As a vital East Harlem education and enrichment center, East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) works with students from early childhood through adulthood to prepare them with the academic skills, strength of character, and social and emotional well-being to excel in high school and college, to lead in their communities, and to realize their best possible selves. Beginning in 1958 as a children's reading group hosted by community member Helen Webber in her living room, EHTP has since grown into a multi-site after-school program for traditional public school students and a public charter school operator focused on significantly increasing the college graduation rate in East Harlem. In 2011, EHTP extended its service to the community by launching its first public charter school, East Harlem Scholars Academy, and in 2013, East Harlem Scholars Academy II opened its doors. Between our after-school programs and our charter schools, more than 15,000 East Harlem youth and their families have walked through our doors, and by participating in our year-long, free programs, they have improved their academic skills, developed confidence, and found community.
Before joining EHTP in 2009 as a 7th grader, Matthew, an East Harlem resident, spent his afternoons after school playing basketball with his friends. He wasn't very concerned with keeping good grades and college was nowhere on his radar. Joining the EHTP middle school program changed all of that. When other adults in the program started caring about how he was doing in school, he started to care as well. He developed a work ethic which has carried through into his high school years. Even though he is not playing basketball after school every day, Matthew found another interest when a friend encouraged him to join the Robotics team. He loves that the Robotics team works together so that every member contributes to the work of the group as a whole. While the first two years on the team he was a driver who operated the robot, last year he was elected to be team captain. He has embraced this leadership role, working alongside the STEM teacher/Robotics coach to teach others who are less experienced. While he always thought he would become a music producer one day, joining the Robotics program his freshmen year has inspired him to be a mechanical engineer. Now, as a senior, he's been accepted to and will enroll at NY City College to continue his passion for engineering.