Philadelphia Futures Innovative Virtual College Admissions Marathon

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For more than thirty years, Philadelphia Futures has supported first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. For rising high school seniors in the Philadelphia Futures programs, this has traditionally meant the opportunity to participate in the College Admissions Marathon and reside on a college campus for one week while writing their personal statements. During the Marathon, students experienced campus life, lived in residence halls, and ate in the dining center.

As the pandemic continues, our Class of 2022 scholars were unable to participate in the residential portion of the College Admissions Marathon. However, thanks to the support from staff, and guest speakers from John Hopkins, Penn State, Villanova, and Columbia, Philadelphia Futures delivered enhanced programming in a remote learning environment, where students could thrive, find their creative voices, and draft their personal statements. A strong personal statement is important in college applications because it allows students to stand out from other applicants and tell their unique stories.

For two weeks – from June 21st to July 2nd – the Class of 2022 Philadelphia Futures students participated in daily writing activities and received individualized support and guidance from staff and volunteer writing coaches. At the end of the two weeks, each student left with a strong first draft which they will continue to refine and edit before submitting their college applications this upcoming school year.

“We are so proud of our seniors! Through an interactive, virtual College Admissions Marathon, our students channeled their creativity, became storytellers, and wrote powerful personal statements, thanks to their hard work and the guidance of our staff and volunteers,” said President and CEO of Philadelphia Futures Sara Woods. “We look forward to celebrating the college admissions decisions that will result from their efforts.”


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