About Us

Now entering its seventh year, the Heckscher Scholars Program is a two-year college access program designed to provide academic support and guidance to rising juniors at New York City public schools. The program provides a bridge between public school and college for students from low-income and first-generation immigrant backgrounds. We admit fifteen new students every year on the basis of character, need, and our ability to make a difference in their lives.

Heckscher Scholars Graduation 2017 (3)

The Heckscher Scholars Program offers its scholars an intensive introductory summer program at the end of sophomore year. Students receive personalized small-group tuition in English, math and career development, taught by leading private tutors and teachers from the best independent schools in the city. We provide online SAT classes, followed by a full SAT tutoring program taught in classes of three to four students.

At the end of their junior year, students have the opportunity to travel abroad through our partnership with Global Glimpse or to undertake internships at various foundations around the city. Finally, each student receives a complete program of college guidance, all application fees, travel expenses, and specialized assistance with the financial aid process.



95% of Heckscher Scholars graduate from a four year college.

Heckscher scholars have gone on to attend competitive private colleges and universities all over the United States, including:

  • Boston College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • CUNY
  • Earlham College
  • Fordham
  • Marist College
  • Mount Holyoke
  • Nyack College
  • Skidmore
  • University of Rochester
  • Smith College
  • SUNY


Our philosophy is to develop a relationship of trust with each one
of our students and work toward individual goals. As a small program, we are able to respond to crises and meet specific needs, providing academic support and counseling throughout our scholars’ educational careers. We pride ourselves on anticipating needs and on fostering relationships where students will reach out to us for help.



The Heckscher Scholars is a program run by the Heckscher Foundation for Children, founded in 1921 to promote the welfare of children in New York and elsewhere throughout the United States. Today, it provides grants to youth-serving organizations in the fields of education, family services, child welfare, health, arts and recreation.

The primary aim of the Heckscher Foundation’s grantmaking is to “level the playing field” for underserved youth by providing access to education and the varied experiences that make for a richer, forward-reaching life. Our goal is to foster venture philanthropy using three principal funding strategies: catalytic giving, strategic partnerships and targeted problem solving.

For more information, write to:

Geoffrey Howarth

Nicole Letelier
Dean of Students

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