News & Events

Philadelphia Futures’ Annual Graduation Celebration

Over 100 first-generation-to-college scholars gathered to celebrate earning their high school diplomas and higher education degrees in record numbers.  



One hundred percent of Philadelphia Futures’ high school graduates have been accepted to college. Fifty-one percent of those scholars are attending a Philadelphia Futures partner college and will receive $8.6 million in financial aid.

Close to 500 members of the Philadelphia Futures community gathered at the Convention Center on Wednesday, June 6, to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 100 scholars who are earning their high school diplomas and college degrees in record numbers.

The “Hats Off to You” award is presented for outstanding, long-term, and significant contributions to the mission of Philadelphia Futures. This year, Northeast High School was honored after demonstrating how one partnership and collaboration can help shape organizations, schools, and the city of Philadelphia. In addition, a “Special Recognition Award” was given to mentors, Robert Pyskadlo and Julie Restelli Pyskadlo for mirroring the exacting values of Philadelphia Futures and for their dedication and commitment to the three scholars they mentor – all of whom were among the 2018 graduating class.

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The Step Up to College: Rising Senior Edition is Now Available!

Philadelphia Futures released the 2018 Summer Supplement to the Step Up to College Guide to help juniors entering their senior year navigate the college admissions process. The Summer Supplement is underwritten by KeyBank.  

SummerSupplement 2018 CoverMediumThe Rising Senior Edition is the 2018 Summer Supplement to Philadelphia Futures’ Step Up to College GuideThe Supplement informs juniors entering their senior year about the steps they need to take during the summer to prepare for the college admissions process. Like the Guide, the Rising Senior Edition is available to juniors and their families without cost. 

Summer is an ideal time for rising high school seniors to concentrate on and actively begin the college admissions process. The Supplement, made possible through support from KeyBank, puts students in Philadelphia firmly on the path to college.

“KeyBank believes educational environments and support systems that help students from all backgrounds realize their full potential is critical to keeping students interested and motivated in their futures,” said Robert D. Kane Jr., president, Eastern Pennsylvania Market, KeyBank. “This is why we are proud to support the Philadelphia Futures Summer Supplement and their effort to break down barriers that have historically excluded low-income, first generation-to-college students from college success.”

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Carlos Santana and the Phillies Got in the Game for Philadelphia Students

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Get in the Game - in support of Philadelphia Futures - was attended by more than 500 individuals, including 25 Phillies players and Manager Gabe Kapler, and exceeded $150,000 goal. 

On the evening of Thursday, April 26, Carlos Santana and the Philadelphia Phillies “got in the game” with Philadelphia Futures! Get in the Game, a celebrity bowling tournament, pairs teams, sponsored by individual businesses and individuals, and led by Phillies players and local media celebrities. The event raised over $155,000 and was attended by more than 500 guests and supporters of Philadelphia Futures. Get in the Game took place at South Bowl in South Philadelphia.

The event was hosted by Phillies First Baseman Carlos Santana, who was joined by many of his teammates and coaches including Gabe Kapler, Jake Arrieta, Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Adam Morgan, Hector Neris, and Aaron Nola, among others.  

“It was amazing to see the City of Philadelphia come together to raise money to send students to college via Philadelphia Futures,” said Carlos Santana. “It was an honor to be a participant for such a great cause. It means giving a child the opportunity to improve their future and achieve their dreams.” 

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Carlos Santana Hosts 2018 Get in the Game


Carlos Santana, the Phillies, and Media Celebrities Bowl to Build the Future for Philadelphia Futures Students.  

First Baseman Carlos Santana and his Phillies teammates will “get in the game” to support Philadelphia Futures’ students on Thursday, April 26, 2018. More than 500 guests will be in attendance at Get in the Game – a celebrity bowling tournament featuring competitive teams, sponsored by businesses and individuals, and led by Phillies players and local media celebrities from 6abc, NBC10, CBS3, Fox29, KYW, Sportsradio WIP, and Inside Corner. 

Event highlights will include a red carpet entrance, a live social media experience, the “Phutures Phanatic” raffle and live auction, and the new “Bullpen” Beer Garden, featuring Double Nickel Brewing Co.

“Philadelphia Futures is thrilled to welcome Carlos Santana as the player host of Get in the Game this year, along with the entire Phillies organization,” said Philadelphia Futures’ Executive Director Sara Woods. “We are grateful to Carlos and his family for partnering with us to transform the lives of our students, and to the Phillies for their continued partnership and support.  We look forward to getting in the game with them as we bowl to build the future for Philadelphia’s students.”

Over the last 17 years, Get in the Game has raised over $2 million to support the college aspirations of Philadelphia’s low-income, first-generation-to-college students. Tickets are still available! To purchase tickets, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 215-790-1666 ext.463. Learn more about Get in the Game by visiting  

“Philadelphia has given me and my family such a warm welcome and we are excited to make a positive impact in the Philadelphia community,” said Carlos Santana. “I know what it is like to have to overcome obstacles as a child and it is an honor for me to work with Philadelphia Futures to help the students achieve their dreams. I’m looking forward to a night of fun and positive vibes.”

