East Harlem Scholars Academies Honor Local Heroes at Annual Celebration

As we look forward to breaking bread with family and friends, East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) is abundantly thankful: Our Scholars are thriving in school, knowing they have the support of the community around them as they strive to get to and through college.

That is why we honor members of our community every year for East Harlem Heroes Day, when we dedicate several classrooms to the role models that help our Scholars dream big and succeed. This day enables new and previous inductees to meet with students and visit their classrooms.

Now in its 7th year, East Harlem Heroes highlights an illustrious list of artists and community leaders, from Maya Angelou to Celia Cruz to Langston Hughes, and a host of EHTP alumni. This year our young Scholars were thrilled to honor:

  • Hiram Maristany, a photographer who has documented life in El Barrio for 40 years, mentoring numerous Puerto Rican and Latino artists in the city.


  • Orlando Ortiz, a retired EHTP employee who, for more than 18 years, ensured our after-school classrooms and offices were clean, safe and ready for Scholars.


  • Suleyma Cuellar, an EHTP alumna of our High School and College Scholars program. She is currrently a lead teacher and robotics instructor at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic School


  • Bilal Zafar, a longstanding participant in EHTP programs and a current participant of our College Scholars program.


    Students also heard from Alao Hogan, a longtime EHTP student and founding co-chair of our alumni council, who has gone on to serve in the Army and earn several undergrad and graduate degrees. And each year our East Harlem Hero, Olga Ramos, brings superhero capes to her namesake class. With this simple act, Olga sent a strong message: All of our Scholars are budding superheroes. As we reflect over the holiday on the richness that community brings to our lives, we give thanks to those who champion our youth in such meaningful ways.

    Posted in: EHTP News

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