Welcome Home!

With the Spring 2017 semester drawing to a close, it won’t be long before many of you who have been away at school will return to the City of Brotherly Love! During the week of May 22nd, we’re pleased to offer a variety of programs at the Philadelphia Futures office to welcome you back home and help you make the most of your summer break. Please plan to attend one or more of the programs below. We can’t wait to see you!

Monday, May 22nd 1:00pm-3:00pm
Resume Workshop
The period just after the end of the academic year is a great time to update your resume to reflect all of your recent accomplishments. Volunteer professionals will be on hand to review your resume and provide suggestions for improvement. Please arrive with both a printed hard copy and an editable electronic version of your resume. Additionally, if you would like to have your resume reviewed prior to the workshop, you must email a copy to Shari Cumberbatch (sharicumberbatch@philadelphiafutures.org) no later than Monday, May 15th. However, please note that ALL students are welcome,
even if you have not submitted your resume for review.
Please RSVP* for this event by Monday, May 15th.
Tuesday, May 23rd 9:30am-1:30pm
Career Futures Internship Orientation
Maximize your internship experience! This mandatory program for students who have been placed in a summer internship through Career Futures is designed to orient students to professional workplace culture and expectations.
Please RSVPfor this event by Thursday, May 18th.
Wednesday, May 24th 9:30am-11:30am
Thursday, May 25th 5:00pm-7:00pm
Financial Literacy Workshop with Santander Bank
Philadelphia Futures collegians and parents are invited to join us for this informative personal finance workshop hosted by Santander Bank. We are offering two sessions of this program in order to accommodate a variety of schedules.
Please RSVP* for this event by Wednesday, May 17th.
Thursday, May 25th 10:00am-12:00noon
Study Abroad Panel
Are you interested in studying abroad? Learn about opportunities and funding options from a panel of Philadelphia Futures collegians who have lived it!
Please RSVP* for this event by Wednesday, May 17th.
Please RSVP* for each event by its indicated deadline by contacting 
Kelly Crodian at 215-790-1666 ext. 420 or kellycrodian@philadelphiafutures.org.
*Please remember that by requesting an RSVP we are asking that you respond
whether you will or will NOT be attending.

Funding for Summer Courses

We hope that the last few weeks of your spring semester are going well! We know that many of you have expressed interest in taking classes over the summer. Please note that there are several possible funding options for summer courses, including limited funds from Philadelphia Futures! Keep reading to find out more.

Federal aid funds:

While current financial aid policies significantly limit the availability of aid for summer coursework, you should seek this funding before applying for a summer grant from Philadelphia Futures. If you have any Pell or Direct Loan funding remaining from this academic year, you may be able to apply it towards your summer courses at the college you are currently attending. If you received a refund check during the year, you may also use those funds towards summer classes. Visit your Financial Aid office to inquire about available aid.

You should NOT use PHEAA funds for summer courses. PHEAA eligibility is limited to 8 semesters. Do not use your eligibility for a summer session, which is often less expensive than a fall/spring semester.

Funding from Philadelphia Futures:

If you do not qualify for federal aid at your school, or if you plan to take classes at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), you may apply for summer grant funds from Philadelphia Futures.

Funds are EXTREMELY limited. For College Connection students, 100% of funding will be from a Philadelphia Futures summer grant award. For Sponsor-A-Scholar students, funding may be divided between grant funds and your remaining sponsorship funds.

  1. CCP Summer Grant from Philadelphia Futures
  • You must have a J number (a CCP student number).
  • You must confirm with Philadelphia Futures that the courses you enroll in will fulfill requirements at your home institution.
  • Grant amounts will vary up to the cost of two courses. For SAS students, one half will be contributed by Philadelphia Futures and the other half from the student’s Sponsorship funds.
  1. Summer Philadelphia Futures Grant
  • You must be enrolled in at least one course during the spring 2017 semester.
  • Grant amounts will vary up to the cost of two courses.

Please click here for more detailed information and instructions for applying. Then click the link below if you choose to apply.

Click here to complete the application.   

Grant applications are due by Friday, April 28. Recipients will be selected based on need, demonstrated commitment to their own academic success, commitment to Philadelphia Futures, and strength of the Grant Application request. Award recipients will be notified on Wednesday, May 3.

Please contact Amy at 215-790-1666 x448 or amyperez@philadelphiafutures.org with any questions or concerns.

Traveling in College: Semester Abroad Not Required!

