The partnership between Columbia University's American Studies Program and the Double Discovery Program (DDC) is born out of the Program's mission to link students to the resources of New York City, to teach them about the human-service needs of the community they live in, and to integrate their studies with voluntary community service; and the academic needs of high school students. The components of the proposed collaboration are two: The American Studies Program will offer a seminar which focuses on issues of equity and access in American higher education over the last century, with a special emphasis on New York City. As part of the course requirements, Columbia students will take on the role of mentors to DDC students and spend at least four hours a week throughout the semester tutoring, hosting visits to Columbia and Barnard College, helping with college application essays and interview preparation, and providing guidance on how to succeed in college. Some mentoring relationships may continue in the summer as well. The American Studies Program will host a series of talks on topics both timeless and urgent, such as how the idea of freedom has been defined and redefined throughout America's history, or the concept of citizenship especially as it pertains to immigrant Americans. In preparation for the talks, DDC students will read relevant, challenging essays which they will discuss with their Columbia student-mentors.