Mission Statement

ESPI aims to address inequity of educational opportunity for academically advanced students, particularly from Black and Latino families, in racially isolated and low income elementary and middle schools in New York City.

What is the City Smart Scholars Program?

ESPI’s City Smart Scholars 5th through 8th grade program is designed for students from families who cannot afford private tutoring and are from communities which are under-represented in New York City’s selective high schools.

When Does the Program Start?

The initial program meets in East Harlem on Saturdays during the Spring. Students work for a full day, receiving instruction in English and Math and preparation for the New York State 5th Grade test, as well as several field trips.

Students who complete the program will be eligible for a four-week Summer program that emphasizes writing and critical reading skills and math problem-solving. Those who receive high scores on their 5th grade ELA and Math tests will also be eligible for a 16-week program in the Fall to prepare them for the Hunter College High School (HCHS) admissions test, which is given to 6th graders in January. School-year and summer programs continue through 6th and 7th grade, on through the high school admissions process in 8th grade.

The City Smart Scholars Program is focused on serving academically advanced students from schools in Washington Heights, Harlem and the Bronx. Qualifying students from other boroughs will not be turned away if they are able to commit to commute to our class locations.

ESPI, a not for profit 501(c)(3) founded in December 2014, was formed through the partnership efforts of concerned alumni, parents, and community leaders who believe it is critically important to  increase the admission rates of under-represented students of color in the Exam Schools. For more information, please contact us.

ESPI in the News

Hunter High School Is 9 Percent Black or Hispanic. Why Isn’t It Part of the Diversity Debate? – New York Times, August 21, 2018

ESPI City Smart Scholars 2018 Progress Report 


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