Sara Woods, Executive Director
215.790.1666, Ext. 470
Sara L. Woods, Esq. is privileged to serve as the Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University, and a Juris Doctor and a Masters of Public Administration from Villanova University. She is also an adjunct professor at Villanova University School of Law where she teaches a Public Interest Lawyering course. Sara previously served as Executive Director of Philadelphia VIP, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports lawyers who volunteer to help low-income Philadelphians tackle critical legal problems. Sara also worked as the Director of Public Interest Careers and Pro Bono Programs at Villanova University School of Law. Sara serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Access Matters, which works to equalize access to sexual and reproductive health care for teens and adults in need, and on the advisory board of the Crime Victims Law Project. Her favorite college course was Women’s Studies 001 as it changed her college and career trajectory, and she is grateful to Professor Donna Hughes for that experience.
Naima Campbell, Executive and Development Assistant
215.790.1666, Ext. 424
Naima Campbell came to Philadelphia Futures through its merger with White-Williams Scholars in July 2011. For ten years, she brokered opportunities for high school girls through the Charles Ellis Trust for Girls and recently took on the role as Executive and Development Assistant. Naima holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising from Philadelphia University. Her favorite college course was Ideas and Images, which provided many visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Michael Johnson, Director of Finance and Administration
As Director of Finance and Administration at Philadelphia Futures, Michael is responsible for the overall financial management of the organization while also overseeing administrative and general operational needs. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Temple University and an M.B.A. from the Fox School of Business and Management. Before joining Philadelphia Futures, Michael worked at Frontline Solutions, a social-sector management consultancy. He was also the Operations Manager for Circle of Hope, a network of churches in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he worked in the capital markets as a fixed income trader for Janney Montgomery Scott. His favorite college experience was visiting India on an international immersion trip with the Fox School.
Susan Lee, Accountant Consultant
215.790.1666, Ext. 445
Susan Benton Lee is Philadelphia Futures’ Accountant Consultant. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Penn State University. Sue has had her own accounting practice for over 30 years. She specializes in nonprofit organizations and enjoys working with a large variety of clients including museums, arts organizations, and social service agencies. Sue especially likes the people she meets in her work: all intelligent, interesting employees dedicated to the mission of their organizations!
Mary Anne Lucey, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
215.790.1666, Ext. 446
Mary Anne Lucey is the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from West Chester University. Immediately before joining Philadelphia Futures, she worked as the Executive Director for a nonprofit that provides legal solutions to handling debt and budget issues for low-income Philadelphians. Her prior work experiences include teaching 7th grade for five years and serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Justice in Omaha, Nebraska, where she organized a variety of fundraising efforts for the organization.
Megan Shaeffer, Director of Individual Giving
215.790.1666, Ext. 439
Megan Shaeffer is the Director of Individual Giving. Megan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from New York University. She began her nonprofit career as the policy and legal assistant at Single Stop U.S.A. in New York City, while enrolled in school. After graduation, Megan worked as a paralegal with a small legal services organization providing debt counseling and pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy representation to individuals who could not afford representation. She then transitioned to development work with Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia. Megan enjoyed meeting a wide variety of people during her college years in New York City, but after graduation she was glad to return to her hometown of Philadelphia and share her passion for economic justice.
Outreach and Engagement
Christen Johnson, Director of Outreach and Engagement
215.790.1666, Ext. 438
Christen Johnson serves as the Director of Outreach and Engagement. She recently earned her Master of Education in Teaching, Learning and Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Michigan. Prior to her work in Philadelphia, she taught middle and high school in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Her most impactful college learning experience came from her service through Americorps, where she was fortunate enough to work with the late Grace Lee Boggs on developing the Lives of Urban Children and Youth initiative to connect university resources to underserved communities in Detroit.
Michael Deleon, Outreach and Engagement Administrator
215.790.1666, Ext. 425
Michael Deleon is the Outreach and Engagement Administrator. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Peace & Justice from Gettysburg College. As a Sponsor-A-Scholar alumnus and an avid social justice advocate, he is devoted to granting culturally diverse and underrepresented students the same opportunities afforded to him throughout his academic and professional career thus far. His favorite college experience at Gettysburg involved establishing and captaining his own fusion dance team, VIBE, which performed at a variety of events held across campus.
