Harlem Children's Zone Reviews | Glassdoor

Harlem Children's Zone Reviews

Updated July 2, 2018
213 reviews

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2.6
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Geoffrey Canada
110 Ratings

213 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "You really are making a difference in the youth of Harlem, NY" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Working with children and staff" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Part time Healthy Harlem staff especially Nutrition Educators work the hardest and are abused" (in 19 reviews)

  • "There is no clear direction and there is a lack of support from upper management" (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "College advisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - N/A in New York, NY
    Former Employee - N/A in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Learn to work smart. Love the kids.

    Cons

    A lot of work

    Advice to Management

    Take care of the staff


  2. "Underpaid/poor leadership/not well equipped"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You feel like you make a difference in children's life.

    Cons

    The materials are not helping the children and mandatory irrelevant workshops

    Advice to Management

    none

  3. "Healthy Harlem"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Healthy Harlem is great in theory
    - Free school lunch
    - Great way to build relationships in the community with other organizations
    - The work itself is very easy
    - The kids

    Cons

    - Management as a whole is pretty trash. There is no formal training and staff relationships are strained.

    - There is a clear division between Healthy Harlem and After-school which causes many problems. Healthy Harlem management is non-existent. Your are left to ball fight with the After-school Directors who do not have your best interest in mind. All they care about are the numbers so they can get their bonus.

    - Part time Healthy Harlem staff especially Nutrition Educators work the hardest and are abused. There is no real support but everyone just wants results (food and attendance)

    - Healthy Harlem is very triggering for most staff and is not well received by most even the students. People do not want “healthy” idealism forced on them and it causes staff, parents and students to be extremely resistant.

    - Nepotism and favoritism keep this organization going which is why turn over is so high.

    - Working too hard will only leave you burnt out and unappreciated. Pay is also very low.

    - Do not work here longer than a year. Use it for experience and leave ASAP or they will push you out for not “fitting into the culture”.

    Advice to Management

    - Get rid of policies that you are not willing to enforce aka the “Wellness Policy”.

    - Healthy Harlem director is not competent and is only in the position due to nepotism.

    - After-school directors should not be directly managing HH staff. Directors are not capable of ridding their own biases to effectively manage a program they don’t have full understanding of.

    - If you want policies to work then give ALL staff training on them versus having lower level management implement and enforce policies.


  4. "Culture of whatever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone part-time

    Pros

    This place is real cool, if you want to be lazy and not do your job properly, because guess what? Nobody is really watching. If that appeals to you, then apply here. You can be the worst, close-minded, illiterate person and nobody is going to say anything. All you need is a degree and if you have a masters then you are set because if you don't, then some people won't respect you.

    Cons

    Inevitably if you work in the nonprofit world, you care about integrity, so even if you can be lazy and people won't look at you twice to check your work, that's not going to make you feel proud after a while. It's all about numbers with this organization, so it doesn't matter if programming blows or people aren't delivering on their word or respecting you, as long as there are numbers to list (students to record), then it's all gravy. I don't know how this organization even runs with so many incompetencies but it does and people love getting paid for doing nothing and figuring out ways to make the numbers work at whatever cost.

    Advice to Management

    Reboot. Rearrange. Really look at what's going on around you. Stop treating part timers like TRASH.


  5. "Burned out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Teacher in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Harlem Children's Zone full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Helping the underprivileged. Making a difference.

    Cons

    Not what it looks like from the outside.

    Advice to Management

    START REALLY HOLDING THE KIDS ACCOUNTABLE.


  6. "Constantly dreaded going to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Free food sometimes
    - Pay can be okay to excellent depending on qualifications

    Cons

    Management can’t seem to find a balance between vaguely delegating and micromanaging. Missteps are usually met with passive aggression.

    There is no culture of discipline, students don’t listen to instructors and staff. Students also show no respect to employees. Punishments are frequently threatened without any follow through. Punishments are often inappropriate when carried out, such as withholding snacks from the students.

