Influencer Spotlight: How Geoffrey Canada Changed Education

February 10, 2016

Education is, and has always been, one of the most important aspects of growing up. Spending time learning about new subjects, interacting with other students, and challenging yourself to reach new levels can shape the rest of your life.

To honor Black History Month, we wanted to take a look at one educator that is changing the way we view learning. Geoffrey Canada started the Harlem Children’s Zone in the mid-1990s as an attempt to change the social and educational constructs hurting urban youth. After growing up in a poverty-ridden neighborhood in the Bronx, he wound up graduating from Bowdoin College and attended the Harvard School of Education. He was selected by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be a member of the New York Education Reform Commission.

Canada marked off an area for the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City and attempted to reach as many kids as he could, effectively planning on supporting them and keeping them in school. The idea was to perpetuate success in this neighborhood by instilling a culture of positivity. Since its inception, Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone have helped thousands. In 2013 alone, the program worked with 12,300 students and 12,400 adults, providing after-school activities, college counseling, and more. About 95% of the high school seniors went off to college, a number that had risen significantly since the program started.

Beyond that, the program itself has helped other communities around the US (and internationally) grow to support students and increase high school graduation rates. Since 2005, Canada’s program has hosted workshops for almost 500 communities in the US alone, along with almost 200 communities worldwide.

Though Canada stepped down as CEO, he still remains heavily involved in Harlem Children’s Zone. His influence and hope for change has helped thousands of students graduate and attend college.

About The Author

Drew Evans
Drew Evans

​Drew is a content and social media guru. When he’s not working, he loves to photograph, play music, play sports, and travel. He is also weirdly obsessed with Thai food, Girl Scout cookies, and learning new languages (even though he’s not fluent in any). For any editorial ideas, contact info@admitsee.com.




Browse Successful Application Files

mark_pino
UPenn ‘20


Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions
lmelcher
Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSC, USC

Hey! I'm a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, and I'm from Los Angeles. I'm planning to major in Art History and do ballet and theater. Hope I can help!
hannah626
Duke ‘18


Accepted to UGA

I am a current junior at Duke studying biology, marine science, and markets and management studies
kltaylor96
Duke ‘19


Accepted to Duke, Northwestern, Elon , William & Mary, Centre, Campbell

I am someone who always shoots for the moon so that if I miss, I will land among the stars.

New Posts

10 College Interview Questions You Should Prepare For
10 College Interview Questions You Should Prepare For
November 17, 2017

Early applications are in and applicants should start preparing for the next application step: the college interview. About College Interviews First thing you should know about college interviews is that you probably won’t have...

Telluride Association Summer Program: Summer Program for Juniors
Telluride Association Summer Program: Summer Program for Juniors
November 14, 2017

Are you a highly motivated, intellectually curious high school junior? Apply to the Telluride Association Summer Program!Telluride Association Summer ProgramTelluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a free six-week summer education experience for high school...

Load More Posts