Support TRIO Funding for FY2018

Good Afternoon First-Generation Advocates,

Last week AEEE members shared a transformative time together developing professionally in San Juan.  The membership voiced their desire to be more involved and receive updates on advocacy efforts.  Today we received correspondence from the Council for Opportunity in Education urging us to contact our Senators to urge them to sign the attached FY18 Appropriations Request Letter.  We celebrated earlier in the month when we found out about the $50 million dollar increase in TRIO funding, but there has been chatter that the President’s detailed budget that will be released within the next week or so will keep the proposed funding level introduced in the March “Skinny Budget”.  This would represent a whopping $142 million dollar decrease from FY17 if we don’t take action.  

ADVOCACY IS IMPORTANT! Find out how to advocate for TRIO funding here!!

In Other News..

Dr. Byrd-Johnson, Interim Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs and Director of Student Service for the U.S. Department of Education, spoke on Tuesday afternoon to the COE Board of Directors.  The Upward Bound slate is still in clearance and her hope is that it will be to congressional offices this week.  Those who have program specific questions should reach out to COE if you are institutional members.  If you are not a member please consider joining because membership has proven beneficial.  ED is wrapping up the UBMS reading process and they hope to have the first slate out by August 2.  McNair is the reading process.  The final VUB application should be out by the end of next week.  Both McNair and VUB’s first slate will also be out the beginning of August.

Grant Award Notifications most likely will not come out until August.  Upward Bound awards will be awarded at level funding and then they will receive sometime this summer a supplemental award when ED decides how to allocate the $50 million appropriation. The stated information was provided by the Council for Opportunity in Education

We must continue to focus on the issues of importance to first-generation, low-income, disabled, and veteran students. I would like to ask each of you to join this current advocacy effort requesting an increase in federal TRIO funding as well as other forms of support for 1st generation and/or low income students.  There’s power in numbers so let’s join forces to encourage our members of the Senate to sign the letter.  Please send the request from a private email address to make sure there is not a perception of lobbying on the federal dime. Let’s  continue to demonstrate our passion as advocates and promote passion in others.  Let’s also watch the news so we can remain informed about what’s going on down in DC.  Thank you for your time and I hope to see you soon.   

In Solidarity,

Woodrow Lewis Jr., President,  Association for Equality and Excellence in Education (AEEE)


Upcoming Deadlines for AEEE Members

AEEE Members! 

The 2016-2017 Scholarship Committee is requesting applications for the following scholarships:

• Doris Chandler Memorial Scholarship

for Student Support Services Program Participants

• Maritza Lopez Memorial Scholarship

for Talent Search Program Participants

• Leroy Wilson, III Memorial Scholarship

for Upward Bound Program Participants

• Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholarship

for McNair Program Participants

• Upward Bound Math-Science Achievement Scholarship

for Upward Bound Math-Science Program Participants

Please note: Only active members of AEEE can nominate scholarship applicants. Each scholarship recipient must be present to receive the $1,000 award at the 2017 AEEE 40th Anniversary Celebration & Scholarship Fundraiser on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at The City University of New York’s City College, Great Hall in New York, New York. AEEE will cover the cost of the meal for student award recipients. Transportation costs (flights and shuttle/taxi service) must be covered by the recipient’s program. A member of the scholarship committee must be consulted prior to finalizing travel.

The criteria for selection include, but are not limited to, SAT scores, GPA, letter(s) of recommendation and essay content. Each category will be scored using rubric based point system. The Committee as a whole assures full and complete consideration for the award in the review of each application.

Please see application for more details.



It is with great anticipation that I send out this appeal for nominations! Kindly give this appeal some serious thought as the future of our wonderful organization rests in the competency of its leaders – one of whom may indeed be YOU!

We are looking to fill President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Board Member-At-Large (3) positions.

Please email Lalla Edwards ( for a nomination form and more information!




COE Publication: Equality Winter 2017 Issue

The latest issue of Equality can be found below. This issue features articles on using drones in Upward Bound, an update on TRIO funding, and more. We hope that you will find this information useful.

Equality Winter 2017

COE has a number of publications available electronically: Equality (a newsletter published four times a year and featuring news from Capitol Hill and the U.S. Department of Education, current research, new initiatives, and a calendar of events), e-news you can use (a monthly newsletter providing reports on briefings and meetings held by COE, timely news on effective college access and retention strategies, scholarship and grant opportunities, alumni honors, and events), the National TRIO/GEAR UP Directory, and the 2009-2010 Compensation Survey Results.


Harlem Center for Education Fundraiser

Dear AEEE members and friends,

#Giving Tuesday and the holiday season are an important time of year for every nonprofit. Fortunately, we have an awesome board, great staff and passionate alumni to help us make this holiday season amazing. And this year, we are making it really easy for you all to dig in and help us raise money.

We, The Harlem Center for Education, are part of the CrowdRise Giving Tower Holiday Challenge, which is the best and most innovative way to raise money on #GivingTuesday and throughout the holiday season. Over the years it’s been a game changer for thousands of organizations like ours but it does not work without our community helping as fundraisers.

As a loyal supporter, you know what that extra money would do for our cause so we’re asking you, in preparation of the holiday season, to join the team and become a fundraiser. It takes less than five minutes to set up your fundraiser. All you have to do is Go Here and click “Fundraise for this Campaign.”

