The organization Philadelphia Futures prepares students from low-income families to enter and succeed in college by providing mentoring, academic enrichment, college guidance and financial incentives. Through direct services to students, in partnerships with educational institutions, and in advocacy activities in the broader community, the organization works with volunteer mentors, donors, and school personnel to increase the percentage of Philadelphia graduates prepared for higher education, while simultaneously reducing the institutional barriers to their academic success.
The core of Philadelphia Futures is the Sponsor a Scholar (SAS) Program, which provides students with one‑on‑one mentors, a year-round curriculum of academic skill building and enrichment, including after-school academic classes, tutoring, college preparation activities, cultural opportunities, funds for college related expenses, and staff support through high school and college. The program builds long-term, working relationships with students attending Philadelphia's neighborhood public high schools, beginning in the ninth grade. The SAS high school component provides the support students need to successfully complete high school, and to prepare for college and beyond. SAS provides students with one-on-one mentoring and financial incentives, and Admission to the program is based on an application considering grades, attendance, parent and student motivation, and a teacher/ counselor recommendation.
One study met BHEF's criteria for program inclusion. The findings were positive, but statistical significance was not reported: Philadelphia futures: Annual report 2006-2007. (2007). Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Futures.