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More than 600 members of the Philadelphia Futures community gathered at Drexel University on Saturday, January 13 for the 2018 Annual Conference.  The theme of the 2018 Conference, “Build Your Future,” recognized the organization’s new leadership and Philadelphia Futures’ college partnership with Albright College, its tenth college partnership.

The Annual Conference began with opening remarks from Executive Director Sara Woods who announced the new college partnership with Albright College saying, “This is our 10th college partnership, paving the way for more of our students to attend a college that is the right academic, social and financial fit.  We are grateful to Albright College for their investment in our scholars and their commitment to our mission.” A video created by Albright accompanied this exciting opportunity for our scholars.

Vice President of Enrollment Management Paul M. Cramer released a statement “Albright College is pleased to partner with Philadelphia Futures to support low income, first-generation students in their pursuit of a high quality college experience.  The significant support resources of Philadelphia Futures closely matches the nurturing environment of Albright College.  That combination will serve the students with whom we work in significant ways.  Albright’s commitment to a strong liberal arts education in a diverse campus community will facilitate transition and help foster successful outcomes for students from the Philadelphia Futures program. As important, Albright has every confidence that those students will contribute greatly to the Albright community and the greater world around them.”

Following the announcement, the Conference keynote speakers Otis D. Hackney III, Chief Education Officer of the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Education and La-Toya P. Hackney, Assistant General Counsel at TE Connectivity shared their journeys to success and the importance of setting aspirational goals, working hard and smart, trusting your self-worth, believing in the power of your intellect, embracing your support system and being open-minded.

The audience was then able to engage in a community activity where they were given a picture of a tool and asked to write down what tool they would bring to help the Philadelphia Futures scholars.  Sara said, “As we build our future, we will need powerful tools to help achieve our goals and dreams.  Some of those tools reside within ourselves, and others will require asking for help from our support network. “

Conference goers then attended various workshops geared towards different stages of the college-going process and specific constituent groups. To close the day, the Philadelphia Futures community gathered for the presentation of our annual Excellence Awards, where high school scholars, collegians, family members and mentors were honored.

Relive the 2018 Annual Conference on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages or search for #BuildYourFuture and #AnnualConference2018.  Photos of the event will be posted to Philadelphia Futures’ Facebook page.