Philadelphia Futures

Organizational mission statement (50 words or less): 

Philadelphia Futures supports low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college.

Brief description of organization (include key programs and recent achievements, 100 words or less):

We  provide low-income, first-generation-to-college students tools for college success. Philadelphia Futures offers students  a comprehensive, tested array of programs designed to reduce the institutional, academic, social and financial barriers to college success, including: (1) partnerships with twelve Pennsylvania college and universities providing our students with more than $45 million in financial aid; (2) network of support for students on their college campuses that we have developed over 31 years; (3) resources for students, including $3,000 - $6,000 in sponsorship funds; (4)  long-term one-to-one mentor for Sponsor-A-Scholar students; (5) individualized support for our collegians; (6)  highly-successful summer internship program.


Population served (25 words or less):

All of our students are from low-income families and will be the first generation in their family to attend college; 96% are students of color.


Geographic area(s) served: 

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Philadelphia Futures served approximately 300 high school students attending over 35 Philadelphia high schools and 350 collegians attending over 50 colleges and universities.

In which Life Science Cares Area of Focus is your organization’s work primarily? 



Does the organization already receive support from or otherwise engage life science companies? If so, how? 

Philadelphia Futures has been designated as one of the 2020 GSK IMPACT Awards for Greater Philadelphia program.  The award, given to only ten organizations in the region, recognized organizations that demonstrated overall excellence in improving the health of your community.  We also have a strong partnership with J&J, TMunity and others. 

Please outline existing volunteer opportunities or programs & initiatives that harness human capital including any current virtual volunteer events:

Career Day Hosts engage groups of 4 to 6 high school students in experiential activities to gain exposure to a variety of career opportunities and network with employees who reflect the diversity of our students

Job Shadowing Hosts provide career exposure opportunities for collegians allowing them to observe professionals on-the-job, experience a typical work day or work week, and gain knowledge and skills related to their career interests; typically occurs during winter break (December and January) and spring break (March).

Summer Internship Hosts connect collegians to meaningful, paid opportunities for learning and development in a professional work environment to help them fine tune soft skills and learn industry-specific knowledge that potential employers expect to see when hiring new college graduates.

Information Session Hosts present an overview of their company and available internship/job opportunities to high school students or collegians to increase brand awareness and generate interest from applicants.

Informational Interviewers help high school students and collegians expand their professional networks by sharing information about their education, career, company, and industry in a 1:1 setting.

Career Panelists interact with groups of high school students or collegians to provide a candid view of their educational background, career highlights, and current profession.

Career Research & Exploration Course Guest Speakers facilitate an engaging, interactive presentation about their education and career path, industry specific or other relevant information about their company, or a career related topic of their choosing to a group of 45-50 rising high school juniors participating in this summer program; typically occurs in June and July.

Job/Internship Mock Interviewers conduct 1:1 practice interviews with collegians and provide structured feedback and best practices in preparation for their formal interviews with employers; typically occurs in March.

Workshop Facilitators lead an interactive session to a group of high school students or collegians about career exploration, job search and interview strategies, or a number of other career planning topics.


Please outline proposed or potential future volunteer opportunities or programs & initiatives that harness human capital including any planned virtual volunteer events:  

Volunteers are an essential piece of our program’s success: mentors begin working with students in 9th grade, continuing through at least a student’s first year of college, they speak with their scholar weekly and meet monthly; tutoring in reading, biology, math, writing; facilitating clubs; participating in annual Career Day; serving as College Guidance volunteers helping students complete FAFSA, financial aid forms, and serving as writing coaches as students complete their college applications and essays.