Heights Initiative

The Heights Initiative is an exciting way to volunteer in the Washington Heights Community. Through a plethora of student-run venues and opportunities, students can make a critical impact on the local community.

Business Initiative

Want to use your business skills to help your community? If so, the Business Initiative, directed by Professor Michael Strauss, works with the Audubon Partnership to help local merchants improve their businesses and increase revenue. Our interns, both men and women, have worked in the past as interns in a beauty parlor, restaurant, and book store. Our work includes creating websites, developing databases, and marketing. Any student interested in assisting local small businesses with their marketing, IT, accounting, and related needs should contact Professor Strauss at strauss8@optonline.net.

YU Bridgers

The YU Bridgers presents a unique opportunity to be active in your community. Students will run across the GW Bridge periodically, with the goal being to engage in a productive and eco-friendly activity of cleaning the bridge. Any garbage will be picked up and areas that require maintenance will be notified to the appropriate authorities.

Literacy Program

The YU Literacy Program coordinates the tutoring of more than 80 Yeshiva University students in P.S 132,  P.S. 143, and WHEELS. Our tutors work one-on-one with students to help them succeed academically. Tutors commit to tutoring as little as 50 minutes per week in a subject of their preference (English, math, science, or social studies). Together with the President's Circle Tutoring Program (see below), the YU Literacy Program has been able to impact the Washington Heights community in a meaningful way.

President's Circle Tutoring Program

The President's Circle Tutoring Program works closely with an after-school program run by the Young Adult Borough Centers (YABC) in the GW High School (193rd and Audubon). The after-school program provides classes and advising for students striving to graduate high school and begin college. The students range in age from 17 to 22. Our program provides weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions in biology, chemistry, history, and English to aid in-class work, Regents and the SATs. Furthermore, our tutors have formed lasting relationships with the students of YABC.

College Edge

College EDge is a Yeshiva University student-run organization founded to inform and educate underrepresented public high school students about college. We help students get the edge they need on their college education, both by exciting them about the prospect of attending college, and helping them achieve that goal. Students learn how to properly prepare themselves for college during high school, what their best college options are, and how to gain admission to those schools. Mindful that some students prefer trade school to college, we also strive to assist students in their choice of a career path by providing information, resources, and networking opportunities. Visit www.collegeedge.us for more information.


FUTURE, a program started by the University of Michigan IDEA Institute, aims to involve students in augmenting science education for local high school students. The YU ACS Chemistry Club will be going to Gregorio Luperon High School to implement this initiative. Our students will work with their teachers to develop scientific modules for the students on topics directly connected to their curriculum. The level of interaction is flexible and can range from visits to the classroom to organizing exciting field trips. Subjects are Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Math. 


Project START (Students, Teachers, and Researchers Teach) Science! is a new initiative in which students from Yeshiva University, accompanied by professors from YU, design and implement scientific curricular modules in a local public school. The pilot program, starting in Spring 2011, consists of 8 courses in the disciplines of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Engineering, and will be taught at P.S. 366 to the fifth grade class. This is an excellent opportunity to put into practice the theory learned in class while simultaneously helping the Washington Heights community. START is run by the YU ACS Chemistry Club. 


The goal of this project is to run bone marrow drives targeting the Hispanic community's eligible donors. Currently, if a Hispanic patient is in need of a bone marrow transplant, the chance of finding a match is barely over 10%. We hope to increase this percentage by raising awareness in the local Hispanic population and by initiating annual drives. We are looking for students to help in advertising, planning, and running the drives. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and for students pursuing a career in medicine or global health.

Heights Health Initiative

The Heights Health Initiative is a new program coordinated by Yeshiva University students in association with the ACDP (The Community Association of Progressive Dominicans). The program involves two after-school programs at three local elementary schools in Washington Heights. Volunteers can help coordinate an after-school basketball league or help facilitate an after-school running program in partnership with the New York Runners "Might Miles Program." The aim of the Heights Health Initiative is to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and team-work in a safe and fun environment.