News & Events

The Strength of Our Past. The Hope for Our Future.

Philadelphia Futures Releases Annual Report

Annual Report Cover 2015Philadelphia Futures is proud to release our 2014-2015 Annual Report: “The Strength of Our Past. The Hope for Our Future.” As we commemorate the 25th Anniversary of our groundbreaking Sponsor-A-Scholar Program, we are proud to share the stories of four alums – Melvin, Korinne, Terrance and Crystal – whose life trajectories were changed the day they walked into our offices. Their stories are the measure of our success. They are the strength of our past.

Our new Annual Report also includes profiles of four of our current Sponsor-A-Scholar and College Connection students, who represent the 530 students we are now guiding through high school and college. They are our hope for the future.

We invite you to read our Annual Report to learn more about the work of Philadelphia Futures.

“The Strength of Our Past. The Hope for Our Future.” also celebrates the generosity and kindness of the Philadelphia Futures community, for it is our donors, volunteers, college partners and other friends who make our work possible, drive our growth and sustain our organization. We are deeply grateful for their support.  

The 2015 Step Up to College Guide Is Now Available

Cover Final Guide 2015 WebPhiladelphia Futures has released its 26th edition of Step Up to College: Philadelphia's Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions & Financial Aid Processes – a 66-page resource book designed to lead high school students and their families through each stage of the college admissions and financial aid processes, from understanding college fit, to writing application essays, from navigating the FAFSA to transitioning to life on a college campus.

In October 2015, Philadelphia Futures began distributing 42,000 print copies of Step Up to College to every public, public charter and parochial high school in Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia, government offices and community-based organizations. To eliminate any barriers to access, Philadelphia Futures makes Step Up to College available without cost.

The theme of this year's edition is "The Path to College Starts Here." Highlights of the 2015-2016 Guide include:

  • expanded offerings on understanding college "fit" and financial aid;
  • worksheets integrated throughout the Guide, including Philadelphia Futures' popular "Fit" Form and College Cost Calculator;
  • grade-specific Checklists, including a Checklist for parents and guardians; and
  • tweets, posts and texts from the new Step Up to College Ambassadors.

The Step Up to College Guide has become a Philadelphia tradition, and a critical college guidance resource for students and their families, guidance counselors, educators and other youth-serving professionals who are supporting students' college aspirations.

A complete PDF version of the Guide can be downloaded from the Step Up to College website at

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2015 Graduation and Sponsor-A-Scholar 25th Anniversary Celebration

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On Thursday, June 4, 2015, Philadelphia Futures celebrated our 2015 Philadelphia High School and College Graduates, and the 25th Anniversary of our Sponsor-A-Scholar Program.

In addition to celebrating the graduations of 85 of our high school seniors and 60 of our college students, we recognized an outstanding student, mentor and sponsor from each of the past 25 Sponsor-A-Scholar classes.


“Our 25th Anniversary Honorees represent the strength of our past and the hope for our future,” said Executive Director, Joan Mazzotti, in her welcoming remarks.

During the Ceremony, we inducted the first three honorees into the Philadelphia Futures Hall of Fame – Dr. Marciene Mattleman, founder and first Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures for her fierce determination to support young people and the vision, energy and hard work she poured into the development of the Sponsor-A-Scholar Program, and Judy Nadell and John Langan for their transformational support of the Sponsor-A-Scholar Program, for their faithful belief in the potential of our students, and for their authentic desire to make a difference in the world around them.

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Sponsor-A-Scholar Program Reflections

SAS 25th Anniversary Logo color

We recently asked our Sponsor-A-Scholar 25th Anniversary Honorees to take a moment to reflect on their time with Philadelphia Futures’ Sponsor-A-Scholar program, and provide us with their most memorable moments as a sponsor, mentor or student. 

The complete compendium of Sponsor-A-Scholar reflections can be downloaded here.

If you would like to contribute your own reflections, please complete one of the following prompts – or create one of your own – and email your creation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Donor and Alumni Relations. 

  • My most memorable SAS moment is…
  • SAS has made a difference for me by…
  • I support Philadelphia Futures students because…
  • I am thankful to SAS because…

Summer Supplement to the Step Up to College Guide

Two New Resources Unveiled to Assist Philadelphia’s College-Bound Students

Philadelphia Futures has released a new Summer Supplement for rising high school seniors, and the Philadelphia Futures Summer Hotline, which will allow students to ask questions about the college admissions process, will open on July 1.

SummerSupplement Cover Boarders

Two new tools from Philadelphia Futures are designed to support Philadelphia’s college-bound students: a Summer Supplement to the Step Up to College Guide, and a Summer Hotline for students to ask questions about the college admissions process.  

The Summer Supplement to the annual Step Up to College Guide is designed specifically for rising high school seniors. It walks students through the nine steps they need to take during the summer, including preparing to take the SAT or ACT exam, doing college “fit” research, touring colleges, beginning the application process, and more.

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94 Students Honored During Celebration of Their Achievements in Philadelphia Futures’ Programs

During the third annual White-Williams Scholars Honors Convocation, 94 Philadelphia high school students were presented with financial awards in recognition of their academic excellence, commendable character and active engagement in program activities sponsored by Philadelphia Futures. 
The students, who are sophomores, juniors and seniors in high schools across the City, were celebrated for their achievements in Philadelphia Futures’ Sponsor-A-Scholar and College Connection programs, while also earning semester grades of As or Bs in their schools. 
“Being recognized as a White-Williams Scholar is a significant accomplishment as it represents academic excellence, commendable character and the willingness to be engaged, all of which will be the foundation for success in college and in life,” said Joan C. Mazzotti, executive director of Philadelphia Futures.  

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