Bonnie Dugan, Director of Communications
215.790.1666, Ext. 422
Bonnie Dugan is the Director of Communications. She recently earned her Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Temple University. Prior to this role, Bonnie worked as the Manager of Marketing and Communications for Northern Children Services. Before making the transition to nonprofit communications, she spent four years working in the digital media industry as a web content writer, social media account manager, and website manager. Bonnie began her career working for homeless street newspapers in Dublin and Philadelphia. As a Philadelphia native, she discovered her love for community journalism at Temple University, which allowed her to give a voice to underrepresented people and communities in the city.
Ellen Solomon, Director of Volunteers
215.790.1666, Ext. 436
Ellen Solomon is the Director of Volunteers, where she focuses her efforts on making the best possible matches, linking our volunteers’ skill sets to our many volunteer opportunities in order to address our scholars’ needs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University and a Master of Education degree from Temple University. Prior to arriving at Philadelphia Futures, Ellen taught French in the Philadelphia School System for more than fifteen years. She acquired 30 additional college credits in a combination of art history, photography, and dance, which she wove into her classroom teaching, where she recognized the importance of consistency and high expectations in her students’ lives. A significant college experience for Ellen was when she participated in a study abroad program in France, which led to an opportunity to later live in Paris.
College Access Programs
Oneda Horne, Director of College Access
215.790.1666, Ext. 414
Oneda Horne serves as the Director of College Access. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Wheaton College (MA) and holds a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. Prior to this role, Oneda held leadership roles at a variety of nonprofits in the Boston Area, including Summer Search Boston. Oneda began her career working as a college counselor, before launching a College Success program serving low-income and first-gen youth living in Greater Boston. For over a decade, she has dedicated intensive effort in service of closing the opportunity gap challenging underserved and often marginalized youth. She is thrilled to join the City of Philadelphia and Futures in this work. Her favorite college experience involved the founding of Renaissance House, Wheaton’s first theme house dedicated to raising awareness of the challenges faced particularly by Women of Color.
Jonathan Edwards, Director of Academics
215.790.1666, Ext. 449
Jonathan Edwards is the Director of Academics and the Director of our Young Men’s Initiative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship from Brown University. Committed to the mission of providing equitable access to educational opportunities for K-12 students, Jonathan has 11 years of experience in education and nonprofit management. Jonathan started his professional career as a regional coordinator in Washington, DC for the American Bar Association’s program Championing Our Students. He then joined Teach for America in Providence, RI, where he taught secondary math and helped to align the secondary math curriculum. Prior to joining Futures, Jonathan was a management consultant with UPD Consulting in Baltimore, MD. In this role, Jonathan worked with principals at three turnaround schools in the Richmond, VA school district to create and implement action plans to improve student achievement. His favorite college experience was beating Harvard and winning the Ivy League Championship in football in 2005 and 2009.
Uyen Ha, Director of College Connection
215.790.1666, Ext. 451
Uyen Ha is Director of College Connection at Philadelphia Futures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Economics and Organizational Management from Agnes Scott College and a Master of Science degree in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Futures, Uyen led diversity and inclusion initiatives and facilitation at Penn and Teach for America. She began her work in education as a high school math teacher in Dallas and a board director at a local nonprofit in Atlanta. One of the highlights of her college experience was studying abroad in Chile and London.
Brittany Lewis, Director of PACE Scholars
215.790.1666, Ext. 459
Brittany Lewis serves as the Director of the PACE Scholars Program. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Elementary and Special Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Columbia University. Brittany’s passion for supporting students from first-generation and low-income backgrounds stems from her experience as a College Adviser with the College Advising Corps and serving as a Senior Assistant Dean of Admission & Coordinator for College Access and Inclusion at Franklin & Marshall College. One of her favorite college memories was being a student ambassador at Millersville University’s Admission Office.
