Youth Services

Burdened with failing schools, high dropout rates and the threats posed by crime, substance abuse and hopelessness, East Harlem's youth find opportunities to build brighter futures at Union Settlement.

Each year, our creative and dedicated staff leads nearly 2,000 hardworking and energetic children and teens through a comprehensive set of programs that seeks to nurture multiple aspects of our young peoples' lives, from educational to personal, from skills acquirement and career preparation to cultural enrichment and expression.  Enrollment forms and information appear below
Youth Services programs include:
We enroll 200 youngsters ages five to 12 in year-round activities, including homework assistance, tutoring, computer instruction, visual and performing arts projects, recreational activities and a summer day camp. We also offer literacy programs such as our multidisciplinary Theme Teams and the Spaghetti Book Club, a hands-on music program and our softball/baseball program in collaboration with Harlem RBI.
Bridges serves approximately 100 middle school students through academic, personal and cultural enrichment as well as two specialized programs: the Healing Our Problems Early Program (HOPE), which focuses on sexual literacy and personal development, and our year-round Middle School College Preparation Program designed to help students in East Harlem's middle schools gain admission to competitive high schools that will set them on the path to higher education.
High School Services
High School Services for youth ages 14-18, including Union East, which provides employment and educational opportunities for in-school youth, including, tutoring, internships and job skills development.  We also provide college preparation and guidence to over 1,000 teens each year through the Settlement College Readiness Program.
Physical Fitness and Leadership through Sports
As part of the youth development mission underlying all our programs, our sports programs are designed to increase the physical activity levels of our youth, lead participants to our academic services and teach discipline and the value of working effectively with their peers and instructors. For instance, our Stay on Point program promotes teamwork, leadership skills and dedication, while providing an alternative to negative influences such as drug and alcohol abuse. The program serves a total of 200 at-risk teens through structured competitive play, including basketball, tennis, baseball, track and field. Participants are required to take part in our tutoring program and attend a series of workshops on topics such as peer pressure, conflict resolution, proper nutrition, STD prevention and career exploration.
Intergenerational Tutoring Program
Union Settlement recruits and trains local older adults to tutor and mentor children in kindergarten through third grade who need help developing reading and writing skills. The program currently serves students in six East Harlem elementary schools. Through an award-winning approach developed by the OASIS Institute, tutors and students work together throughout the school year to build the children’s reading skills, self-esteem, and positive attitudes towards learning. The program offers great benefits for students and older adults alike, and we are proud to bring it to the East Harlem community.  If you are interested in volunteering, please email the program coordinator at
The East Harlem Teen Health Project (THP) offers comprehensive, age-appropriate, and culturally sensitive sexual health education to teens in our area. The THP works to reduce the rates of teen pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, and STIs in East Harlem via community awareness, educational workshops, and events.
Education Center
The centerpiece of Youth at Union is its Education Center. Open weekdays from three to nine p.m. and on Saturdays for special events and activities, the Center serves as a "neighborhood sanctuary" where parents can be sure their children are engaged in constructive, enriching activities.  



Reconnect and Rise (GED)

Enrollment Information

Please complete these forms [PDF 900K] to enroll your child in youth programs at Union Settlement. We can only accept original copies of the application.  Please mail or deliver all forms to the address below and send them to the attention of the Front Office. 

Location and Contact Information
Washington Community Center
1775 Third Avenue (98th Street), New York, NY 10029
(212) 828-6111

Director of Youth Services
Steven Portericker
(212) 828-6111

Youth Services Director Steven Portericker honored by the Partnership for Afterschool Education

The PASEsetter Awards “recognize the best and brightest of New York City’s youth development professionals.”  Congratulations to Steven and the entire Youth Services team!

Union Settlement Association | 237 East 104th Street NY, NY 10029-5404 | P (212) 828.6000 | F (212) 828.6022 |
Union Settlement Association is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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