Teak’s Mission

The TEAK Fellowship believes that motivation and potential, not economic circumstances, should determine a student’s future. TEAK unlocks access to outstanding education and transformative experiences for exceptional NYC students, who use these opportunities to change their lives and the world around them.

IN 2017,


Middle School and High School Fellows



College Scholars and recent graduates



highly motivated


1 out of 4 New Yorkers live at or below the poverty line.
TEAK Fellows are among them.


In May 2017, TEAK welcomed 33 high-achieving and motivated low-income sixth graders from four of the five boroughs of New York City into Class 20. Students and families attended information sessions, submitted test scores, and participated in interviews and group activities as part of the extensive admissions process.



TEAK’s admission process is highly selective, with a 11% acceptance rate in the 2016-2017 cycle.



16 Public Schools
8 Charter Schools
1 Parochial School



297 Applications Received
81 Finalists
33 Students Admitted


15 Females
18 Males




45% Latino/Hispanic
40% African American
12% Asian/Pacific Islander
3% Causasian


The unique combination of Scholarship, Leadership, Citizenship, and Fellowship ensures that TEAK graduates have both the academic and social capital to achieve their full potential.


TEAK recognizes leadership potential in all who are enrolled in the TEAK Fellowship. Through the Leadership Course all Fellows are taught the skills and perspective to thoughtfully and purposely effect positive change in their communities. TEAK Fellows are leaders in class discussions, on stage, and on athletic fields. Eighty-six percent of students serve in leadership roles at their high schools, breaking additional barriers and charting new paths as they step into prominent roles. Their impact is as impressive as their accomplishments.



93% of Class 14 Fellows held a senior leadership position.



Class 10 students received prestigious honors including a Fulbright Scholarship and a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs.


TEAK Fellows from Class 14 celebrated their high school graduations and acceptances to colleges at the Annual Senior Send Off dinner with family, staff, and board members.

Pictured: Calista Lee, Princeton 2021 with TEAK trustee, Randy Winn, Princeton 1992.


Each year, through a comprehensive admissions process TEAK selects 30 bright, highly motivated students from low-income families who are eager for opportunity and challenge. From day one, they pursue rigorous, enriching curricula taught by experienced public and private school teachers. In after-school, Saturday, and summer classes, TEAK Fellows develop the literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in top independent day and boarding schools. They learn about themselves, what they love, and what they can achieve.


100% of Class 14 Fellows gained admission to highly competitive colleges including 54% to Ivy League Institutions.


93% of College Scholars from Class 10 graduated from college in 2017.


TEAK Alumni Association assists with fundraising and recruiting future students, and engages in various mentoring, volunteering, and networking opportunities for both Fellows and Alumni.

Pictured from left: Nana Amoh, Danya Contreras, and Jenilssa Holguin all from TEAK Class 6.


TEAK students effect change through service. Each year, one TEAK cohort dedicates its entire summer to a full-time volunteer experience, teaching at-risk youth, providing meals to seniors, and supporting families who are homeless or face housing instability. And, throughout the Fellowship, each student will complete 100 additional volunteer hours — totaling 3,000 hours for each class — dedicated to improving and giving back to their school and local communities. These experiences change Fellows for the better, and in turn strengthen their communities. With the largest percentage of TEAK alumni working in education, public policy, and non-profit organizations (34%), TEAK students are having a direct impact on their communities.


Twenty-six TEAK Fellows gave over 4,550 hours of their time to local New York City non-profit and public service organizations during the Morgan McKinzie Summer of Service Program.


TEAK distinguishes itself from its peer organizations through its dedication to relationship-building and investment in growing each student as an individual. At the same time, they remain part of the larger Fellowship — a strong cohort of peers going through the TEAK experience together and helping to support one another along the way. Their sense of camaraderie is strengthened through group outings to Broadway shows, museum exhibitions and other cultural offerings. These students are also connected to an extensive network beyond TEAK: schools partners, alumni, mentors, internship hosts, and board members who work to support students and continue to open doors along their educational journey.


TEAK’s Board of Directors presented the 2nd Annual Quiz Ball at the Edison Ballroom, raising over $1,200,000. Over 350 sponsors, donors, alumni, and students came together to celebrate our corporate honoree, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and volunteer of the year Jake Brenner for their ongoing support of TEAK.

The Numbers

In 2017, TEAK received over $2.8M in support from generous donors, with total expenses at $2.6M of which 84% was used for programs.

We Thank You!

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