    Staff frequently puts their hands on the students to forcibly move them from place to place. I once saw a student throw a tantrum, whereupon security staff threw said student over his shoulder and carried him away.

    I’ve frequently seen grown adults scream in the face of children as young as six for misbehaving. Adults frequently resort to mocking students and stepping down to their level.

    Site visits from benefactors are a sham. The school actually appears to be functional when the Goldman Sachs executives tour the halls, but only because the staff start caring about discipline and order when the bottom line is at stake.

    Antiquated workflows that depend on filing cabinets, Manila envelopes, and stacks of paper. It’s 2018, we do these things in the cloud now. Lost documents are a day in the life.

    Advice to Management

    Scrap everything. Start from the ground up. Re-staff the entire school, give all staff mandatory education on evidence based models of discipline and classroom management. Hold both students and teachers to a higher standard of decorum.


  7. "IT Support Technician"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, and great people

    Cons

    Nepotism, a lot of turnover, unstable leadership.

    Advice to Management

    None, they won't listen

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Sink or Sink"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The students are great to work with. They are difficult at times; however, the positive impact you can have on their lives is rewarding.

    Cons

    DO NOT WORK HERE!!! Please consider all of this information. Do not make the mistake I made in choosing to work here.
    - Nepotism, unorganized, high turn over rate (just look at all the job postings on Indeed), staff are fired without reason or warning (you are 100% disposable).
    - Staff who hold higher positions (i.e., administration, upper management) are unethical, unprofessional, and will provide you with little to no guidance if you ask for clarification or assistance with a task (especially one that isn't even in your job description). You are set up to fail. Also, some of upper management are not properly certified or trained.
    - The majority of work is data driven; however, the data is completely inaccurate. The lowest grade a student can receive (which is later added to their official high school transcript) is a 55%. Meaning, a student can never show up to class, refuse to hand in assignments, misbehave, and still come out with a 55%. How is this even allowed?? You are lying to colleges.
    - Instead of focusing on major issues within the school's framework, the biggest "concern" as of right now is students bringing in outside food. I'm sorry, but if a student from a low SES background comes in with a bagel, you shouldn't take it away from them and throw it out. Especially, if that food was bought with their own money. Students receive ISS, OSS, and detention if this "incident" occurs.
    - You will receive no training or guidance when you start working. Hence the review title, "Sink or Sink." Nothing you do is ever right. When you ask for advice in order to help improve your competencies in your position, you will be met with hostility, inaccurate information, or you will be completely ignored.
    - Once again, you are 100% disposable (even if you think you are safe) and you will be set up to fail.

    Advice to Management

    - Remove the principal from Promise Academy II, effective immediately. She will include her "friends" in meetings that do not pertain to them. She will also tell at-risk students that their "feelings don't matter to her." A professional educator/leader should never say those words, especially to a vulnerable student.
    - Have a higher appreciation for the hardworking staff (basically the staff who have worked there less than 3 years). The professional staff who can really make a positive impact on the school will either leave on their own accord since they are so miserable or they are fired without reason or warning.
    - Instead of sending the principal's from PA1 and PA2 to Abu Dhabi for "professional development," maybe you can invest that money into improving the schools environment and morale (i.e., smart boards, laptops, school supplies).


  9. "Great Organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Health Educator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Health Educator in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Harlem Children's Zone part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very receptive to feedback, great resources for the community they serve

    Cons

    Difficult to get certain supplies--there seems to be money for some things but not for printing, getting metro cards for families, or yoga mats for my school.


  10. "Dean"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Dean
    Former Employee - Dean
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Children's Zone full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great resource to the community.

    Cons

    Data driven instruction dilutes the effectiveness of critical thinking, as scholars’ main focus is performing well on tests. Behabioral management is a facade. This creates great barriers for educators.

    Advice to Management

    IMPROVE employee relations. It will help with retention.


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