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Want to Work at Promise Academy? Here’s 7 Things You Need to Know

HCZ Promise Academy teacher sitting with scholars in classroom

Hello to all the teachers and educators out there — we’re Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) Promise Academy

HCZ Promise Academy is a network of six top-performing K-12 charter schools within HCZ’s world-renowned, cradle-to-career pathway of services. Our name comes from the promise we make to all our scholars: do whatever it takes to get them to and through college.

We’re proud that we’re delivering on that promise. Since our founding, we’ve:

  • Enrolled nearly 100% of our scholars in college.
  • Closed the Black-white achievement gap.
  • Helped our graduates build successful careers through our College Success Office.
  • Redefined what’s possible for our community and communities like ours across the country.

To achieve these exceptional outcomes, we hire the best and brightest educators and provide them with the resources they need to help our scholars succeed. What’s more, we offer one of the most competitive benefits packages in the industry, including loan forgiveness, no-cost health insurance, and bonuses. We believe our educators earn it and deserve it.

Want to work at Promise Academy? Keep scrolling to discover the 7 things you need to know:

1. You’ll enjoy some of the most competitive benefits in education

Our exemplary benefits include:

  • Highly competitive base salaries
  • Student loan forgiveness of up to $30,000
  • Signing and commitment bonuses
  • Additional compensation for afterschool participation
  • Annual performance bonuses
  • Deferred bonus programs
  • Retirement plans
  • No-cost health insurance 
HCZ Promise Academy teacher helps High School scholar fix robe in gymnasium

As an HCZ Promise Academy educator, you’ll help keep a promise to get our scholars to and through college.


2. You’ll make an impact on young people in Harlem — and everywhere  

As an HCZ Promise Academy educator, you’ll play a key role in helping us keep the promise to get our scholars to and through college. The impact you make is truly life-changing.

But our impact reaches farther than Harlem. Promise Academy is the backbone of HCZ’s world-renowned, cradle-to-career pathway of services — a model that inspired the Obama Administration’s Promise Neighborhoods initiative (HCZ Promise Academy graduate Kiara Molina even introduced President Obama at the White House!) and countless education and anti-poverty organizations across the country.

When you work at Promise Academy, you’ll impact the lives of children in Harlem — and everywhere.

3. You’ll get the support you’ll need to show up for your scholars

Have you ever taken money out of your own pocket to buy classroom supplies? When you work at Promise Academy, those days are over. From notebooks to backpacks to laptops, we provide scholars with everything they need to be successful. And we offer the same level of support to our educators and staff. Why? We know that for our scholars to be successful, our educators and staff members need to be successful, too.

4. You build strong relationships with your scholars

At HCZ Promise Academy, we nurture strong relationships between educators and scholars. We believe these relationships provide scholars the love, care, and attention they need to thrive.

To that end, we ensure a low student-teacher ratio that allows for personalized instruction and attention. Our scholars are engaged and attentive. They form trusting relationships with educators and staff.

HCZ Promise Academy teacher reading to scholars in classroom
A HCZ Promise Academy teacher kneels down and talks to a scholar in a classroom.

5. We offer opportunities to move up in your career

Meet Amanda Neal. In 2009, she joined HCZ Promise Academy as a third grade teacher. Three years later, she became a math specialist. Then, she moved up to director of math, then education director, and then assistant principal. This year, she was promoted to principal of Promise Academy II Elementary School (congrats, Miss Neal!).

As Amanda’s experience shows, we place a premium on employee growth. We believe that honing talent, fostering ambitions, and promoting staff from within is key to the success of HCZ Promise Academy and our scholars.

HCZ Promise Academy senior staff standing next to each other and multi-colored balloons

HCZ Promise Academy II Elementary School Principal Amanda Neal, center, with fellow members of the Promise Academy senior staff.


6. We have a caring and inclusive staff

One of the first things you’ll notice when you work at HCZ Promise Academy is how kind everyone is. There’s a reason for that. For our scholars to succeed, our educators and staff must also succeed. As such, we’re dedicated to supporting each other and working together to create collective impact. 

Beyond that, Promise Academy, and HCZ more broadly, are one of the most inclusive workplaces you’ll find. Folks of all backgrounds — ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, identities, etc. — are embraced. We pride ourselves on our diversity. We prize the richness of experiences and perspectives it brings.

Staff wave in front of bright mural.

Members of the HCZ Promise Academy and Zone Social Work teams.


7. You’ll be a part of something bigger than yourself 

To be part of HCZ Promise Academy is to be part of something bigger than yourself. When you join our organization, you join a community of professionals, young people, and families on a journey toward the same goal: getting our scholars to and through college.

Each year, hundreds of scholars graduate from HCZ Promise Academy and go to college — transforming their lives, their families, and their communities. Each and every one of our educators makes that possible and we are so honored to have them work with us.