Philadelphia Futures Named a Four-Star Charity

Philadelphia Futures announces it has earned Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for the fourth consecutive year.


Philadelphia Futures’ strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned the organization its fourth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

Only 13% of the charities that Charity Navigator has rated have received at least four consecutive four-star evaluations. Philadelphia Futures also is one of only five education entities in Pennsylvania to receive a four-star rating, and one of four education entities in Philadelphia to receive the rating.

Philadelphia Futures has achieved a four-star rating for its sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates Philadelphia Futures adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. The rating differentiates the organization from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust and support.

Philadelphia Futures’ complete rating can be read on the Charity Navigator website here.

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Philadelphia Futures Partners with PSTV and InspireYouth to Participate in their First Hackathon

Philadelphia Futures scholars in the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) participated in the first-ever Hackathon – an event which typically involves a large group of professionals who collaborate extensively on a computer programming project – on Saturday, March 3 at the PSTV studio at the School District of Philadelphia headquarters. Mirroring that same format, the goal of the YMI Hackathon was to create a useable software program and for the participating young men to experience online programming.  Participants presented their results at the end of the event.

PSTV, the education channel for The School District of Philadelphia, partnered with Philadelphia Futures for the YMI Hackathon.  PSTV hosted the scholars at their state-of-the-art production studio and provided equipment, including twenty Apple laptops for the Philadelphia Futures scholars to learn coding on. To learn more about PSTV, visit their website at

InspireYouth, a nonprofit organization that helps provide coding and computer technology skills to underrepresented communities, facilitated the event.

“The Young Men’s Initiative would like to thank PSTV for hosting and InspireYouth for facilitating the YMI Hackathon. This amazing coding opportunity allowed our young men to gain critical computer science skills and knowledge that provides the framework and foundation for a potential career in their futures,” said Derek Pediford, College Connection Coordinator and Co-Director of Philadelphia Futures’ Young Men’s Initiative.  

Philadelphia Futures Elects Seven New Members and New Executive Leadership to Its Board of Directors

Philadelphia Futures is pleased to announce the election of seven new members and four new officers effective January 25.

The seven new members include Pauline Abernathy, Chief Strategy Officer of Benefits Data Trust; Jennifer Daley, Vice President and Assistant Treasurer at Comcast Corporation; Damian J. Fernandez,, Chancellor of Penn State Abington; Otis D. Hackney, III, Chief Education Officer of the Mayor’s Office of Education; Katrina High,  Senior Project Manager of Strategy, Planning and Operations at GlaxoSmithKline; Margaret Sherry Lurio, Partner at Lurio & Associates; and Raj Tewari, Director of Operations at Glenmede. The four new officers are President Phil Weinberg, Executive Vice President/General Counsel at Comcast Spectacor; Vice President Kevin R. Boyle, Stradley Ronon’s Financial Partner and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Management Committee; Treasurer Jennifer Daley, Vice President and Assistant Treasurer for Comcast Corporation; and Secretary Stephen C. Lis, U.S. Advisory Line of Business Leader at KPMG. 

“I am very pleased to have these transformative leaders join our board and look forward to their contributions,” said Sara Woods, Executive Director. “They bring a wealth of experience to our organization and serve as models to our scholars of the professionals we hope they will become.  I look forward to charting the future of Futures alongside them.”      

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Building the Future: Philadelphia Futures' 2018 Annual Conference

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More than 600 members of the Philadelphia Futures community gathered at Drexel University on Saturday, January 13 for the 2018 Annual Conference.  The theme of the 2018 Conference, “Build Your Future,” recognized the organization’s new leadership and Philadelphia Futures’ college partnership with Albright College, its tenth college partnership.

The Annual Conference began with opening remarks from Executive Director Sara Woods who announced the new college partnership with Albright College saying, “This is our 10th college partnership, paving the way for more of our students to attend a college that is the right academic, social and financial fit.  We are grateful to Albright College for their investment in our scholars and their commitment to our mission.” A video created by Albright accompanied this exciting opportunity for our scholars.

Vice President of Enrollment Management Paul M. Cramer released a statement “Albright College is pleased to partner with Philadelphia Futures to support low income, first-generation students in their pursuit of a high quality college experience.  The significant support resources of Philadelphia Futures closely matches the nurturing environment of Albright College.  That combination will serve the students with whom we work in significant ways.  Albright’s commitment to a strong liberal arts education in a diverse campus community will facilitate transition and help foster successful outcomes for students from the Philadelphia Futures program. As important, Albright has every confidence that those students will contribute greatly to the Albright community and the greater world around them.”

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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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