Ellen Ridyard, Director of Sponsor-A-Scholar
215.790.1666, Ext. 460
Ellen Ridyard is the Director of Sponsor-A-Scholar. She is a native Philadelphian and a graduate of Vassar College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate in English & History from the University of Pennsylvania. Ellen brings 12 years of experience to Philadelphia Futures as an educator in the service of Philadelphia youth pursuing higher education pathways. Prior to joining Futures, she served as a college advisor at a charter high school in West Philadelphia and an academic advisor at Temple University’s College of Science and Technology. Ellen is committed to creating opportunities to maximize college exposure to the best-fit colleges for Futures’ students. She enjoys collaborating with Futures students, families, staff, and college admissions counselors to support Philadelphia Futures’ stellar college guidance expertise. Her favorite college courses were creative writing workshops, and her favorite college experiences were playing sports and studying abroad.
Tim Atwood, College Access Coordinator
215.790.1666, Ext. 419
Tim Atwood is a College Access Coordinator with the Sponsor-A-Scholar Program. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s University and his Master of Education in School Counseling from West Chester University. Prior to coming to Philadelphia Futures, Tim worked directly with Philadelphia public high school students in several capacities. Most recently, Tim worked at Furness High School as a Site Monitor with GEAR UP, directly supporting the college-going goals of the students. Tim got his professional start in Philadelphia as a Philly Fellows Americorps VISTA, serving at the After School Activities Partnership to support after school enrichment efforts across the city. His favorite college experience was spending his spring breaks volunteering with Habitat for Humanity with hundreds of his peers from SJU.
Maria Cashman, Program Assistant
215.790.1666, Ext. 441
Maria Cashman is the Program Assistant for the Office of College Access. She is a proud Philadelphia native and a graduate of La Salle University, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health. After graduating, Maria served a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Mayor’s Office of Education focusing on improving school readiness and transitions. She has also worked in education for two years, serving directly with children as a teacher’s assistant, and indirectly while on the PHLpreK team as a VISTA. Her passion has always been to serve low-income youth through school programs in the City of Philadelphia. Now, she is committed to helping first-generation-to-college students attain the resources needed for transitioning into successful college graduates while at Philadelphia Futures.
Lina Duran, College Access Coordinator
215.790.1666, Ext. 452
Lina Duran is a College Access Coordinator for the Sponsor-A-Scholar Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Practice and Policy from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts degree in School Counseling with a bilingual extension from Manhattan College. Prior to her role at Futures, Lina worked as a College and Career Counselor at the 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund. During her two years of service with AmeriCorps VISTA, she became passionate about eliminating the educational achievement gap and sought employment in that field. Her favorite college experience was studying abroad at the Università Degli Studi di Verona in Italy, where she learned that the world is her classroom.
Jonathan Holbert, College Access Coordinator
215.790.1666, Ext. 466
Jonathan Holbert is a College Access Coordinator with the College Connection Program. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Eastern University and a Master of Science degree in Administration of Human Services from Chestnut Hill College. Prior to this role, Jonathan worked as a Student Financial Services Representative at Chestnut Hill College, where he helped students and their families determine how they could afford a college education. He now leverages his previous experience by supporting Futures’ students in navigating the financial aid application process. His favorite college experiences are the moments in which he discovered previously unknown interests by taking courses recommended by trusted mentors.
Laura Naylor, Academic Services Administrator
215.790.1666, Ext. 453
Laura Naylor is the Academic Services Administrator. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Community Engagement for Temple University. Prior to this role, Laura was an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Free Library of Philadelphia. At the Free Library, she coordinated library services for schools and teachers. Her favorite college experience was traveling to Kentucky each summer to work with different housing organizations.
Elijah Rhea, College Access Coordinator
215.790.1666, Ext. 429
Elijah Rhea is a College Access Coordinator with Philadelphia Futures. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Towson University in Maryland. Elijah then moved to Houston, Texas to receive his Master in Education degree from the Relay Graduate School of Education. Before making his transition to working in the nonprofit sector, Elijah spent four years as a middle school teacher with the KIPP Charter School network. He found his passion in education while teaching History and English Language Arts in Houston, TX and Philadelphia, PA before shifting his focus to preparing students to get to and through college with not just good grades but tangible skills for the professional world.
Renee Ross, College Access Coordinator and Data Analyst
215.790.1666, Ext. 420
Renee Ross is a College Access Coordinator and Data Analyst. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Northeastern University and a Master of Arts in Education and International Development from University College London. Prior to her work at Philadelphia Futures, Renee worked at an impact investment firm in Cape Town, South Africa, where she had the opportunity to help micro-entrepreneurs learn how to manage their businesses in township communities. Renee is excited to be back in her hometown city, supporting students as they embark on their educational journey. Some of her favorite college memories involve her time studying abroad, immersing herself in different cultures to better understand and appreciate the diverse world in which we live.
Jordan Walters, College Access Coordinator
215.790.1666, Ext. 416
Jordan Walters is a College Access Coordinator in the Sponsor-A-Scholar Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adult and Organizational Development and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education from Temple University. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Futures team, Jordan served as an Enrollment Coordinator for the Graduate and Adult Education department at Alvernia University’s Philadelphia Center, where she provided admissions counseling and academic advising for nontraditional students. Jordan began her career in student support services as an Attendance Coordinator and Summer Opportunities Coordinator at Mastery Charter School’s Pickett Campus. Jordan’s favorite experience while studying at Temple University was her Counseling Psychology course, because it taught her new and exciting ways to develop impactful relationships with students.
Rebecca Welch, College Access Coordinator
215.790.1666, Ext. 465
Rebecca Welch is a College Access Coordinator with the College Connection Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Brandeis University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this role, and after completing a social work internship at a Philadelphia high school, Rebecca worked as a college counselor with Penn’s Upward Bound Math Science program, serving students with similar backgrounds to those at Futures. Before graduate school, Rebecca worked at a small law firm in Boston, where she helped facilitate the handling of their guardianship cases in partnership with a local hospital. Rebecca cites her time as Captain of her college crew team as one of her most formative college experiences, as it taught her the importance of working with and leading a team, setting goals, and pushing herself past her own perceived limits.
College Success Programs
Amy Perez, Director of College Success
215.790.1666, Ext. 448
Amy Perez is the Director of College Success. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing from Eastern University and a Masters of Social Work from Temple University. Prior to working at Philadelphia Futures, Amy worked for eight years in student success, advising, and retention at Eastern University, where she continues to serve as a part-time faculty member in the social work department. She has also worked in city government and nonprofit organizations doing program development and assessment, teaching and staff development, direct client service, and research. One of Amy’s favorite college experiences is building homes with Habitat for Humanity in West Philadelphia and putting a roof on a new home in Homestead, Florida as part of Habitat’s hurricane recovery work.
Ariel Brockman, Associate Director of College Success
215.790.1666, Ext. 434
Ariel Brockman is the Associate Director for College Success. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree, both from Rutgers University New Brunswick. Prior to working at Philadelphia Futures, Ariel was a social worker in New Jersey, supporting children and families in the foster care system in the development of life skills. Ariel’s favorite course in college was in Abnormal Psychology.
Shari Cumberbatch, College Success Advisor and Special Projects Manager
215.790.1666, Ext. 412
Shari Cumberbatch is a College Success Advisor and Special Projects Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Temple University. Shari has worked at Philadelphia Futures for over ten years and has served in various capacities, including as a Sponsor-A-Scholar Program Assistant and College Access Coordinator. Shari’s favorite college courses were Human Resource Management and Marketing Research. In Human Resource Management, she researched other countries’ customs and participated in a mock negotiation using her own research. In Marketing Research, she and her team surveyed their peers and created a new pizza topping combination that a local pizza shop agreed to make for their presentation.
Abby Godfrey, College Success Advisor and Alumni Engagement Manager
215.790.1666, Ext. 462
Abby Godfrey is a College Success Advisor and the Alumni Engagement Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Ursinus College and a Juris Doctor from Widener University Delaware Law School (formerly Widener University School of Law.) Prior to this role, Abby spent over a decade in the for-profit education sector in a variety of instructional and student support roles, including serving as the Program Director for a General Education program and a Student Services Manager across multiple campuses. She currently teaches as an online visiting professor. Her favorite experiences in college involved participating in thoughtful and passionate discussions in Women’s Studies courses.
Kelsie LeVan, Director of Career Initiatives
215.790.1666, Ext. 430
Kelsie LeVan is the Director of Career Initiatives. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Elizabethtown College and a Master of Science degree in Higher Education from Drexel University. After college, Kelsie completed three years of service: one year with City Year Philadelphia and two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA at LIFT Philadelphia. Most recently, Kelsie spent three years at Drexel University working as a Senior Cooperative Education Advisor. Her favorite college experience was working part-time in the Office of Admissions during the academic year and full-time every summer, which is where she developed her passion for higher education and for connecting students to meaningful educational and professional development opportunities.
