List of 1 members.

  • Photo of David Sykes

    David Sykes 

    Upper School Teacher and Director Hudson Scholars Program

List of 1 news stories.

  • Hackley’s Hudson Scholars

    Hudson Scholars Program Update

    Hackley’s Hudson Scholars community continues to offer support to our Hudson Scholars families during these challenging and unprecedented times. Please read below for a program update from Director David Sykes.
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"The character and actions I saw in the Hudson Scholars probably embodied the mottoes “united we help one another,” “enter here to be and find a friend,” and “unreserved effort” as much or more than in any other group of students I saw in my thirteen years at Hackley. The program renewed my appreciation for learning and for the power of reaching out to forge connections with others." -- Julia S. '16

“The Scholars taught me so many lessons and bring a can-do spirit to their studies that inspires me to be a better student, teammate, and friend. Additionally, being a mentor to these scholars is simply a happy and rewarding experience as they are so teachable, grateful, and funny." -- Ellie G. '18

"This has by far been the best part of my summer. The Scholars are some of the most passionate kids I’ve ever met and I’m glad to have had the chance to spend two weeks with them." -- Amy C. '19


“I like how we get to learn and have fun at the same time” -- Yesfreily, Scholar '16

“Being a Hudson Scholar felt like a privilege because I felt like we all became a family.” -- Xiomara, Scholar '17

“My mom told me that it would be like school, but it is a lot more fun than school!”
-- Kayla, Scholar '17

"I make another best memory every day." -- Angel, Scholar '16

List of 1 news stories.

  • Praise for Hudson Scholars

    I’m writing as a Hackley parent of the last 13 years, whose daughter became involved with Hudson Scholars last summer. The program is the most significant community service Hackley has offered in my experience, and its potential for creating goodwill with Hackley's neighbors and truly changing the lives of young people cannot be undervalued. Thank you for your initial and continued support of the program.
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    • Hudson Scholars rhythm section

School Life

Hudson Scholars

Hudson Scholars is a dynamic enrichment program for academically promising low-income middle school students. This tuition-free program brings students from our local communities of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown to the Hilltop for ongoing summer and academic year support and mentoring. The Program brings together Hackley teachers, Upper School volunteers, and the incredible Scholars for a meaningful and valuable experience.
The program extends the reach of Hackley's educational resources to deliver high standards, a comprehensive advising system, and a team of passionate teachers and mentors to provide the Scholars with academic instruction and the development of character, leadership and social/emotional skills.

By preventing summer learning loss, inspiring creativity and passion for learning, instilling confidence, and fostering positive relationships, the Hudson Scholars program seeks to provide the Scholars with a transformational experience.

This comprehensive program, taking place during summers and the school year, helps the Hudson Scholars gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in middle school, thus preparing them to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.

The Hudson Scholar Program also strives to greater fulfill Hackley’s own mission, as it seeks to strengthen ties between Hackley and the local Westchester community. In doing so, the program provides the opportunity for the Hackley community to learn from students with varying perspectives and backgrounds while also creating a learning environment for enriching mentorship, growth, and leadership.

The Program
Hudson Scholars begins by recruiting fifth grade students and their families from the Washington Irving school community who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Upon review of student applications, the program invites approximately 15 students to join the new cohort and begin their journey as Hudson Scholars.

Summer: The summer enrichment consists of a full school day with engaging and challenging classes in English, math, science, social studies, drama, art, computer science, and physical education. The program emphasizes leadership skills while promoting values such as hard work, integrity, empathy, resilience, and community through a thoughtfully-designed character education curriculum. Special events, including field trips, a family day, an introduction to college day, parent gathering and support, an overnight campout, and more, further expand the summer experience.

School Year Programming: During the school year, the program offers ongoing academic support through weekly tutoring sessions and monthly Saturday activities that sustain and strengthen the relationships and sense of community.

Program Growth: Hackley’s Hudson Scholars program added a fourth cohort in the summer of 2020 with support from the EE Ford Foundation, bringing the program to full capacity! Read more about EE Ford Foundation’s contribution at 

Hudson Scholars & Hackley Mentors

One of the most critical elements of the program is the incredible relationships that develop between the Scholars and the Hackley high school mentors. Having a role model who loves school, who is excited about learning, who has a variety of interests and passions, and who treats other people kindly and with respect is invaluable to the Scholars. The way in which the Scholars look up to the mentors is truly special.

Over the past two summers, over forty Hackley high school students (including some alums), volunteered their time to help with the summer program and even more volunteered to be involved during the school year. The relationships that form between the Scholars and the Hackley mentors are a unique and important - one, and one from which not only do the middle school Scholars benefit, but also the Hackley’s high school mentors.

List of 7 news stories.

List of 8 news stories.

  • The Scholars and mentors enjoy a game and dance break during an October gathering.

    Hudson Scholars Tutoring Returns to the Hilltop

    October 2022 marked the return of Hudson Scholars in-person tutoring, nearly three years after COVID-19 moved the gatherings to Zoom.
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  • Mentors Helping out the Goodie and Hoodie distribution.

    Hudson Scholars Holiday Zoom Reunion

    On Saturday, December 18 the Hudson Scholars Holiday Reunion took place on Zoom. Prior to the reunion, Hudson Scholar Upper School mentors wrote holiday cards and packed a goodie bag for each Scholar. 
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  • Celebrating Together

    The 4th annual Hudson Scholars Holiday Party on 12/15 brought together about 150 people--the Scholars and their families, over 20 Upper School mentors (and some of their families too), numerous Hackley teachers--and a great deal of Holiday cheer and joy!
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  • Come Support Hudson Scholars on Saturday, 7/27

    Saturday, July 27th, the Hudson Scholars program will run three exciting Service-Learning projects based in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Please stop by, say hi, join in, buy some lemonade or cheer on our Scholars, Hudson Scholars faculty and amazing Upper School Mentors.
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  • Hudson Scholars at (STEM) Work!

    On Saturday, January 12th, 30 Upper School mentors, under the leadership of computer science teachers Melissa Tranchida and Jed Dioguardi, worked with 25 Hudson Scholars in what was a fun day of engaging STEM/tech activities
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  • Grateful for Hudson Scholars

    The Hudson Scholars and Hackley's Upper School student mentors planned to join forces to help with the RiverWalk clean up in Tarrytown on November 17, but the previous day’s surprise snowstorm forced a change in plans.
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  • Passion Day at Hudson Scholars

    This summer, current Hackley students and young alumni introduced the Hudson Scholars to a wide range of activities they love.
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  • Hudson Scholars: Helping One Another To Be Good

    Perspectives Fall 2016-17 By Steve Bileca, Assistant Headmaster:  In 1904, Hackley’s First Headmaster, Theodore Chickering Williams, wrote that he had hoped to create a school “where it should be easy to be good.” Generations of Hackley students, teachers and families have felt drawn to the Hilltop by that beautiful aspiration ever since.
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