About UPLIFT Academy

UPLIFT Academy (formerly known as New York Academy Educational Services) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 2005 to provide high-quality educational services and pathways to higher education. We primarily operate in Northern New Jersey and prioritize serving communities that face substantial socio-economic barriers to educational attainment relative to their surrounding community. We understand that one’s income level, immigration status, or gender, for example, can impact the amount of resources and opportunities available to them to be able to succeed in the educational or professional realm. UPLIFT’s founders wanted to establish a level playing field among all New Jersey students regardless of socio-economic situation by providing mentorship guidance that increases short-term academic outcomes and cultivates long-term growth. Our founders deeply understood the educational challenges faced by those coming from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds as they themselves grew up in low-income households. Their experiences motivated them to want to inspire and instill constant curiosity and a love of learning in each student, especially those dealing with poverty.

At UPLIFT, we create equitable and high-quality educational programs for students from low-income households in New Jersey so they can reach their greatest academic and social potential. To achieve our goals, we currently focus on the following programmatic priorities:

  • College Attainment for All: empowering high school students from low-income backgrounds to set and reach goals of quality higher education,
  • Equitable Access to STEM/STEAM: building skills for the modern world and inspiring curiosity among students who have historically been left out of and stand to gain the most from education in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics,
  • Student and Educator Recognition: encouraging students, teachers, and administrators at schools in low-income areas to perform at their best by financially rewarding exceptional achievements and supporting their growth.

UPLIFT provides these services for free to persons with the greatest socio-economic needs.

By offering accessible and robust educational experiences, UPLIFT fulfills its mission of leading New Jersey towards higher quality education standards for all.

Contact UPLIFT today at [email protected] to get started on the journey toward achieving your educational goals!

Uplift Academy Partial Logo


UPLIFT provides and promotes high-quality educational services to students of New Jersey to close the achievement gap resulting from socioeconomic inequities, and to help students of all backgrounds reach their greatest academic and intellectual potential.

Uplift Academy Partial Logo


We envision a world where all students are offered equitable educational opportunities and they aspire to solve social injustices.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our mission and vision are aligned with four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – quality education, no poverty, decent work and economic growth, and reduced inequalities.

Our Motto

“Every student deserves a better education and a better future.”


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10 Core Values of UPLIFT Academy

UPLIFT’s unwavering foundation rests on 10 core values, each serving as a fundamental principle that guides every aspect of our organization’s efforts to lift up the quality of students’ education.

UPLIFT is committed to fostering an environment where students can excel in their thirst for knowledge. We provide resources and opportunities and promote goal-setting for intellectual growth.

UPLIFT encourages students to seek assistance and believes that trusted interpersonal connections like those cultivated between mentees and mentors are important to one’s development. We understand that individualized support provided through mentorship has the potential to change educational and professional paths and lead to a better quality of life in the long-term.

UPLIFT believes that everyone regardless of their socio-economic background deserves an equal opportunity to excel anywhere in life. Thus, we focus on reducing gaps in privilege by providing equitable access to educational resources. Our goal is to uplift those students that face the greatest barriers in their pursuit of their educational ambitions.

UPLIFT grants students the necessary tools and guidance to logically examine their options and make informed decisions for their futures. We encourage long-term vision and short-term motivation through goal setting, so students gain practical knowledge and strong reasoning skills.

UPLIFT recognizes the importance of building character and appreciation by exercising gratitude, and it is something that we as an organization practice in our relationships with our financial and moral supporters. It is also a quality on which we place the utmost importance on the students we serve so that they have a strong sense of gratitude and aspire to give back to society throughout their lives.

At UPLIFT, we take ownership of our actions and believe in stewarding a culture of accountability not only among ourselves but also within those we serve. We cultivate this value in our students so that throughout their lives, they embody responsibility and reliability.

UPLIFT trains individuals to excel in life, and that means equipping individuals with the skills that are expected of modern professionals. Professional development is continuously promoted at all levels of our organization from students and mentors to educators and administrators.

UPLIFT is dedicated to fostering partnerships with universities, schools, businesses, and forward-thinking individuals to help expand our reach and to give students a plethora of outlets to explore their academic and professional ambitions.

As a nonprofit organization, UPLIFT understands the importance and impact of community service; therefore, we motivate students to also contribute to their community in some way. We hope that they will pass along the lessons they learn from us to their peers so that we can more greatly affect communities of need.

UPLIFT’s goal-setting principles and ambitious objectives serve as a benchmark for students to eventually surpass. Their progress is tracked over time to ensure they are not only meeting but exceeding their goals.

New York Academy


Levent Koch, PhD 
Chief Executive Officer

Neriman Kose 
Academic Coordinator & College Counselor

Levent Ulker
Business Officer

Non-Discrimination Policy

NYA does not unlawfully discriminate internally (in its administrative and program operations) or externally (in provision of services) on the basis of race, political orientation, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, or mental or physical disability or any other status prohibited by applicable law.