Our History

Our History

In 1995, volunteers founded Comprehensive Development, Inc. (CDI) as a nonprofit to provide tutoring and college preparation to older, undercredited young people ages 17-21 at the newly-founded Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School.

1906

The building that now houses Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School and Comprehensive Youth Development is built as the free Hebrew Technical School for Girls, to introduce young immigrant women to academics, millinery, and office work.

1989

Manhattan Comprehensive is founded by Howard Friedman to serve older, undercredited students in a night program to allow them to work during the day. First graduating class: 25 students. Volunteers step in to provide tutoring and college advisement.

1992

Howard Friedman and Brooke Astor, who donated an endowment to refurbish Manhattan Comprehensive’s historic library and pay for its upkeep in perpetuity.

1993

Manhattan Comprehensive adds a day program and begins to admit immigrant English Language Learners, a group that still represent a large proportion of the school’s population.

1995

Volunteers incorporate Comprehensive Development, Inc., as a nonprofit to serve Manhattan Comprehensive students. As a fledgling organization, CDI formalizes services and adds support.

2003

CDI and Manhattan Comprehensive collaborate to design and fund the addition of a sixth floor to the school for science labs.

2005

Ten years after incorporating, Manhattan Comprehensive has become the largest transfer school in the city and CDI is serving 800 students. CDI is awarded its first government contract with Learning to Work, which stabilizes funding and allows us to expand student services.

2010

CDI establishes the Legal Information Clinic to serve immigrant students, and partners with Legal Aid Society and The Door.

2011

We expand college and career services to 1,700 students ages 14-18 at The High School for Health Professions and Human Services.

2012

We expand college and services to 750 students ages 17-21 at City-As-School High School.

2015

We launch the pilot for the Career Academy, an innovative healthcare certificate training program for high school graduates in partnership with JobsFirstNYC and the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

2016

We receive a 3-year, $1.6 million grant from the Department of Youth and Community Development for the Career Academy.

2018

CDI and Manhattan Comprehensive partner with NYC to implement the Community Schools model.

2020

CDI becomes Comprehensive Youth Development and celebrates 25 years of service to New York City’s youth! Now serving 4,000 students and alumni annually.