Celebrating 20 Years

Dear Friends, 

We have come a long way since 2004, when a small group of parents, students, teachers, and supporters came together with a bold vision to overturn the status quo for promising students in Harlem. 

Over the past 20 years, we nurtured that vision, creating a school that is not just rigorous but joyful -- a space filled with love of learning, intellectual curiosity, and growth. Whether performing Macbeth, dissecting a heart, doing overnights in the woods, reciting original poetry, or meeting a senator, our students develop confidence in the face of challenge. And in doing so, they learn not just advanced academics but that they can accomplish anything. Year after year, I see that knowledge on full display as alumni jump into new challenges and make their mark on the world. 

Since 2004, we’ve grown from 12 students to 170 students and 160 alumni, from a nascent program to a proven track record, and from rented storefronts to our own campus. Amid all these positive changes, I take the greatest pride in what has always remained constant: our community's unyielding commitment to our mission to drive equity of opportunity. Read more in our Impact Report.

As we look toward the next 20 years, we are not content to rest on our laurels. We will grow to 360 students through a future expansion, establish Harlem Academy as an educational beacon, and build an endowment to ensure our mission persists for generations to come.

Whether you have been involved with Harlem Academy since the beginning or you have joined us along the way, I hope you’ll take a moment to explore our past accomplishments and vision for the future. 

With gratitude,
Vinny Dotoli signature
Vinny Dotoli
Head of School

Our Timeline

Our Bold Vision for the Next 20 Years

Over the next 20 years, we will build on our transformational outcomes and pursue our bold vision for expanded impact.

List of 3 items.

  • Expanded enrollment

    Since its founding, Harlem Academy has focused on serving promising students whose potential might otherwise go unrealized, and they have gone on to make a profound difference at their secondary schools, universities, and beyond. Our vision is to expand our enrollment to 360 students through a future expansion while maintaining our commitment to providing full-need scholarships and graduating a robust alumni network that will foster greater support, collaboration, mentorship, and impact.
  • An educational beacon

    Our vision is to be a central gathering place for the community, hosting summer and weekend programs, college fairs, chess tournaments, film screenings, poetry slams, Shakespeare festivals, and robotics and math competitions in the heart of Harlem. Beyond our local community, our vision is to become a world-class hub for research and learning focused on educational equity.
  • An enduring legacy

    Harlem Academy seeks to grow its endowment to secure the school's sustainability. A stronger endowment will allow Harlem Academy to keep tuition accessible to an economically diverse range of families, ensuring scholarships are available for a student body defined by its talents and strengths while continuing to attract, develop, and retain world-class teachers with competitive salaries and funding for leadership and growth opportunities.

Join Us on Campus

Events that Drive Our Mission. To mark our 20th anniversary and our bold vision for the most transformational school in the country to be located in the heart of Harlem, we invite you to join us for a special series of events that advance our core mission to drive equity of opportunity for promising students.
  • Harlem Week Back to School Event - August 18, 2023 (RSVP)
  • College Fair - October 7, 2023 (RSVP)
  • High School Fair - October 14, 2023 (RSVP)
  • Holiday Alumni Dinner - December 21, 2023
  • Spring Celebration - May 2, 2024
  • Graduation - June 20, 2024
Interested in attending? Email clindley@harlemacademy.org to learn more!

Share A Memory!

Graduates, parents, volunteers, and team members: We hope you will share special moments from the past 20 years to help tell Harlem Academy's story. We will feature these collective memories on our social media channels throughout the year! 

Please email memories@harlemacademy.org with a meaningful moment, favorite memory, reflection on what Harlem Academy means to you, or how the school has impacted you. Photos and videos with a brief description are welcome!

Support Harlem Academy

Make a Donation. Help us advance our mission and fund our success over the next 20 years by making a donation. 85% of our budget is funded by charitable contributions.
Volunteer at Harlem Academy. Harlem Academy welcomes volunteers to support our program. From mentoring to corporate group opportunities, such as our "Chess Buddies" program, we encourage you to contact Katie Steinbach, Development Director, to find the right match.
Harlem Academy
655 Saint Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY, 10030

P (212) 348-2600
F (212) 348-3500


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Harlem Academy is an independent school (grades K-8) that drives equity of opportunity for promising students, guiding them to thrive at the highest academic levels and one day make a mark on the world.