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Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Secondary & High Schools, Student Services

Mission: Established in 1989, HEAF presently serves more than 400 students from across New York City. Students from 6th grade through college participate in an 11-Year Continuum of HEAF''s academic enrichment and youth development programs. Working hand in hand with parents and public schools, HEAF strives to assist students in gaining entrance to New York City''s most competitive high schools and the country''s most prestigious colleges and universities.

Target demographics: middle school and high school students

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS programs serve 250 bright seventh- and eighth-grade students per year. They motivate them to seek entrance to the City's competitive and selective public high schools and they help them develop the required skills.

College Quest programs help 100 students achieve academically in the best public high schools through tutoring, mentoring, and leadership development and they prepare students for the SAT, guide them and their parents through college selection and application, and help them assemble financial aid.

THE ONWARD! program will support 100 HEAF students while they are in college to assure that they succeed academically and embark on productive and satisfying careers.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 David294

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to HEAF since its founding 25 years ago. In all that time I would be hard pressed to find another organization that is as transparent, well intentioned, pragmatic, and most importantly, effective, as this one. By aiming at the middle population of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and guiding hem through college and even graduate school, HEAF has shown a remarkable record of accomplishing what it sets out to do. From top to bottom this is an organization that is doing important things...and doing them well.

Review from Guidestar

1 Michele48

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a proud HEAF parent of an Onward student who is now at Allegheny College. We have been with HEAF since 6th grade and can only sing their praises. They have mentored her through the years and still continue to be there for her.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the HEAF team in 2009 as the 6th grade math teacher. I worked at HEAF until 2012 as math teacher and volunteer for their running club elective class. To this day I have not worked with such a group of like-minded, dedicated and hardworking colleagues. I highly recommend HEAF to many of my parochial school students, as I have seen tremendous personal growth and academic achievement among the students I have encountered there. As well rounded and rigorous program, HEAF deserves to be applauded for the efforts of their staff, volunteers, students, and families.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I joined the HEAF organization in the sixth grade and am now part of the their College Quest program. I honestly do not know where I would be if not for HEAF! They provide a great curriculum through out my school year that helps me advance in school and stay focused. HEAF has provided me with countless opportunities to further my education through College Tours, Elective Classes, Learning Service Classes, and Youth Development Courses. HEAF is a great place to be; they have become a second home!

1

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the parent of three children that have successfully completed the College Quest Program at HEAF and are curretly in the Onward Program. Two of them have graduated college and entered into their successful field of study (including one who vehemently destested school and was not going to college)and one is currently in college. They have been chaperoned through grade school into their college choices and careers with much assistance from the HEAF staff. HEAF is a wealth of information and assistance for parents and children. The HEAF Family is very close knit and works together towards the success of the group as well as the individual needs of the child/family. The exposure to colleges, people connections and other outside agencies to provide answers to all of the questions that we may have is priceless. Each of our lives has greatly benefitted from being part of the HEAF Family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a participant at HEAF since my sophomore year of high school - now, I am graduating early from Fordham University, majoring in International Political Economy. I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for HEAF. They provided me with after-school academic enrichment activities, retreats, college and "study abroad" trips. On top of this, the staff at HEAF was very helpful! They provided me with emotional and academic support, and for that, I thank you HEAF!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the greatest thing that have had much influence on my daughter and us as parents is the variety of programs that HEAF has to offer. The six weeks of last summer was a wonderful, exciting and enriching experience for my daughter.She has been to different places, met so many people and made so many friends that her social and emotional skills were enriched.The academics offered were an asset to her work in school.Complments to a woderful and helpful staff(DARCY and BUTLER).My daughter is currently continuing her program at HEAF three days a week.The program is free of cost and compliments to the principal and staff of my daughter's school APPA.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My son and I have been a part of the Heaf family since 2007 when my son was entering middle school when he was accepted into the Higher Education Program lead by Ms. Wiggins & Ms. Darcy. It's a good feeling to know that your child is hearing the same message from people who want him to succeed which is also the same message being instilled at home. We received support with choosing High Schools that would be a good fit and we are forever grateful! My son is now in his first year of High School and he already has expectations of himself and plans for His future! We are so grateful to be a part of the Heaf family and I highly recommend you to check Heaf out - I'm glad I did! Thanks Heaf!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a parent of a young man that recently graduated from high school at 17 years of age and is currently in College and has joined the ROTC program. He entered Heaf at at the age of 11 and remained there until he graduated from High School in 2010. The counselors were always available to assist my child and myself, reason that I was a parent that often clinged to my son, not allowing him to go unescorted to the organization, Heaf and their staff provided an area where I was able to sit and do my own paper work. Heaf always lend a shoulder to lean on when I had tears in my eyes, assuring me that all would be well. Mr. Nico as we all kindly addressed him, was always available for my son and myself. Mr. Nico I commend you for all you did for Kevin!! Kevin has matured into a fine young man,independent and dedicated, he nows volunteers at the Red Cross and any area that his services are needed through ROTC. Thank you once again Heaf and the entire staff for doing such a great job for our youth and the parents!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 4