If for some reason, you can’t set up a fundraiser, we’ll be reaching out on November 22nd, when the Challenge starts, to ask for your support in the form of donations. In addition, we’ll ask you to help spread the word to your network.  Your help will be crucial to raising money for our cause this holiday season as well as having a chance to win the $25,000 Giving Tower grand prize.

Thank you so much and please help set up a fundraiser.

Harlem Center for Education

Please email CrowdRise, the hosts of the Giving Tower, at if you have any questions at all and they’ll help solve everything.


Applications Open for Spring 2017 Keith Sherin Global Leaders Semester in DC Program!

Applications Open for Spring 2017 Keith Sherin Global Leaders Semester in DC Program

An exciting Capitol Hill internship/semester in Washington, D.C. is available to an outstanding TRIO SSS or McNair student for the spring 2017 semester.

Sponsored by the Council’s Keith Sherin Global Leaders Scholarship Fund and hosted by Marquette University’s Les Aspin Center for Government, highly-motivated TRIO students (with at least a 3.0 GPA who have reached the sophomore, junior or senior year of college) will be eligible to spend a semester working in a Congressional office and learning about the political process.  One student per semester will be selected for the program, which runs from January 15 to May 5, 2017.

The internship-scholarship covers tuition, fees, and housing for the semester program, which provides up to 18 credit hours. COE will also provide a modest food and transportation allowance as needed.  Students are expected to transfer their financial aid wherever possible.

“This presents a tremendous opportunity for exceptional TRIO students to live, learn, and be part of government in Washington,” said COE President Maureen Hoyler. “Our program combines the adventure of working in the Capitol for a member of Congress with a strong educational experience at the Les Aspin Center,” she said. “I urge students who care deeply about policymaking and the political process to apply.”

The deadline for applications for the spring 2017 semester is Tuesday, November 15, 2016.    For more information, please view the video at or visit Contact Holly Hexter at for an application.

Participating students will take courses at the Les Aspin Center on Mondays and Thursdays, and spend Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays working on Capitol Hill. For course information, visit


Harlem Center lost $500K grant because of program’s success

HS Students Saud Bukhari, 17, and Leeana Geewanparsud, 17, in front of City College in Manhattan. Photo: Angel Chevrestt, NY POST
Paula Martin in the unused computer room in Harlem Center for Education. Photo: J.C. Rice, NY POST
Paula Martin in the unused computer room in Harlem Center for Education. Photo: J.C. Rice, NY POST


The federal government cut off a $500,000 grant for a Harlem program that helped poor kids go to college — because it was doing too good a job.

After 40 years of funding the Harlem Center for Education, the US Department of Education denied the “Talent Search” grant in August. According to the bizarre bureaucratic logic, the program didn’t need money because students were succeeding.

The Harlem Center was forced to fire staff and abandon hundreds of students just as they were preparing their college applications.

“What it means is that over 1,000 students in the East Harlem area . . . will not receive free educational services with respect to helping them graduate from high school, assist them in applying to college and enrolling in college,” said Paula Martin, the program’s executive director.

The grants are meant to fund free SAT prep classes, financial-aid counseling, visits to college campuses, tutoring, access to computers and other services.

Alumni were shocked that the feds pulled the plug on a program that has helped thousands go to college.

“I think it’s crazy,” said Michell Cardona, 34. “I don’t know where I would be if I had not had that opportunity or not had those resources available to me.”

Cardona said a Harlem Center counselor encouraged her to apply to Cornell University, and she graduated from the Ivy League institution with an architecture degree. She works as an architect and teaches at NYU and CUNY.

“They are really destroying dreams,” said Isaac Torres. He got help from the Harlem Center in the 1980s. He went to law school and is now first vice president and assistant general counsel at Carver Bancorp in Harlem.

The new grant would have continued to pay for services at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, a 1,600-student high school in East
Harlem, and Murry Berg­traum HS in Lower Manhattan.

Three people working for the DOE vetted the applications and gave points for various criteria, including need. To win a grant, a program needs to score 106 points; the Harlem Center missed with a 100.17 score. Its application was one of 880 submitted.

The grant reviewers took points off the Harlem Center’s application because students at the Manhattan Center had shown academic improvement, Martin said.

One federal evaluator deducted three points for need because those students had a healthy college enrollment and completion rate of 76 percent, documents reviewed by The Post show. The reviewer docked another point because student math scores were too high.

Another reviewer noted that the high school “has 56 percent of students receiving Regents diplomas,” higher than the city average. Another point was deducted.

The DOE last week refused pleas to reconsider, and has not yet responded to a similar request by Rep. Charles Rangel. An agency spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Martin said her program has provided services at the Manhattan Center since the 1980s. The Harlem Center had a $1.2 million budget in the last fiscal year, almost all from government grants.

She called the loss of nearly half its funding “huge.” Seven staffers were let go, leaving six employees. Martin’s salary was slashed to $28,000 a year.

Saud Bukhari, 17, a senior at the Manhattan Center, did SAT prep work with the Harlem Center last spring and summer and was counting on the program to help with his college applications.

“The one [high school guidance] counselor is very overwhelmed with the 435 other seniors,” Bukhari said. “I feel like the Harlem Center is a great second option.”

Manhattan Center senior Leeana Geewanparsud, 17, toured colleges with the Harlem Center last year and was hoping to take additional SAT prep classes this fall as she applies to college.

“Last year’s graduating class also received help. Everybody went to the school they wanted,” said Gee­wan­par­sud, a Guyanese immigrant. “Without [Harlem Center], we lose the help and we become lost.”


Article from NY Post.