Harlem Prep

Step by Step ~ A Retrospective ~ 1967–1975

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A Way Out of No Way:
Harlem Prep: Transforming Dropouts into Scholars, 1967–1977

By Hussein Ahdieh &
Hillary Chapman

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Harlem Preperatory School: An Alternative by Hussein Ahdieh (Dissertation, PDF, 7.4 MB)


The graduation ceremony was always held outside the school, often at the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. in front of the New York State office building in Harlem. The 1972 graduation was attended by 10,000 people.

The occasion was a source of pride for the entire cpommunity. The city would close the streets, set up a stage and provide parking for all the notables and speakers, who often arrived in limousines. The stage was packed with educators, CEOs, media personalities, reporters, parents and teachers. The music was provided by top musicians, including Mike Longo.

Certificate of appreciation were given to the friends of Harlem Prep by Assistant Headmaster Dr.Hussein Ahdieh; the students received their diplomas from Headmaster Dr. Ed Carpenter. The keynote speaker was often a community leader.

After graduation, Harlem Prep students went on to universities and colleges, including Harvard, Cornell, Fordham, Hamilton, Antioch, and Bryn Mawr.


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