Youth Services

Giving East Harlem youth the tools to thrive.


Our Youth Services division provides robust afterschool and summer education, arts and recreation programs for children from kindergarten through high school. Through our programs, every year almost 900 eager and energetic children, teens and young adults actively seek and create opportunities to forge brighter futures.

Among our older youth, we face a growing crisis: many of New York City’s young people ages 16-24 are neither attending school nor participating in the labor force. Conditions are particularly dire in communities such as ours. We serve approximately 575 out-of-school youth, almost exclusively African-American and Latino, who are more than twice as likely to be “disconnected.”

Founded in 1964, our College Readiness program has provided more than 20,000 low-income students with guidance and encouragement to pursue higher learning. We provide college and financial aid counseling, as well as tutoring, SAT preparation, college trips, and summer enrichment programs.

Located In

Gaylord White Community Center
237 E 104th Street, New York, NY 10029

(212) 828-6111

Elementary and Middle School Students

Rising Stars Afterschool And Summer Program

We enroll 350 youngsters ages 5 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 innovative programs such as our multidisciplinary Theme Teams, Kids Lit, hands-on preventative arts workshops and circus arts.

Gaylord White Community Center
237 E 104th St, New York, NY 10029
Desmond Reid,

P.S. 112 Jose Celso Barbosa
535 E 119th St, New York, NY 10035
Liza Hunte,

P.S. 138
144-176 E 128th St, New York, NY 10035
Jasmine Philip,

Bridges Afterschool And Summer Program

Bridges is a comprehensive program housed within Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science. The program works with participants 11-15 who are interested in arts, academic enhancement and physical education.

As participants age out of Rising Stars their developmental needs change and their feelings of security and autonomy may feel conflicted. Modeled after successful college preparation programs Bridges differs in two ways:

  1. It works with participants of all motivational levels.
  2. It addresses all of the needs of the participants and families by connecting them to Union Settlement’s diverse services.


Esperanza Preparatory Academy
240 E 109th St, New York, NY 10029
Oscar Manosalvas,

Harlem Prep Middle School
232 E 103rd St, New York, NY 10029
LZ Cromarty,

M.S. 007
Samuel Stern School
160 E 120th St, New York, NY 10035
Takenia Cotton,

P.S. 096 Joseph Lanzetta 216 E
120th St, New York, NY 10035
Cristy Gonzalez,

High School and College Students

College Readiness

Since 1964, our College Readiness Program has provided more than 22,000 low-income students with guidance and encouragement to pursue higher education. We help high school students stay on track for on-time graduation and navigate the college selection, admissions and financial aid processes. Our services include academic, financial, career and personal counseling, career exploration, tutoring, college application essay writing workshops, college visits, SAT and ACT preparation, mentoring and early intervention/transition services for middle school students.

View our 2022 College Readiness program flyer for more information


Tom Kitchen
College Readiness Director

College Transition

In addition to increasing college access among socioeconomically disadvantaged youth, we enhance college success by providing support and guidance to students during their first year of college. Each year, we assist 50 College Readiness alumni with their transition to college. Our Transition Counselor helps students connect with campus resources, supports the formation of good study habits, facilitates peer support and networking and troubleshoots with administrative offices.



Tom Kitchen
College Readiness Director

Alternative Programs

Career Academy

Our Career Academy program is a workforce development resource for job seekers and a free talent acquisition service for employers. Serving young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 who are neither working nor in school, the Academy seeks to help individuals with complex barriers to employment (such as criminal justice system involvement and housing instability) to improve their ability to successfully enter and remain in the workforce.


Reconnect and Rise

Reconnect and Rise provides educational, vocational and psychosocial support to young men and women ages 16 to 24 who have left or been pushed out of school and are struggling in the job market. We provide high school equivalency (HSE) classes, workshops, tutoring and college and career exploration. Most of the students we serve perform below a ninth grade reading and/or math level and require remedial instruction before they can begin HSE preparation.

Richard Reeves
Associate Director of Prevention/Intervention Programs for Youth
(212) 828-6113


Advocate, Intervene, Mentor (AIM)

AIM serves youth who are on probation. Participants, who are referred by the Department of Probation, receive at least 15 hours a week of services, which include counseling, case management, mentoring, home visits and life skills development.

Steven Meyer
Program Director
(646) 672-2595

East Harlem Youth Opportunity Hub

The East Harlem Youth Opportunity Hub, created in partnership with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, supports the development of young people ages 10 to 24 residing in East Harlem, and helps prevent youth involvement in the criminal justice system.

As a network of more than 25 social services providers, the Hub seeks to foster resilience and prosocial behavior by providing holistic, wraparound services that address the academic, social, personal, familial, recreational and vocational needs of participating youth. We will serve 500 young people per year at the Hub’s three program sites.

Monica Rene
Regional Director
(347) 912-0699