Because now more than ever a college degree is the ticket to long-term success, HCZ’s Center for Higher Education and Career Support (CHECS) does “whatever it takes” to help our youth successfully complete college, enter the workforce, and become productive, self-sustaining adults.
CHECS provides comprehensive, year-round support to HCZ college students, many of whom are the first in their families to go to college. CHECS students work one-on-one with College Advisors who offer individualized guidance each step of the way to graduation, coaching students through the transition to college, visiting them on campus, helping them select a major and pick courses that align with their long-term career goals, helping them identify on-campus supports and resources as needed, and reaching out to professors and other stakeholders to discuss student progress and strategies for success. Plus, an in-house social services manager is always on hand to provide personal support as needed.
During winter and summer breaks, CHECS helps coordinate internships for our college students, both at HCZ and throughout New York City. Not only do they earn much-needed income to help cover their college expenses, but they also gain valuable work experience and begin to build a network of professional connections. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of workshops to help them navigate the challenges of college life and prepare for the job market. Topics include study strategies, money management, professional etiquette, career readiness, interview skills, and post-graduate planning.
As the ultimate goal for all our youth, college graduation is not just an end, but 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 the true catalyst of permanent, lasting change here in Harlem.