With the generous support of Hunter alumni, the HCHS Alumnae/i Association provides financial support to the high school, which addresses both long term projects and immediate needs.
Twice a year the Association reaches out to the school to solicit requests for support. Faculty grant applications are reviewed by the HCHSAA Grants Committee, and its recomendations for support are presented to the full Board for a vote. Once approved, the Association notifies the teachers and administrators and issues a payment to the school. The amount of funding available is directly related to the success of our Annual Fund Campaign and Class Gifts.
- In 2018-2019: Over $150,000 disbursed in grants to support students by providing laptops, health, physical education, and athletics materials, underwriting tournament costs for the Debate Team and the Robotics Club, providing visiting artists, and underwriting attendance at the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. In addition, grants allowed faculty and staff to attend the NAIS People of Color Conference, as well as conferences hosted by the Hallways and Peer Leadership Programs.
- In 2019-2020: Over $140,000 disbursed in grants including test prep for academically advanced students from low-income neighborhoods and racially isolated schools through the Exam Schools Partnership Initiative, and gifts to support facilities upgrades, the art and music program, science equipment, the foreign language department, and the school yearbook.
- In 2020: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning, over $75,000 disbursed to address challenges of online access, including eBook licenses so that students could have concurrent access to required texts, faculty wellness programs, visiting online artists, diversity committee internships to current students whose summer jobs were canceled, and resources that have been used to help create a safe and equitable learning environment throughout this year.
On behalf of the many students and faculty members who benefit from your generous support, thank you! These are some of the projects we have funded in recent years:
Visiting Artists Series
Now in its fifth year, the Visiting Artists Series was originally proposed to the HCHSAA in 2015 by the Chair of the Department of Art & Music as a way to enrich the exising curriculum. The program has been funded in full by the Alumnae/i Association since its inception.
A diverse group of artists and musicians are invited to spend the day at the high school working closely with upper grade students in master classes, lectures, and presentations. Some recent participating artists include: Pilar Molina Lopez (Animation Technologist and Software Engineer at Blue Sky Studios), Leo Grinhauz (cellist), Deborah Weisz (trombonist), Nick Didkovsky (guitarist, composer, and programmer) Kathleen Supové (pianist) and Larissa Bonfante, Ph.D. (Art Historian).
Diversity & Inclusion
One of our top priorities is ensuring that the ethnic and cultural diversity of Hunter’s student body reflects the broader community of New York City. This requires a two-pronged approach: attracting students of color and retaining them. We work with the school administration on an ongoing basis to find out how alumni support can be most useful. To date, this has involved providing financial support for students and teachers to attend a series of annual national and regional conferences to help ensure that all students experience Hunter as a welcoming and bias-free environment. Conference sessions address a wide variety of topics, and students and faculty return to the school and share their experience with the rest of the student body. The Association also supports the annual Boot Camp.
Freedom Institute’s Hallways Program provided 24 workshops for ninth- and tenth-graders.
Ninth graders discussed the topics of perfectionism and student image in a three-part workshop. Trainers provided a debriefing session to faculty and continue to provide professional development sessions this fall (also supported by the Alumnae/i Association).
Tenth graders worked on topics of healthy boundaries and consent. They also discussed cultural attitudes and expectations regarding consent, and identified how those influence communication and respect within relationships. They also had opportunities to define their own social, emotional, and sexual limits and preferences, as well as practicing differences in boundaries. The workshops also included a faculty debrief and recommendation session.
Our funds helped subsidize participation in Debate Team Tournaments, and the creation of a “No Questions Asked” fund. This allowed particpation for students who may not have qualified for fee waiver or whose families might be experiencing temporary financial difficulty. If a student cannot afford the subsidized price of a tournament, they simply report to Ms. Heard the amount that they can pay (they must pay at least a nominal amount) and they are allowed to participate in the tournament.
Each year from January to March the HCHS Robotics Team builds a robot for the FIRST Robotics Competition. While the specifics of the game change each year, certain elements remain constant. The robot must be able to perform autonomously for the opening minutes of the game via computer programming alone. Then the game is played by a student who operates the robot in the various parts of the game. FIRST Robotics Competitions are extremely time-intensive and expensive. The students learn how to design, build, test, and compete in games with the nearly 120 lb robot in competitions. The Alumnae/i Association has provided ongoing support for the team each year since fiscal year 2012.
As a club, the Robotics Team is committed to facilitating engineering-related activities and robotics education throughout the Hunter community and welcomes all students to the fascinating realm of hands-on engineering projects.
The department replaced their old electronic babies with new ones, and purchased a variety of books for the 7th grade.