Youth Services

Giving East Harlem youth the tools to thrive.

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What We Do

Through our programs, over 2,400 eager and energetic children and teens actively seek and create opportunities to forge brighter futures.   Youth Services provides robust afterschool and summer education, arts and recreation programs for young people ages 5-24.  We tap into their potential by providing activities ranging from creative arts and sports to job-readiness programs and higher education. Our innovative and dedicated staff guides our youth during school, after-school, over holidays and the summer with activities that foster a sense of community and identity.

Bridges Middle School Program
Choices: Alternatives to Detention
College Readiness Program
East Harlem Teen Health Project
Fatherhood
Intergenerational Tutoring Program
Reconnect and Rise
Rising Stars Program
Union East – High School Services
Wildcats Basketball

The peer educators in our East Harlem Teen Health Project work with hundreds of young people to promote sexual literacy and prevent teen pregnancy.

Did you know that in 2013, 97% of students in our college readiness programs graduated high school and 80% were accepted to college?

Youth Services Director Steven Portericker received a PASEsetter Award in 2009. The Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE) honors NYC’s most innovative and effective community educators.

Over 2,400 children, teens, and young adults enroll in our youth programs each year.

Did you know Union Settlement staff and volunteers provide education, arts, wellness and college readiness programs to children in 27 public elementary, middle and high schools?

90% of the elementary school children, who enrolled in our Intergenerational Tutoring program, demonstrate positive attitudes toward reading and language arts and most accelerate their progress advancing more than one grade level in reading and writing.

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Services & Programs

Bridges Middle School Program

Bridges serves over 400 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.

Learn more at our program page >

Choices: Alternatives to Detention

Our Choices program provides case management, educational support, counseling, and extracurricular activities with the goal of helping youth avoid further involvement in the criminal justice system.  Participants take pregnancy, drug and gang prevention workshops, receive tutoring, and go on team-building recreational field trips.  On a bimonthly basis we host a Family Night, where participants share aspects of the program with their families and friends.

For more information call (646) 672-2597.

College Readiness Program

In its 50-year history, our College Readiness program has provided over 20,000 low-income students with guidance and encouragement to pursue higher learning. We provide services to high school juniors and seniors, helping them graduate on time and navigate the college selection, admissions and financial aid processes.

Click to learn more at our program page or by calling (212) 828-6138.

East Harlem Teen Health Project

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.

Click to learn more at our program page or by calling (646) 672-5084.

Fatherhood

Young fathers ages 16 to 24 join our Fatherhood program because it provides individual and family counseling, parent skills workshops, job readiness training and placement, visitation assistance, court advocacy, mentoring, conflict resolution training and life skills workshops. We also offer supplemental services such as a pantry for fathers and recreational trips for fathers and their children.

For information call (212) 828-6113.

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.  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.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email the program coordinator, Harriet Stein at hstein@unionsettlement.org or call (646) 672-5044.

Reconnect and Rise

Reconnect and Rise is a rigorous program of educational, vocational and support services designed to help young men ages 16 to 24 who have left or been pushed out of school and are struggling in the job market.

Rising Stars 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 programs such as our multidisciplinary Theme Teams, Kids Lit, hands-on preventative arts workshops and circus arts.

Click to learn more at our program page or call (212) 828-6132.

Union East – High School Services

High School Services for youth ages 14-18 provides employment and educational opportunities for in-school youth, including, tutoring, internships and job skills development.

Click to learn more at our program page or call (212) 828-6134.

Wildcats Basketball

Our Wildcats basketball program incorporates education, leadership development and community activism for teens 17 and under and children 12 and under in order to build a well-rounded student-athlete. Members of the team practice at least twice weekly and participate in competitive tournaments around NYC and the tri-state area.

Learn more at our program page >


Enrollment Information

Please complete these Youth Enrollment 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
sportericker@unionsettlement.org
(212) 828-6111