need from 10th grade through college graduation. It provides comprehensive college advising, individualized test prep, support in identifying "best-fit" schools, negotiation of aid packages, and one-on-one assistance through college that includes wellness counseling. When students are ready to graduate, the Career Mentoring Initiative provides coaching, access to workforce opportunities, and connections to accomplished professionals in their chosen fields. Additionally, the School Support program provides coaching that improves college advising for 3,000 students in Maryland and DC. Each year 100% of CDI scholars are admitted to selective four-year schools with average grants and scholarships of $36,000 and a 97% graduation rate.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; MD-Montgomery County

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS); Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, MD; John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, MD; Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, MD; Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, MD; Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, MD; Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, MD; EL Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.; DC International School in Washington, D.C.

  • CDI Scholars' college acceptance rate:   100%
  • Students served in the CDI College Scholars Program this year:   225, a 100% increase from five years ago
  • Students served in the School Support Program:   350
  • Average increase in ACT scores thanks to the College Scholars Program:   5 points
  • Average of renewable grants and scholarships that CDI Scholars receive:   $31,000

Awards & Recognition

100% of CDI's Scholars have been accepted to 4-year colleges or universities

CDI's Counselor, Ana Hilton (now Director of Programs), received the Marion Flagg Award from Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admissions Counseling in 2008


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Collegiate Directions is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About Spur Local

Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.

Spur Local looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to Spur Local to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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