“Aid and inspire economically disadvantaged youth in New York City in the pursuit of higher education and career achievement by providing them with knowledge, skills, guidance and understanding.”

HCE Mission Statement

Although the Harlem Center for Education was not incorporated until 1970, the concepts that resulted in the development of this organization were initiated in 1966.

The organization came into being due to the need expressed by Antioch College of Ohio along with nine other small colleges, to recruit minority students. Antioch College approached one of our original founders, Susan Alexander, to serve on a selection committee for this purpose.  She in turn solicited the help of an East Harlem junior high school guidance counselor to assist in implementing programmatic ideas that would lead to more minority students being recruited for college.

In 1968, through the cooperation of the Church of the Good Neighbor and funding from New York Foundation, movement was made towards the establishment of an independent organization. The first major grant received upon HCE’s incorporation was from The Rockefeller Brothers Fund.  Subsequent funding came from both the public and private sectors such as American Heritage, Chemical Bank, Central Presbyterian Church, Blue Hill Foundation, PepsiCo, Ogilvy and Mather, the Greater New York Fund, New York City Youth Board and the U.S. Department of Education. Subsequent funding over the years has grown to include the Aaron Diamond Foundation, Morgan Stanley Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, Consolidated Edison of New York, The New York Times Company Foundation, Reebok International, Inc., Greentree Foundation and others.

The organization over the past forty years has served over 27,800 low-income youth from the East Harlem and inner city communities in their educational endeavors. Participants assisted by the program have enrolled in over 185 colleges and universities throughout the United States. This represents a college placement rate in excess of 80%.