Back to News

Urban League of Philadelphia, School District of Philadelphia Partner with Local Businesses to Create Youth Development Program

December 21, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2016


 Urban League consultant, TriZen, LLC to facilitate the Adopt-A-School initiative, aiming to foster an environment of academic achievement and career exploration for youth throughout Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA – The Urban League of Philadelphia and its consultant TriZen, LLC, are proud to announce a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and ten local businesses to create the Adopt-A-School Program. This initiative is funded by the GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program) grant, which provides mentoring and other services designed to motivate students to graduate from high school and enroll in college or another form of post-secondary education.

In addition to helping students develop a greater love of learning, the program aims to serve as a pipeline for future employment. Targeting the Class of 2020, the Adopt-A-School Program will match district high schools with some of the city’s leading companies, bringing employees to schools to meet with and mentor students. Several kick-off events are taking place this month at schools and a series of formal programs and field trips, focusing on career exploration, social engagement, financial literacy, leadership and personal development will take place at each school through April 2017 with career fairs and wrap-up sessions happening at schools in June 2017.

The program is an ideal way to create new ways for students to think about life after high school as well as a great way for local businesses to strengthen their corporate social responsibility and community engagement efforts, said Patricia Coulter, interim president and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia.

“We are very fortunate to have wonderful support from many of the region’s top companies and they view the Urban League and TriZen as perfect conduits for which to connect with the School District of Philadelphia and its students to carry out impactful service,” Coulter said. “There is no doubt that a program like this is a win for all involved.”

TriZen managing partner Tomeka Lee agreed.

“Through our leadership development work with companies here, we’re constantly hearing about a desire to get engaged with and help youth excel in the classroom and beyond,” Lee said. “The Adopt-A-School Program will allow youth to be mentored by professionals from top companies, while giving them insight on career opportunities they may never have known of if not for this program.

“Once these students graduate from high school in 2020,” Lee continued, “they will be better prepared to succeed in college or a career because of the interaction with the professionals participating in the Adopt-A-School program. And, ideally, whether it’s immediately after high school or once they graduate from college, there could be opportunities for employment with the participating companies.”

A partial list of the participating companies and the schools in which they have been matched include: AmeriHealth Caritas (Kensington Health Science Academy High School), Comcast (School of the Future), Independence Blue Cross (Benjamin Franklin High School), PGW (Kensington High School), Painted Bride Arts Center (Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts), PRWT (Martin Luther King, Jr. High School) and Wawa (Penn Treaty Middle/High School).

For additional information on upcoming Adopt-A-School events, please contact Giva Wilkerson at 215-935-6808, ext. 302 or