An Overview of Harlem Prep
Harlem Prep was founded in 1967, originally as an extension of the "street academies" program of the New York Urban League. The need for Harlem Prep was clear: with no high schools in Central Harlem, and a high dropout rate of students, Harlem Prep sought to enroll the large population of students who had left the public high school system, for various reasons. After spending its inaugural year at the Harlem Armory, Harlem Prep moved to its permanent location on 136th and 8th Avenue, in a re-purposed supermarket. Led by Headmaster Edward Carpenter and a diverse set of faculty, over the next seven years as an independently run and financed school with support from the philanthropic and corporate sector, as well as the local community, Harlem Prep would graduate and send to college many hundreds of students. With a motto of "strength through diversity," Harlem Prep was a powerful example of the potential of educational triumph. After struggling to stay afloat financially, Harlem Prep had no choice but to be overtaken by the New York City Board of Education in February 1974, existing as part of the public school system as an alternative school until the early 1980s.
Step By Step: The Story of Harlem Prep Documentary
This 22-minute documentary on Harlem Prep was created by Standard Oil/Exxon, in the early 1970s, and describes the school with footage and personal commentary. This is perhaps the most footage remaining of Harlem Prep.
This website features general information about Harlem Prep from the perspective of Dr. Hussein Ahdieh, a former assistant principal at Harlem Prep. Dr. Ahdieh has also co-wrote a book on Harlem Prep -- more information is available on the website.