A Powerful Year: Our 2014 Graduation Celebration


On June 5, 2014, the Philadelphia Futures community convened for our 2014 Graduation Celebration, honoring the high school and college graduations of 92 students who have participated in Philadelphia Futures' Programs. The event was attended by nearly 400 students, family members, mentors, supporters and partners and was a commemoration of a powerful and successful year.

The theme for the evening focused on the power of legendary superheroes and how, every day, Philadelphia Futures' community also exhibits superpowers. Joan C. Mazzotti, Executive Director, Philadelphia Futures reflected on this during her opening remarks.

"Like many superheroes, we all have villains to defeat and destinies of greatness," said Ms. Mazzotti. "I applaud our students and everyone in this room for using your formidable powers to defeat the one villain that we confront daily – our society's failure to educate all students equally. We have looked that villain in the eye and together we have prevailed."

In an academic year during which the School District of Philadelphia experienced an unprecedented budget crisis, high school seniors in Philadelphia Futures' Sponsor-A-Scholar Program succeeded despite circumstances that would have predicted otherwise. One hundred percent of the High School Class of 2014 – 43 students in total – graduated from high school and have been accepted to college. They will attend a range of institutions, including Arcadia, Bloomsburg, Community College of Philadelphia, Dickinson, Drexel, Gettysburg, Haverford, Lafayette, Temple, Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton.

In addition, 49 Philadelphia Futures students will earn their college degrees in 2014. Fifty-four percent of the Sponsor-A-Scholar High School Class of 2010 will earn their college degrees in four years. The potential six-year college graduation rate for this Class is an extraordinary 87%.

We were thrilled that WHYY and 6abc both attended our 2014 Graduation Celebration to document the successes of our high school and college graduates, and provided some of our students with the opportunity to tell their own powerful stories.