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that there are several Philadelphia Futures collegians who have had the opportunity to spend a highly enriching semester abroad. From South Africa to Chile, our students have studied around the world and loved every mind-broadening moment of it.  If you are interested in travel, your college years are an ideal time to get out and see the world while you have access to unique funding opportunities and before you are tethered by a full-time job. While studying abroad for a full semester is certainly an option that every collegian is encouraged to explore, the truth is that it isn’t the best choice for every student.  However, if a semester abroad isn’t for you, don’t be discouraged! Consider one of these potential travel opportunities which may be more in line with your budget or degree plan:

  • Travel as part of a college course over winter or spring break

Many colleges offer courses during the spring semester which feature a travel component over spring break. Typically, students attend a class related to a specific country or culture throughout the semester, and then travel to study the topic in person over spring break. For example, as part of Arcadia University’s Preview program, students could choose to take a course about the music and culture of Austria, which included a trip to Vienna during the break. Similar programs are sometimes offered during the winter session. Collegians Sony and Frankie both spent time abroad as part of a college course during one of their school’s winter sessions.

  • Alternative spring break/service trips

Certain service organizations, such as United Way, offer opportunities to travel to a different American city over spring break in order to participate in community service projects. This type of service trip, often called Alternative Spring Break or ASB, is a great way to see the country for a very reasonable cost, all while helping communities in need!  Earlier this month, Temple sophomore Mingsi participated in Deloitte and United Way’s Alternative Spring Break program in Atlanta, GA, where she volunteered for Meals on Wheels and a local senior day care center.


Mingsi (holding sign) with other Alternative Spring Break participants

  • International Co-op

If you are a Drexel student, it may be worth considering doing your co-op abroad. Several financial awards are available to students who may need assistance in offsetting the added expense of living abroad. Futures alum Jonathan completed his co-op in Sierra Leone during the summer of 2014.

  • Get Creative!

In the past, we’ve featured students who have traveled the country through fully-funded opportunities offered by athletic teams, student organizations, and academic enrichment programs. No matter what your academic or extracurricular passions are, keep your eyes open and take advantage of any occasion to explore a new city or country that may arise through your interests!

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Free College Concert Kicks Off 2015-16 eZseatU Season, October 20

College Students May Attend Unlimited Concerts for $25;

Presented by PNC Arts Alive, eZseatU Makes the Arts Accessible to Students

(Philadelphia, September 3, 2015)—The Philadelphia Orchestra’s college student program, eZseatU, kicks off its 2015-16 season with the eighth annual Free College Concert, Tuesday, October 20, at 8 PM at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Presented by PNC Arts Alive, the popular membership program gives college students the opportunity to attend an unlimited number of concerts by the Fabulous Philadelphians for an annual fee of just $25. The free concert in Verizon Hall, open to all full-time college students in the greater Philadelphia area, features Johannes Moser performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Maestro Donald Runnicles conducts the program, which also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Additionally, the concert will be LiveNote™ enabled, allowing concertgoers to access custom-created information about the performed musical works through the mobile app, which follows along with the music in real time, presenting musical, emotional, and historical highlights.

Tickets for the Free College Concert are currently available on philorch.org. Students must have a printed ticket and a valid student ID to attend the concert. Pre-concert entertainment begins at 6:30 PM with a performance by the University of Pennsylvania Marching Band, and Campus Philly will have a table set up with information about area activities for students. Immediately following the concert, the party continues in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza, where White Limo, a Foo Fighters tribute band, will perform, and free food and non-alcoholic drinks will be available.

To purchase an eZseatU annual membership, visit philorch.org to create an account and pay a one-time fee of $25. Members then reserve spots online beginning each Tuesday for a concert that week and print the free ticket. Students must bring a valid student ID to gain admission. Additional tickets for up to four full-time student guests are available for just $8 each for most concerts.

The benefits to eZseatU include access to post-concert events such as the popular College Art Night exhibition in the spring, a post-concert event featuring the artistic talents of students along with free food, drinks, live music, and the opportunity to mingle with musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The eZseatU program is part of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. Additional support is provided by the Amy P. Goldman Foundation. For more information, please visit philorch.org.

PEF Last Dollar Scholarship Renewal


As the semester winds down and you begin to prepare for final exams, do not forget to make arrangements for the 2013-2014 academic year prior to leaving campus. If you are planning to return to your current school for another year or transfer to a new school and you CURRENTLY receive the Philadelphia Education Funds Last Dollar Scholarship, you will need to submit a renewal application and all supporting documents no later than Friday, May 24, 2013. Please click on the link here for more information. If you did not apply for this scholarship during your senior year in high school, you are not eligible to apply now. If you have any questions, please call your OCRS contact.

Career Roundtable Luncheons – RSVP NOW!

Philadelphia Futures Spring Break 2013 Collegian Programming

Career Roundtable Luncheon and   

Roadmap for Career Success

We are hosting exciting and informative programs in the most common Spring Break weeks:

  1. Roundtable Luncheon with an Industry Leader:  Gain valuable insight, ask pressing questions, and walk away with a better understanding of how to position yourself for a great start in the industry!
  2. Roadmap for Career Success:   Understand, visualize and map-out the practical steps to gain the life-changing opportunities that will establish a solid career path!

