Forward to Your Future: Philadelphia Futures’ 2021 Virtual Annual Conference

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The theme for Philadelphia Futures this year – “Forward to Your Future” – recognizes Philadelphia Futures’ determination to achieve a vision of a city where all students have what they need to succeed in college and thrive in life. Additionally, this theme represents the Futures scholars, who continuously prove that they are moving forward and overcoming every obstacle in their way. 

This year, due to the pandemic and social distancing guidelines, the 2021 Annual Conference was a four-day virtual event filled with sessions and workshops that allowed Philadelphia Futures to connect with and learn from their community in a safe way. 

Sticking with the “Forward” theme, Philadelphia Futures focused on four different areas for each day of the conference: Futures Forward, Forward with Your Education, Forward with Your Career, and Forward with Yourself. Day one of the Conference offered updates about the organization’s strategic plan and anti-racist transformation efforts with the ROZ Group. Day two provided opportunities for the Futures collegians to discuss their experiences attending college this past year during the pandemic, and members of the community gained valuable insight and information about financial literacy from Yanely Espinal. Day three gave the Philadelphia Futures mentors the space to talk about assisting their mentees in their career search, employees at SAP offered engaging career advice to the Philadelphia Futures students, and the collegians led a session on job search strategies. Day four focused entirely on tools and resources to take care of all areas of health during this difficult time. Philadelphia Futures ended the week and the Annual Conference with a joyous awards ceremony, which included a reflection on the past year, and can be found here.  

“Providing the space to connect as a community is a reflection of our core principle of partnership.  Though we missed seeing everyone in person at the 2021 Annual Conference, our students, staff, families, and stakeholders created a welcoming and inspiring atmosphere to learn together.  We are dedicated to looking forward to the future and ensuring our scholars continue to have the tools and resources they need for success in college and in life,” said Sara Woods, Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures.

For more information about Philadelphia Futures and ways to get involved, visit

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