Approach
Red Hook Initiative

Red Hook Initiative (RHI) is a community-building organization serving Red Hook, Brooklyn, which is one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. RHI offers a pipeline of programs aimed at young residents, including academic support, workforce-readiness training, and entry-level employment counseling. We provided early support of the RHI Scholars College Pipeline, a comprehensive multi-year college access and success initiative that builds on already-existing RHI youth programming. RHI runs a Department of Youth and Community Development-funded daily afterschool middle school program and is working to integrate the RHI Scholars College Pipeline into it by introducing the idea of college with grade-level-appropriate, light-touch college and career exploration activities. As part of the RHI Scholars College Pipeline, middle school students receive academic support, including small-group tutoring and educational advocacy. The Pipeline continues into high school through gradually-increasing college guidance support over the four years. It seeks to ensure college exposure at an early age, and to build the college access pipeline before students even reach high school.

Heckscher’s support of our college-readiness programming has been truly transformational. What started out as workshops and ad hoc case management is now a robust college access pipeline reaching students in middle school and sustaining them through college graduation. Heckscher’s resources and constant willingness to share organizational expertise has helped us build a lasting college mindset and culture for Red Hook youth. Heckscher has not just helped us expand a program, they’ve enabled us to create generational change with education at the root.
Jill Eisenhard
Founder & Executive Director, Red Hook Initiative