Joshua Easterly, co-founding partner and co-president of global investment firm Sixth Street, was immediately impressed when Kristofer Rodgers, one of his firm’s managing directors and a Harlem Academy junior board member, first introduced him to the school six years ago. Following a tour with Head of School Vinny Dotoli, Josh was convinced that Harlem Academy’s mission to drive equity of opportunity not only aligned with his personal values but with his company’s as well.
“Harlem Academy is exactly the type of organization companies like ours should seek to partner with,” says Josh, who joined the board of trustees in 2021 and currently chairs the school’s investment committee. “It is making an outsized impact on improving education and equity in our community.”
Harlem Academy’s success in driving student growth starting at an early age resonates with Sixth Street, as does the school’s excellent track record with secondary school placement and college admissions. “Harlem Academy is hitting the point of maximum leverage in a student’s educational trajectory by making an impact early — when it matters most,” says Kris.
It didn’t take long for Sixth Street’s partnership with Harlem Academy to deepen and grow, with the firm's investment extending far beyond financial support. Employees’ investment of time is just as critical. “Our partnership with Harlem Academy has been as much about contributing intellectual and social capital as it has been financial resources, and that’s a credit to the Harlem Academy team treating us as a true partner,” says Josh.
Sixth Street employees eagerly volunteer for Interview Prep and Personal Library Fairs, programs that bring Harlem Academy supporters and students together in meaningful ways. “It has allowed our Sixth Street team members to get involved and share their talent and skills to help an incredible group of young people prepare for their future,” says Josh.
Through these programs, volunteers read books with our younger students and help our seventh and eighth graders prepare for the secondary school application process by conducting practice interviews. “The Library Fair is a fun event that demonstrates how Harlem Academy instills a love-of-reading culture at a young age,” says Kris. “And our employees leave Interview Prep sessions so impressed by the poise and maturity of Harlem Academy students. They tell me all the time how amazing and smart the kids are.”
It’s no surprise that Sixth Street foresees our alumni as part of their growing summer internship program. “It’s an investment for the future,” says Kris. “We’d love to have a Harlem Academy graduate as a college intern.”
It would be a natural progression of Sixth Street’s strong connection with the school — one Josh anticipates growing for years to come. “Our partnership has been very rewarding,” he says, “and my team and I look forward to continuing to build upon our relationship.”