Why Young Philanthropists Are Flocking To Support This Legendary Harlem Charter School

“How do I march, donate funds, educate my peers, fight for legislation and prosecution, while also dealing with systemic racism in my personal life, and finding time to grieve… all at once? Personally, I’ve chosen to use my resources to enact change in the specific places where I have the greatest impact,” wrote Arielle Patrick, an Executive Vice President at Edelman and one of New York’s most influential young philanthropists, in an email to her circle this summer. “I can’t solve everything, but I can try, using what I have at my fingertips.”

As a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Development Committee, Patrick is leading the charge to raise funds for Harbor Science and Arts, an important Harlem charter school (the second oldest in the state) that has served the city’s underprivileged students for 20 years. 

“It’s no secret that one of the keys to bridging the privilege gap in this country is education,” she continued, highlighting the advanced curriculum and supportive community the school has fostered over the years.

At a time when race, class, and cultural inequity is at the forefront of people’s minds, Patrick’s call to action has been heard by her fellow young gala-goers who are seeking a way to fuel the change they’ve been hashtagging about in a monetary, and thus, tangible way. Harbor has, after all, been an essential resource for the mostly Black and brown students who attend. Supporting the next generation of leaders is certainly one way to partake in the building of a better future.

However, Harbor’s legacy of philanthropy extends far beyond its new batch of supporters. The original organization from which the school stems was founded by the late Anthony Drexel Duke, a scion of two of America’s most well-to-do society families (yes, that’s Drexel, as in Drexel University and Duke, as in Duke University). When he passed in 2014, Boys & Girls Harbor, which he had originally founded as a summer camp, was praised as his greatest achievement – a judgment he most certainly would have agreed with, considering his lifelong dedication to building it. 

“I support the Harbor because it teaches its children the same values that our country was founded on: hard work, grit, integrity, freedom of expression through the arts, community, and collaboration,” Patrick told us. “It has been my honor to serve on the Board and hope that the New York community will donate to ensure that one of our oldest charter schools can continue serving, protecting, growing, and nurturing our future leaders.” 

So, if you care to support an invaluable institution (and be in some pretty cool company while you’re at it), whip out your wallet and head HERE to make a donation, and learn how else you can get involved. Need more convincing? Click through to see what some of Harbor’s students have to say.

[Photo courtesy Arielle Patrick/BFA]

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