School Support

The Club’s education support program provides opportunities for Harvard Club volunteers (“Harvols”), whether or not graduates of Harvard, to aid students and faculty at two of Chicago’s public high schools: Walter Payton College Prep (“Payton”) and Henry Ford Academy Power House High (“PHH”).

Payton ( has a student body of about 800 with one-third of the students from low-income households.  Payton’s student body is about 30% African-American, 30% Anglo, 30% Latino, 6% Asian and 1% Native American.  The Club began working with Payton in 2001, one year after it opened.  Payton is a selective enrollment school, accepting new students from more than 12,000 city-wide applicants, and ranks in the top five schools in the state based on state-wide tests.

PHH ( opened to 250 ninth and tenth grade students at the newly renovated Charles H. Shaw Technology and Learning Center in August 2009.  PHH has a student body of about 600 that are 99% African American from low-income households.  Admission to PHH is based on an open lottery system drawing from the neighborhoods surrounding the school.  PHH hosted the Club’s Early College Awareness program in the spring of 2011 and Harvol programs were launched at the school in the autumn of 2011.

Volunteer activities at both schools include a variety of opportunities:

  • Tutoring math and science one-on-one
  • Joining a Harvol team of 3-4 persons to work with school instructors to develop and teach a course on Saturdays on math fundamentals and on science fundamentals
  • Participating in career day meetings with students
  • Mentoring students, including taking groups of 3-4 to museums, concerts, sports events, etc – expeditions that you design and propose
  • Design and teaching of seminars, potentially in a wide range of interest areas including art, architecture, photography, design, and music.

Volunteer activities are developed by the Education Support Committee with the administrators and faculty of the school.  Information about the programs is broadcast via email. 

More information about the schools is available on their web sites.  More information about the volunteer programs at each school is available at:  

Chicago Public Schools requires each volunteer to complete annually a volunteer clearance form which can be found at:

To volunteer, sign up at: