News & Events

Taking the Next Step

Philadelphia Futures Releases 2016-2017 Annual Report 
PFARCover2017Philadelphia Futures is proud to release its 2016-2017 Annual Report: “Taking the Next Step.”

For almost 30 years, Philadelphia Futures has worked to ensure that every low-income, first-generation-to-college student that walks through its doors has the tools, resources and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty and take the next step to economic self-sufficiency.    

Our Annual Report features six exceptional individuals, who, at very different points in their lives, are all taking their next steps to college and career success. Through the experiences of  a Sponsor-A-Scholar and College Connection high school student, collegians, and alumni, the Report takes an in depth look at the steps each scholar took and the opportunities offered by Philadelphia Futures to help them reach their goals.

We invite you to read our Annual Report to learn more about the work of Philadelphia Futures and how you can take the next step with our scholars.  We are deeply grateful for the continued support of our community who make our work possible.

Young Women Rising Career Day



Thanks to J.P. Morgan, twenty young women scholars received the opportunity to attend a day-long career workshop and purchase a professional outfit.

When Philadelphia Futures’ mentor Rachael  Ferraro recognized the importance of career readiness programming for young women, particularly women of color, she and her Sponsor-A-Scholar mentee brainstormed ideas of how to meet this critical need. Rachael and her colleague Mary DiMartino then got to work turning the ideas into reality. 

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Build the Future: A Night with Our Scholars

BuildtheFutureOn Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Philadelphia Futures held Build the Future: A Night with Our Scholars at University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt – Dietrich’s Library Center in the Kisklak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.  

Hosted by Philadelphia Futures’ scholars, attendees had the unique opportunity to interact with the scholars, who were the hosts of the evening.  Executive Director Sara Woods began the evening with welcoming remarks. “Tonight is about our scholars:  showcasing their stories, their talents and the impact of their participation in Philadelphia Futures.  We know that Philadelphia Futures dramatically changes the course of our students’ lives, by providing the tools, resources and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college.  But hearing it directly from our students makes all the difference.   Our ask tonight is that you help us build their futures, and the future of Futures.” 

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Philadelphia Futures' Annual College Kick-Off

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180 first-generation-to-college scholars came together to celebrate their journeys to college and career success, and gained valuable professional networking skills.

Close to 200 members of the Philadelphia Futures community gathered at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, August 15 for the annual College Kickoff, where 75 scholars entering their first year of college had the opportunity to meet upperclassmen and alumni at their schools.

Philadelphia Futures opened the event by introducing the theme of the year, “Build Your Future.” More than 180 Philadelphia Futures students – all of whom attended Philadelphia high schools – came together to celebrate their journeys to college and career success, and also gained valuable professional networking skills.   

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Philadelphia Futures Stands Against Hate

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For 28 years, Philadelphia Futures has served as the model for high performing, results-oriented college access and success programs across the nation.  We transform lives by breaking down the barriers that have historically excluded low-income, first-generation-to-college students from achieving college success.

Today, we take a stand against racist rhetoric and behavior that threatens our students’ success.  Hate has no place at Philadelphia Futures, in our community, or anywhere in the world.  Silence in the face of racist words and actions is not an option. 

Philadelphia Futures is a place of high expectations, focus, respect, adaptability, accountability, and collaboration…but above all, respect. 

Our students, their success, and their lives matter. 

We welcome our community to join us in speaking out and exploring ways we can work together to ensure that our students succeed in college and in a world premised on respect and dignity. 


Help Philadelphia Futures Celebrate the Next Step!

Celebrate the Next Step
Philadelphia Futures recently received a generous contribution of $50,000 from a family with deep ties to the roots of our organization. This $50,000 gift will match all contributions 1:1 between now and the time of our College Kickoff event in August. Honor our legacy, invest in an exciting new chapter of Philadelphia Futures, and take advantage of this special time-limited opportunity to support our students and the entire Futures community as we take our next steps to continued success. 

Changing the Story: Philadelphia Futures’ 2017 Graduation Celebration

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Philadelphia Futures’ graduation rate from high school is 100%.

This is compared to the national average graduation rate of 83% and Philadelphia’s average graduation rate of 65%. Philadelphia Futures’ rate for enrollment in college is 100%. This is compared to the national rate of 63% and Philadelphia’s rate of 36%.

At Philadelphia Futures, the projected six-year college graduation rate for the class of 2013 is 75%. This is compared to the national average rate of 53%.  For first generation, low-income students, the national average rate for college graduation is 12% and Philadelphia’s average rate is 10%.

Close to 500 members of the Philadelphia Futures community gathered at the Convention Center on Wednesday, June 7, to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 125 scholars who are earning their high school diplomas and college degrees in record numbers and beating all the odds.

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Philadelphia Futures Celebrates National College Signing Day

"Become who you want to be."  

IMG 9180On Monday, May 1, the Philadelphia Futures staff and Class of 2017 scholars took part in a nationwide movement – College Signing Day. Established in 2014 by former First Lady Michelle Obama, National College Signing Day celebrates students taking the next step to college. 

As part of the Reach Higher initiative, Michelle Obama launched Better Make Room – a campaign to change the national conversation on education, connect with students, and celebrate college. Better Make Room gives students and their families, mentors and others a space to reflect and honor the hard work that goes into the college admissions process, the great feat of being admitted to college and the significance of making their final decisions.

The Class of 2017 Philadelphia Futures Scholars are headed to the following institutions: Arcadia University*,  Babson College, Bloomsburg University, Bryn Mawr College, Community College of Philadelphia, Dickinson College*, Drexel University*, East Stroudsburg University, Franklin & Marshall College*, Gettysburg College*, Lafayette College*, LaSalle University, Lehigh University*Penn State University* (Abington and University Park,) Philadelphia University, Shippensburg University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University.

View photos of this special day for our students by searching #PFReachHigher and #PFDecision Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and view additional photos by clicking here.

*Philadelphia Futures’ partner colleges and universities

Young Men's Initiative Career Day

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The 2017 Career Day was a great success. On Tuesday, April 11, 33 students from the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) traveled to Comcast Spectacor, PECO, Stradley Ronan, City Councilman Allan Domb’s office, Glenmede Investments, Aria Healthcare and Macquarie Group (formerly Delaware Investments). The young men were given the invaluable experience of being exposed to the world of work, which provided motivation and knowledge as they continue on their journey to college and career success. Prior to this day, the YMI students spent several weeks preparing in professional development workshops. These workshops covered everything from impression management and business­ dress to understanding workplace terminology.

The young men were outfitted with professional attire from Jos. A Bank and spent the morning of Career Day job shadowing at their respective organizations. The day concluded with a luncheon at the Wells Fargo Center, where the YMI students were able to share their experiences and gain invaluable career advice from Philadelphia Futures Board member Charles T. Scott. They also participated in a photoshoot on the 76ers court and got the chance to shoot some hoops!

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Honoring the White-Williams Scholars Legacy

IMG 8382“In a broader sense, I would define academic excellence as the will to do more, to learn more, to become more. True excellence is walking out of this convocation hungry for more success. True excellence is rising above yourself and doing a bit more than you did yesterday in and out of the classroom.” – Jude Dartey, Sponsor-A-Scholar, Class of 2017

On Wednesday, March 29, Philadelphia Futures hosted the White-Williams Scholars Honors Convocation, celebrating the legacy of White-Williams Scholars and recognizing the academic excellence, commendable character and outstanding commitment of students participating in Philadelphia Futures’ Sponsor-A-Scholar and College Connection Programs.

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