HEAF's chess team, the Brooklyn Knights


HEAF changes the lives of young people in underserved communities beginning in middle school and continuing in college and beyond through a youth development approach that includes rigorous year-round academic enrichment, social and cultural exposure and constant individual attention.


HEAF will become a sustainable national supplemental education model that is highly valued, heavily supported and continually broadening its footprint by building upon its extraordinary impact on the students it serves, their families and the community.

HEAF’s Commitment to Equity

The Harlem Educational Activities Fund, HEAF, is committed to being an anti-racist organization. We are committed to equitable practices that foster our diverse community of students, families, staff, teachers, and volunteers. HEAF stands for equal opportunities and equal chances for our scholars.

Our goal is to level the playing field through academic enrichment, personal and social development, college prep, and career exposure.  To develop stronger scholars, leaders, and fellows, HEAF is striving to understand all of the ways that the members of our diverse community navigate life.

HEAF is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we believe there is still much work to do for our students, their families, our staff, and leadership.

Our Principles


  • Encourage high aspiration through innovative and enriched programming that provides opportunities for students to construct their own knowledge.
  • Link middle and high school students with successful professionals who support and guide their social and academic development.
  • Offer transformative activities that engage students, faculty, staff and parents in life-changing experiences.
  • Develop curious, caring, empathetic, socially conscious and highly motivated students with keen intellects who can articulate their personal and professional goals.


  • Implement a youth development approach to enrich and support student learning.
  • Combine rigor with caring to assist students in developing academically, personally and professionally.
  • Reach beyond the numbers to create short and long term student and parental satisfaction.
  • Create enriched environments which allow students to explore, engage, imagine, experiment and move from the familiar and immediate to new learning and new understanding.


  • Develop a clear understanding of the need and context for any innovation.
  • Engage staff and board in a continuous rigorous conversation around curriculum, practices, assessment and results.
  • Build on the extraordinarily supportive environment distinguishing the HEAF program from other supplemental educational programs.
  • Embrace a research agenda which brings new understanding and evidence about our students, their growth and levels of performance.


  • Become a place where people are motivated to become involved as leaders, volunteers, donors and advocates.
  • Provide our students with the tools and experiences that make them reflective citizens whose behaviors, ambitions and actions are in keeping with model citizenship.
  • Develop students who have a sense of purpose and of who they are, a commitment to do good and to social justice and who see themselves as leaders.

HEAF is a GuideStar Exchange Silver Participant.