The East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) is one of the Phillips Charitable Organization’s primary partners in the fight to expand educational opportunities for underserved youth. Since its humble beginnings as a children’s reading group held in the living room of a local Harlem resident, EHTP has helped students discover their best possible selves through education. For nearly six decades, the nonprofit has strived to impart the core values, emotional wellness, and academic skills necessary for students to excel in higher education and beyond.
The East Harlem Tutorial Program’s primary goal is to increase the college completion rates and, therefore, the employment prospects of East Harlem students. Recent US census data shows that while the majority of Harlem residents have completed at least some college, individuals in East Harlem are more likely to have a high school diploma or GED, and many do not finish high school at all.
This is why the East Harlem Tutorial Program’s volunteers work tirelessly to provide students with a supportive, enriching environment in which they can feel empowered to succeed. EHTP offers a number of programs aimed at fostering college readiness. The following are just a few of the ways that the nonprofit supports future college graduates:
The East Harlem Tutorial Program helps children discover a passion for learning from an early age. By fostering a love of knowledge and helping students take pride in their educational goals and accomplishments, the nonprofit inspires students to work toward successful, fulfilling futures.
EHTP accomplishes this in part via tuition-free after-school and summer programs for elementary and middle school students. Here, students receive extra guidance in math and English have the opportunity to explore unique, extracurricular activities, such as robotics and creative arts.
The organization also runs its own public charter schools. At EHTP’s East Harlem Scholars Academies, qualified and dedicated teachers apply the organization’s teaching philosophy through a full curriculum of academic instruction and character-shaping activities that promote college-readiness. The schools’ curriculums are focused on imparting skills that will help students set and achieve their goals throughout their lives, such as critical thinking, observation and analysis, and collaboration. Like participants in EHTP’s after-school programs, academy students also take part in uniquely enriching extracurricular activities.
Multiple other aspects of the EHTP experience help to open students’ eyes to the vast possibilities afforded by a college education. Each year, the nonprofit’s annual benefit gala provides an opportunity for members to celebrate the recent successes of not only the organization, but also its college-bound students. In addition to fostering a sense of community and school spirit, activities such as College Spirit Days encourage students to imagine the possibilities for their future academic careers. The East Harlem Tutorial Program even launched a yearly college t-shirt drive to ensure that every student can have a visual representation of his or her limitless potential.
Preparing for College
EHTP’s programs for high school students ramp up the focus on college readiness to ensure that Harlem youth are academically, emotionally, and financially prepared to succeed in higher education. The four-year, year-round program begins with college awareness activities that introduce soon-to-be high school graduates to the vast possibilities that lie before them. The nonprofit sponsors trips to state and private colleges located in and near New York. At the same time, students can explore potential career paths through hands-on learning programs held in tandem with regional institutions. Among these offerings are the Touro College of Medicine Med-Achieve program and a media production course sponsored by Tribeca Teaches.
Once students set their sights on a possible college and career path, EHTP helps them prepare to realize their dreams by matching each student with a college success mentor. The nonprofit also provides assistance with standardized test preparation, college admissions, financial aid, while also ensuring that students remain on-track to graduate high school.
Supporting College Scholars
Since 2012, the East Harlem Tutorial Program has extended its life-changing academic support beyond high school graduation. The EHTP College Scholars program offers college-bound high school graduates the necessary tools to adjust to college life and prepare for their future careers. Thanks to this initiative, each freshman arrives at college with a new laptop and can qualify for yearly book stipends based on his or her academic performance. Other resources available to EHTP college students include academic and career advising, tutoring, and scholarships, as well as workshops and events that preserve the sense of community enjoyed by the EHTP family.
The East Harlem Tutorial Program set out to increase the rates of college graduation in the Harlem community, and its efforts have been a huge success. To date, the nonprofit has served more than 15,000 youth and is currently providing valuable academic and social resources to approximately 1,500 scholars per year. Further, 96 percent of the program’s high school students have gone on to enroll in college, and since the launch of EHTP’s mentoring program in 2010, college admission rates among EHTP scholars have risen to 100 percent.
EHTP scholars have achieved a college graduation rate eight times higher than the national average for individuals from underserved communities. As the East Harlem Tutorial Program expands its reach, serving a projected 1 in 5 East Harlem public school students by 2026, it will continue to support and inspire the individuals who will one day change the world.