180 first-generation-to-college scholars came together to celebrate their journeys to college and career success, and gained valuable professional networking skills.
Close to 200 members of the Philadelphia Futures community gathered at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, August 15 for the annual College Kickoff, where 75 scholars entering their first year of college had the opportunity to meet upperclassmen and alumni at their schools.
Philadelphia Futures opened the event by introducing the theme of the year, “Build Your Future.” More than 180 Philadelphia Futures students – all of whom attended Philadelphia high schools – came together to celebrate their journeys to college and career success, and also gained valuable professional networking skills.
Thanks to guest speaker Janice Moore Campbell, Director of Graduate Student Professional Development at Temple University's Fox School of Business, the Philadelphia Futures scholars learned the important role that growing your professional network plays in preparing for success both in and after college. Following the presentation, scholars had the opportunity to strengthen their skills in a group activity, led by professional volunteers and Philadelphia Futures mentors.
One hundred percent of Philadelphia Futures’ Class of 2017 scholars were accepted to and enrolled in college. This is compared to the national rate of 63% and Philadelphia rate of 36%. With Philadelphia Futures’ focus on helping students find the college that is the “right fit”, our new college freshmen will be attending a range of schools, including Arcadia, Bloomsburg, Bryn Mawr, Community College of Philadelphia, Dickinson, Drexel, East Stroudsburg, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Lafayette, LaSalle, Lehigh, Penn, Penn State, Shippensburg, Temple and West Chester.
Philadelphia Futures’ Director of College Retention and Success Amy Perez welcomed the scholars to the College Kickoff saying, “You are building your own future and the future of your families. But you are also building the future of younger students who look to you as examples of what is possible. You are building your campus communities. You are helping to build Philadelphia Futures, so that we can continue to invest in you and in other students like you. Today, we are learning about professional networking. This is one way that you ‘Build Your Future’ — growing your social capital and connections to people in various industries and organizations." You can relive the College Kickoff by searching #CollegeKickoff on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by clicking this link to view the photo album.
In addition to celebrating the extraordinary scholars, Philadelphia Futures is pleased to announce that it exceeded its challenge grant goal of $50,000! After receiving a wonderful $50,000 donation from a family with deep roots with the organization, Philadelphia Futures challenged the community to contribute an additional $50,000 by August 15, the day of the annual College Kickoff. The result is an investment of over $100,000 to build our students’ futures.
As the Philadelphia Futures community gears up to launch their students on their next steps to college, they are delighted to also be celebrating the next chapter of the organization building a brighter future for low-income, first-generation-to-college students!