In 1968, a group of individuals came together out of a need to identify deserving minority students to attend Antioch College. They then discovered that there was an ongoing need to provide such a service in the East Harlem community as well as to provide various academic services to the youth in this area that would help to better equip them to access colleges all over the United States. Harlem Center for Education is a not for profit organization located in East Harlem, El Barrio, New York.

The organization has been serving the young people of this community and the City of New York for over 38 years. The organization receives funding for the free services it provides from corporations, foundations, and U.S. Department of Education grants. This funding allows the organization to provide FREE programs and services.

Paula J. Martin

Executive Director & Talent Search Project Director
(212) 348-9200

Paula Martin is the executive director of the Harlem Center for Education. A native New Yorker, Martin comes from a background of low-income, first generation college students like her TRIO students, but at a time before TRIO was conceived. After obtaining her Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, Martin taught at the summer program at Project Double Discovery at Columbia University.  She later learned that it was actually an Upward Bound program under the federal TRIO programs of the US Department of Education.  Thus she began her career in TRIO in the summer 1973.  Martin worked at Columbia for 12 years as academic counselor, assistant director and finally director.  In 1985 she left Columbia and became the Executive Director of the Harlem Center for Education – also a TRIO sponsor of a Talent Search project.  Since that time the organization has acquired an additional Talent Search program and an Educational Opportunity Center.

Along her way in TRIO Martin found herself becoming very involved with assuring that these worthwhile programs continued.  She was the first female President of her regional association, Association for Equality and Excellence in Education (AEEE), and served on the COE Board of Directors for a number of years. Martin received AEEE’s Award of Excellence in 1984 and President’s Award in 1989.  She testified before Congress’s then Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education on behalf of TRIO in 1991 and had her name entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Jose Serrano during Black History month in 2006 in recognition as a local leader.  She served on the Task Force for Supplemental Education under the aegis of Dr. Edmund Gordon, director of the Institute for Minority and Urban Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University. Martin has been fortunate throughout her professional career to be able to serve as faculty on several different TRIO training grants and to share her knowledge through workshops at national and regional conferences. Martin says that although she has no biological children, she has hundreds that were born through TRIO!

Evelyn Falconi
Office Manager
(212) 348-9200

Genesis Pantosin
Senior Academic Advisor

Wilma Ron

Wilma works as a Bookkeeper for Harlem Center for Education for more than 14 years. She is in charge of all Accounting and Bookkeeping matters for Harlem Center for Education. She has a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Herbert Lehman College and Associate Degree in Applied Science from Hostos Community College. Also, she has special training and membership from the Institute of Internal Auditors, Real World Training for QuickBooks and Continuing Education from Rockhurst University courses for Accounting.

Katia Petrov
Bookkeeper Assistant

Steve Yuen
Data Entry Specialist

Responsible for student data entry, as well as maintaining, updating database, generation of reports and year end summaries. Secondary role as procurement officer. Graduated – SUNY/Buffalo.

E.O.C. Program

David Perez
EOC Director
(212) 348-2762

David Perez joined the Educational Opportunity Center in September 2007. As Project Director he oversees budget, fundraising, reporting to funding authorities, developing and maintaining partnerships with community-based organizations, participant recruitment, and all E.O.C services. David has also served as both Educational Advisor and Assistant Director at the E.O.C. His main areas of expertise include financial aid, college admissions and post-secondary education transition for adults. David holds a B.A. in History from the State University of New York at Albany and a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University.

James Ruffin
Assistant Director

Jane Adamo
E.O.C. / G.E.D. Instructor

Jane Adamo joined the E.O.C. in October 2011. As GED Instructor and Educational Advisor Jane is responsible for teaching our GED classes, developing curriculum and lesson plans, and test preparation. Jane has extensive knowledge and experience in adult education and has served as a teacher coach for adult educators, as well as written articles on effective teaching methods. Prior to becoming an adult educator, Jane had a career as a copywriter in the advertising field. Jane holds a B.A. in Psychology from Barnard College at Columbia University and and holds New York State certifications in Adult Literacy Education and Secondary School English, as well as New York City certification as a GED Teacher Coach.

Middle School

Rosa Paucar
Middle School Program Director

Ana Jorge
Middle School Team Leader

Estefany Carrion
Middle School Instructor

Aisha Rosario
Middle School Instructor

Kevin Rosario 
Middle school Instructor

Yaritza Ceballos
Middle School Instructor