Each luncheon starts promptly at 12:30 and ends at 1:30, with the Roadmap Workshop to follow immediately, ending at 2:30.

Week 1: Thursday, March 7th – Career Roundtable Luncheon with a Graphic Design, Marketing and Media Communications Professional! 

Week 2:  Thursday, March 14th – Career Roundtable Luncheon with a Science and Medicine Professional!

Week 3:  Thursday, March 21st –  Career Roundtable Luncheon with LA-based Entertainment Professionals!

Join us the week you are home on break, or as many times as your schedule allows!

Please RSVP to Jack Byerly at jackbyerly@philadelphiafutures.org or 215-790-1666 x410 and let him know which session(s) you will be attending. Your response is important so we can accurately plan for our lunch order.

Looking forward to seeing you then!

– The OCRS Staff

Alternative Spring Break

We know it’s difficult to think about spring when winter is right around the corner, but NOW is the time to consider whether to pursue an Alternative Spring Break program (ASB), if you haven’t done so already.  Alternative Spring Break programs provide you with the opportunities to expand your worldview, further develop those foreign language or critical thinking skills you’ve built in the classroom and strengthen your resume by gaining professional experience.


Here are some steps you should take to start your search for the ASB program that is best for you:

  • Talk to your advisor.  He or she may know of ASB opportunities within the academic department of your interest, student clubs or by outside organizations that partner with your school.
  • Contact or stop by your school’s study abroad office and ask them about ASB opportunities
  • Look at your course catalog and see if any language courses you are interested in have a study abroad component.  Some foreign language courses require students to travel with the class during spring break.  Since your course registration for Spring 2013 has passed, this may be something to consider when planning for next Fall or Spring.
  •  Visit your school’s Community Service or Civic Engagement office and ask about spring break service learning projects.
  • Check out student clubs, such as Habitat for Humanity, that go on spring break service learning trips.

Students and Staff share their ASB experiences:

I went on Alliance and Understanding on a trip to the South to explore the partnership between Blacks and Jews during the civil rights era and see the segregation and inequalities that still exist. Going on this trip allowed me to expand on what I learned in my classes, by learning through stories, interactions and observations – something that does not happen in a classroom setting. Going with a group of people I don’t know from different backgrounds helped me meet individuals I might not have otherwise met. Additionally, I was inspired to take what I learned and witnessed to make changes back at Penn and beyond. Brian Stevenson, the director of the Equal Justice Initiative, who defends juveniles tried as adults said in his presentation, “You are more than the worst thing you have ever done.” And that still resonates with me and impacts the way I interact with people. – Mariya Keselman, University of Pennsylvania, SAS Class of 2010

I can’t say that the hard-skills I developed (building osprey habitats, laying radiant heat solar-powered flooring, patching canoes – at a nature conservancy center on the Chesapeake) were directly applicable to my future career, but certainly the soft skills of navigating a foreign environment, working in a team of strangers, being culturally sensitive and forgoing creature comforts like flush toilets and programmable heat  all served me in developing confidence, holding a wider-world view, problem solving and social emotional skills. – Ali Caccavella, Asst. Director of OCRS

While on my winter breaks through my college career, I have participated in a couple of alternative programs. Two of my winter breaks consisted of working as a behavioral health technician at a mental health and rehabilitation facility close to home, enhancing my work experience as well as getting to utilize some of my psychology course content while interacting with the patients. One break I went to Ghana with Penn State’s Global Medical Brigade where I facilitated a clinic like setting contributing to the triage station, public health station, dental stations, and gained exposure in medicine by shadowing physicians, seeing the community members one by one. Both experiences ultimately helped with career exploration. –  Faith Pettyjohn, Penn State University, SAS Class of 2009

The summer before my senior year was spent in Washington DC working as a mentor and swim instructor with the National Youth Sports Program. I had the opportunity to work with inner city youth between the ages of 10 and 16 teaching them the fundamentals of sports, healthy decision making, and teamwork. Having been a member of Howard University’s swim team and a lifeguard, I was invited by one of the graduate assistants in the athletics department to apply for a position with the program. Having competed in a sport where there were few minorities represented and incidents of drowning deaths in communities of color are high, I saw this as an opportunity to not only give back, but teach water safety skills that could potentially save a life. I came away from the experience excited about pursuing additional opportunities to mentor young people and further explore careers in education.  – Jennifer Carroll, Asst Director of OCRS

Here are some helpful websites:

Have you participated or are you hoping to participate this spring in an ASB program? Share your experiences or your plans with us in the comment section!