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About Center for Higher Education and Career Support

At the Center for Higher Education and Career Support (CHECS), we do whatever it takes to help our youth successfully prepare for college, persist through college graduation, enter the workforce, and become productive, self-sufficient adults. To provide our students and young adults with what they need to excel through college and launch their careers, we are advocates, counselors, trusted advisors, connectors, support systems, and cheerleaders.

Graduating from college is our goal for all of Harlem’s youth. We see earning a college degree as the primary means by which we are disrupting the cycle of generational poverty and beginning a new cycle of generational mobility. Our college graduates are at once role models for the next generation of college-bound kids and a catalyst for permanent, lasting change in Harlem.

Our Services

When students enroll in college, they may leave the Zone, but the CHECS team never leaves them. We remain in touch with our college students and offer support in various ways:

  • Year-round support to HCZ college students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.
  • Continuous outreach, including sending care packages and communicating with professors. We also sustain relationships with campus administrators to advocate on behalf of our students to ensure their experiences on campus are robust, rigorous, and successful.
  • Individualized guidance from a College Adviser provides coaching and assistance selecting a major and courses that align with a student’s long-term career goals.
  • Social-emotional and wellness support with a social services team member at HCZ.
  • Career guidance, including interview preparation, resume review, and access to internship opportunities from our Career Services Team.
  • Internal HCZ internship program is available for participants to gain valuable work experience and earn income during the school year and winter and summer breaks.
  • Workshops, including study strategies, money management, professional etiquette, career readiness, interview skills, and post-graduate planning.



Have questions about college? Need support as you look for your first job? We are here to help.

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