The Bronx Letters Foundation Food for Thought Benefit brings some of New York's best chefs together in one place for an incredibly delicious evening. Our foundation supports the UA Bronx Academy of Letters, which is located in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx, our country's poorest congressional district — three miles from Manhattan's Upper East Side. When the school opened its doors as a high school in September 2003, our founders – a dedicated team of students, parents, teachers, and community leaders – were united by a single idea: Students who can express themselves clearly in writing can do better in any path they choose in life. Today, our rigorous, college-preparatory academic program spans grades six through twelve. Our core curriculum is standards-based, with an intense focus on developing literacy and driving social change across the disciplines. It includes honors and AP courses, master-level arts electives, externships, and independent study courses.


The Bronx Letters Foundation works to ensure that our students and teachers have the tools they need to succeed.  Through frequent volunteer work, outreach within our city and tireless fundraising, we are committed to serving the BAL community and its promising students, who have the power and potential to change the world.


Our Mission

In addition to challenging academic work, we are also committed to promoting flexible, self-motivated learning outside of the classroom. Our teachers facilitate a wide variety of extracurricular programs, including student government, gay- straight alliance, drama, art, dance, cooking, book / library club, senior graduation, prom, and yearbook committees, and athletics such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and martial arts. During the year, our students participate in regular field trips to arts institutions, community outreach centers, job sites, colleges, and universities.

At Bronx Letters, our programs are each firmly grounded in the values of vision, integrity, tenacity, compassion, self- expression, and inquiry. Our graduates are highly articulate, critical readers and writers, fully prepared to tackle the opportunities they’ll discover in college and careers. They are capable problem solvers. They take pride in their independence, organization, and confidence. They celebrate engagement with and service to the community. They are healthy, energized, and fit. They cultivate and pursue wide and varied ambitions to be anything from poets, journalists, and musicians to politicians, doctors, and scientists. They are ready to maximize their learning and growth – not only during college years, which serve as the gateway to so much future opportunity and success, but throughout their lives. 


our vision

The Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters (BAL) is a public school serving grades 6 through 12 in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx - the poorest congressional district in the USA.

At Bronx Letters, we celebrate hard work, curiosity, self-expression, and service. Our graduates are articulate, critical readers and writers, prepared to tackle the opportunities they’ll meet in college and their careers. They are capable problem solvers. They take pride in their independence, organization, and confidence. They celebrate their engagement with and service to the community. They are healthy, energized, and fit. They cultivate and pursue wide and varied ambitions to be anything from poets, journalists, and musicians to politicians, doctors, and scientists.

They are ready to maximize their learning and growth – not only during their college years, which serve as the gateway to future opportunity and success, but throughout their lives.


At Bronx Letters, we’re always thinking about ways to make sure we’re cultivating spaces for students to use their voice. In a word that, often times, turns away from the voices of black and brown people, we create a place that’s helping our young people recognize that they’re powerful as social justice warriors, but also as readers and writers.”
— Brandon Cardet-Hernandez, Former Principal