Mentors in our Sponsor-A-Scholar (SAS) program are supportive adults who serve as role models and advocates to college-bound high school students.

Roles of Philadelphia Futures Mentors

A mentor opens doors to new social, cultural, and educational experiences, and provides professional networks for a student. Each mentor is matched with an individual SAS student and is asked to commit to that student through the critical first year of college.

Benefits of Mentorship

Mentors are an integral part of our students’ success and many of those relationships last a lifetime. SAS mentors support their students through all life experiences. Some have helped students pack for college and then unpack in a new dorm room. Some have helped introduce students to their future careers. Some have invited students to their weddings and embraced entire families. All have found ways to enrich students’ lives.

Mentor Responsibilities

Mentors communicate with their students once a week and see their students at least monthly. They go on outings with their students to places such as cultural venues, sporting events, restaurants, museums, and colleges. They provide opportunities and are willing to make a place in their lives for their students. They listen, guide, and inspire. Responsibilities include:

  • Communicating with the Philadelphia Futures Program staff
  • Participating in activities and events
  • Attending mentor training and roundtable sessions
  • Providing exposure to professional work environments, networking, or opportunities


Mentors make a long-term commitment to their students. They are matched with students in 10th grade and work with them through at least the first year of college. Many relationships last a lifetime.

Checks & Clearances

To ensure the safety of our students, state law requires that all prospective mentors participate in a state-certified child abuse and criminal record check, and an FBI fingerprint-based background check. Mentors are not matched with students until certifications are received.

In order to work with our scholars, all clearance certificates must be current and in place. Below are the three links that will allow you to acquire your certifications:

1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Check

2. PA Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Clearance

3. FBI Fingerprinting

For FBI fingerprinting, here is the process:
  • Click on “Digital Finger Printing” Icon

  • Enter service code: 1KG6ZJ

  • Schedule or Manage Appointment

  • Enter requisite personal information (follow the prompts)

  • Select a time & location for your appointment

If you are already in possession of clearances, providing copies is certainly acceptable. Certifications must accompany all volunteer applications. Please send your certificates and applications to Shari Cumberbatch at

Application Process

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Philadelphia Futures. Philadelphia Futures is grounded in the belief that a caring and committed adult can make a significant difference in the life of a student.

Until October 2022, many of our volunteer initiatives are paused as we are taking the summer to plan our volunteer program for the new organization. Please check back in the future as more opportunities become available.

Other Ways to Get Involved

We invite you to explore the many other ways you can get involved at Philadelphia Futures.