On Saturday, Philadelphia Futures held the Annual Conference to begin 2017 with the theme "Taking the Next Step." The event jumpstarts the calendar year with both recognition of accomplishment and inspiration to guide students, mentors and families for the months ahead. The centerpiece of this year's conference was a celebration of Joan Mazzotti's legacy as she steps down from the Executive Director role after 16 years of truly exceptional leadership. The staff orchestrated a heartfelt reflection on the impact of Joan's tenure at Philadelphia Futures.
Today, the Philadelphia Futures Board of Directors announced the appointment of Sara L. Woods as Philadelphia Futures’ next Executive Director.
“Sara has spent her entire career advocating for underserved populations and communities. Her energy, experience and passion for this field of work immediately drew the attention of the Search Committee members, who along with our Board, unanimously selected her as Philadelphia Futures’ Executive Director,” said Laura Williamson, Chair of the Board of Philadelphia Futures. “Sara fulfilled our goal of engaging a leader with demonstrated commitment to addressing and solving community issues—one who will make a direct and measurable impact on underserved students in Philadelphia.”
Sara joins Philadelphia Futures from Philadelphia VIP, a legal services agency for low-income individuals and families, where she has been the Executive Director for over nine years. During her tenure at Philadelphia VIP, she tripled the organization’s overall revenue, significantly improved outcomes for clients and established VIP as the hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia. Prior to her work at Philadelphia VIP, she was the Director of Public Service Careers and Pro Bono Programs at Villanova University School of Law, and Staff Attorney at Women Against Abuse and the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County. She holds a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Villanova University and a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.
“Philadelphia Futures has a rich history of progress and results and I am thrilled to join the team. I look forward to continuing the important work of this organization in conjunction with the dedicated staff and board,” stated Ms. Woods. “As a teacher, lawyer and administrator, I am excited to help create new opportunities for the young people of our community to realize college success.”
Sara will formally assume leadership of the Philadelphia Futures team on March 6, 2017.