HEAF is a wonderful support base for children. This organization has helped my child not only to stay focus on the importance of academics but also the importance of character building, leadership and volunteerism. The children at HEAF are exposed to colleges through college tours since 6th grade hence when you happen to hear them speak about their future and what they want to do you are truly amazed. Any child who has pass through the doors of this organization and was truly committed to the program will leave as a well-rounded individual with great values who will contribute positively to society. I am blessed to have these wonderful staffers as one of my support system; they are like an extended family because they really care and are concerned about the success of each and every student that enters their doors.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

writing a review about my experience at Heaf is nearly impossible to put into words because so much has happened between the span of time in which i have been accepted to the program up until today. heaf as made me grow as a person. not only in the leadership way but in a wholistic way. i have branched out to be the public speaking, accountable, determinded and social individual that i had not recognized in myself before entering the program. it is a huge and beautiful transformation now that i consider it.As a young shy latina, i had aspirations about going to college but had no idea how to accomplish that goal or the essential steps to take to achieve that goal besides the fact that doing well in school will help. Thanks to my heaf family i have challenged my self in ways i would never have. i was a youth leader teaching my own youth leadership council when only in the 8th grade. i became the president of the council and have experienced the responcibilites that have come with it.this is only to mention a few of my experiences with heaf's program. but i have gained so much more with all of its academic, elective and youth development classes. not only that, but i have made wonderful relationships as well with the heaf staff whom i have considered to always depend on my whole entire life, either if its by email or phone to say hello or on a personal level. i know that they will always be there to consult with me on any given day, and that is what i love about heaf; not only about what it provides you with, but with the wonderful meaningful relationships that you make while being at the program. HEAF, i am proud to say, is part of my family.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

When I first signed up to be a Facilitator at one of HEAF's winter session workshops, I just thought I would be helping out some students and since I loved facilitating, I figured why not. I enjoyed my experience so much that when they were seeking College Mentors, I didn't hesitate to sign up even though I had a lot of things on my plate. The staff and the students at HEAF are so awesome. I have been in nonprofit for over 10 years, and this is the first time that I can truly say that I am involved with an organization that is really about change in education, a nonprofit that has it together. What amazes me the most is that they don't have as much as other nonprofits, but with what they have they do so much. The staff is committed to the students and the students are so inspired to reach for the stars. I wish that as a child growing up, I had a place like HEAF to go to, a place where people care about you and your future.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The HEAF program and staff are playing a superb role on the road map for my children higher education. I proudly say HEAF is a catalyst for academic achievement especially among innercity youths. The programs focus on reinforcing literacy and math skills and scholars excel at levels much above their outside peers. I have personally observed meaningful change in the lives of my children. They have been exposed to colleges, meeting career professionals and acquiring other experiences that may not have been possible outside of this program. HEAF is helping them to develop into highly educated citizens and productive leaders of the future. I am very pleased!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

HEAF is an incredible organization. I have watched a young man grow from 6th grade to now in 11th grade with more confidence and a larger view of the world. The staff is an amazing team and they know how to reach out and get the attention of their scholars to be the best that they can be. The summer programs they encourage for the students keeps them engaged and will help on college applications. HEAF has made a huge difference in his life and those who care and watch over him. Thank you HEAF

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been in HEAF since the 6th grade. He is now a senior in High School. Where would I be without them!! They have helped him improve his math and reading and writing scores, but to me, most importantly, they have been the bridge to me understanding what is required of my son educationally. The counselors are wonderful young men and women. They really care about the children. My son has been on college tours since the 7th grade - so he knows what is expected of him. They put the vision of college into his sights. He now has a mentor to help him choose colleges, and if you have a 17 year old son, you know talking to them is difficult. They know everything!! With the help of HEAF, when he talks about SAT, ACT, essays for colleges - I know, he knows what he is talking about. And I know too, because the counselors talk to me. Congratulations HEAF on a job well done.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a freshman at Columbia University, we had a requirement for a class to do volunteer work for an educational organization in the Harlem area. At the the end of the semester we were required to compose a project reviewing our experiences, successes, and shortcomings. Being a low income, hispanic female who had to work hard to get into Columbia, I took great interest in HEAF, an organization that helps guide the low income, underprivledged, and often overseen youth in the Harlem area to their educational capacity. Though we were required to do this for only a semester, I loved my experience there so much that I volunteered for the length of my college career (4 years). The staff is very friendly and sociable, yet driven and serious about their students and goals. The students are a blessing; though I mostly worked with the YLC, I interacted with many of the other students and was familiar enough to them that many would speak to me and confide in me. The young leaders in the YLC impressed me with their initiative and eagerness to coordinate activities and workshops. You really do see these children mature, and observe how serious they are about their work, regardless that they may fool around and act... well, like kids. My experience with HEAF was exemplary, and I would recommend anyone to this program!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The HEAF program has made a tremendous impact in our lives. Since my daughter Alexis acceptance as a rising Sixth grader her confidence has soared. The many college tours and academic enrichment classes that she has been fortunate to attend through HEAF has broaden her aspirations for future careers. The outstanding opportunities they offer like HEAf at Barnard is an invaluable experience. Tell your story here and help others understand this charity

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HEAF is an inspiring organization. The level of professionalism amongst the staff during my presentation was exceptional. The flow of the career event was superb. The youth that participated in the series were very involved. They seemed so appreciative of what I ha to offer. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I am able to influence someone with positive energy. My experience with HEAF was remarkable and I will volunteer over and over again.