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Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Parent: ‘HCZ is all About Empowering Families’

Above: Reginald, a first-grader, benefits from our high-quality curriculum, social-emotional learning, and after-school programs.

When DeniLee Peroza’s son, Reginald, enrolled at Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy, he wasn’t the only one who joined the Promise community. His family came along, too.

Reginald, a first-grader, benefits from our high-quality curriculum, social-emotional learning, and after-school programs. At the same time, he and DeniLee attend family events together at our West Side Community Center, and they learn about health and wellness at Healthy Harlem

When the family was going through tough times, HCZ Promise Academy was by their side to provide family support.

“My dad was very sick, and HCZ provided counseling to us,” DeniLee says. “They reached out to ask, ‘Is everything OK? Is there anything extra we can do? Let us know.’ No other school I know of provides that kind of support.”

Keep scrolling to discover more about how HCZ empowers scholars — and families like the Perozas.

Our Scholars Get Everything They Need to be Their Best at School

DeniLee beams with pride when she sees Reginald thriving at HCZ Promise Academy. She’s always known her son was smart and talented. But with access to resources and opportunities, he is able to realize his potential.

In addition to our rigorous curriculum and after-school activities, we provide everything scholars like Reginald need to succeed in school — all at no cost. This includes uniforms, laptops, calculators, backpacks, and much more. In his classes, Reginald uses top-of-the-line learning technology such as science equipment, musical instruments, and media and broadcasting tools. He enjoys chef-prepared healthy meals for lunch every day.

But for DeniLee, our most valuable resource is our caring and passionate teachers.

“Each of Reginald’s teachers has made it a point to get to know my son,” DeniLee says. “They know what he’s capable of and where to push him, to make him great and succeed. They know how to make learning fun.”

Families Earn Savings and Investment Opportunities

As a Promise Academy scholar, Reginald won’t only get help making it to and through college — he’ll have help paying for it, too. 

Wealth Builds offers family support to scholars and parents like Reginald and DeniLee by creating two separate savings accounts for them that can grow over time. One is a College Savings Account, awarded to our youngest scholars to increase savings for college tuition and expenses. The other is Youth Opportunity Fund, which they can withdraw from in adulthood for activities that catalyze wealth generation.

“I see my scholar being successful in the future,” DeniLee says. “HCZ Promise Academy is putting so much effort, even with investment opportunities, to help him achieve that.”

Reginald is Building a Bright Future

Our support for Reginald will continue when he enters middle and high school. Our College Success Office will help him apply to college and secure financial aid, while Wealth Builds will provide financial literacy classes that will equip him with the knowledge to manage the funds in his HCZ-provided investment accounts.

“I know I made the best choice for my scholar by sending him to HCZ Promise Academy because they invest in and believe in them,” DeniLee says. “They will help them achieve all their dreams in life, no matter what. And that’s my dream for my children.”