Kaisha Vilcinor, Program Assistant
215.790.1666, Ext. 420
Kaisha Vilcinor is the Program Assistant for the Office of College Success. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Temple University. Kaisha spent the majority of her time at Temple interning at the Tuttleman Counseling Resiliency Resource center, where she got to help students find the right tools to manage college and life stress. Her favorite college course was The Sociology of Popular Culture, a course that allowed her to write about her favorite books and television shows from a sociological perspective. Kaisha is originally from Haiti but grew up in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. As a first generation immigrant and college student herself, Kaisha is excited to work with students that remind her so much of her own high school to college journey.
Charles E. Ellis Trust for Girls
Marcia Johnston, Director
215.790.1666, Ext. 427
Marcia Johnston is the Director of the Charles E. Ellis Trust for Girls. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and an M.B.A from Saint Joseph’s University. Marcia’s path to Philadelphia Futures is unconventional, due to her extensive experience in financial management, process improvement, and employee development at Verizon. Prior to her Ellis Trust role at Philadelphia Futures, she worked on a variety of initiatives including the Step Up to College Guide and companion mobile app. Leveraging her prior corporate experience, she has also developed and delivered networking and career readiness workshops for our high school students and collegians.
Korinne Gerhart, Manager
215.790.1666, Ext. 442
Korinne Gerhart is the Manager of the Charles E. Ellis Trust for Girls and the Co-Director of Philadelphia Futures’ Young Women Rising Program. She previously served as a College Access Coordinator for the Sponsor-A-Scholar Program. A former SAS student, Korinne attended Abraham Lincoln High School and later received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Temple University. Before returning to Philadelphia Futures as a coordinator, Korinne worked for the Eagles Charitable Foundation, overseeing direct service programs within Philadelphia schools and assisting with fundraising and events. Korinne loves sharing the stories of her students through her writing, so it is no surprise that her favorite college course was a writing-intensive course on religion.
Board of Directors
Kevin R. Boyle, President, Board of Directors
Financial Partner, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP
Saint Joseph’s University, Bachelor of Science
Villanova University School of Law, Juris Doctor
Raj Tewari, Vice President, Board of Directors
Director of Operations, Glenmede
Drexel University, Bachelor of Science
Margaret Sherry Lurio, Secretary, Board of Directors
Vice President, Lurio & Associates, P.C.
Boston College, Bachelor of Arts
Villanova University School of Law, Juris Doctor
Jennifer Daley, Treasurer, Board of Directors
Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, Comcast Corporation
Widener University, Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Temple University, Master of Business Administration
Phil Weinberg, President Emeritus, Board of Directors
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Comcast Spectacor
Hamilton College, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Boston University, Juris Doctor
Chief Strategy Officer, Benefits Data Trust
Yale University, Bachelor of Arts
Harvard University, Master of Public Policy
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Lincoln Financial Group
University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics
Senior Vice President, Head of Equity Trading, Macquarie Investment Management
Franklin University, Bachelor in Banking and Finance
Otis D. Hackney, III
Chief Education Officer, Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Education
Temple University, Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics Education
Lehigh University, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
Partner, Artemis Factor
Wesleyan University, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Biochemistry
Lehigh University, Master of Science in Chemistry
Villanova University, Master of Business Administration
Stephen C. Lis
US Advisory Line of Business Leader, KPMG LLP
Drexel University, Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Lehigh University, Master of Business Administration
IT Vice President, Exelon Corp
Drexel University, Bachelor of Science in Information Science & Technology
Villanova University, Six Sigma Green Belt Program
Managing Director and Chief Learning Officer, Deloitte
Susquehanna University, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French
Columbia University, Master of Arts in Social-Organizational Psychology
Janet G. Perry
Law Professor and Retired Lawyer
Houghton College, Bachelor of Arts
Villanova University School of Law, Juris Doctor
Practice Leader, Leadership Solutions, Inc.
Villanova University, Bachelor of Arts in Economics
American University, Master of Science in Organization Development
Richard L. Williams
News Anchor, 6abc
Howard University, Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism