A Day in the Life at West Philly High

7:30AM – On a typical day, we arrive in the Promise Corps room at 7:30.  School at West Philadelphia High School starts at 8:00, so for the first 30 minutes or so, we unwind, organize our things for the day, and usually talk briefly as a team to lay out the plan for the day.  Around 8, a group of students, the “usuals,” come in to say hi and brighten up our day.

8:00AM – 1st block. We have built relationships with a few teachers who allow us to come into their classes and help the students with their work.  So for a few periods during the day, Drew and I like to stop in in classes to help out.  There is also a constant stream of students coming in to our room to ask for help on school work, resumes, college applications, scholarship applications, and just to talk about life.

9:30AM – 2nd block. Camila and Kaitlin usually take the lead on trip planning.  We have trips pretty regularly, so they are always busy reaching out to the schools/museums that we visit, working everything out with the school’s administration, and doing all the administrative work that goes into planning a trip.  We are super grateful for the work they do. They’re also

11:15AM – During the lunch periods, there is always an influx of students to the Promise Corps room. It’s always nice to have the room full of students, and we usually just make sure they’re staying focused and doing something productive (i.e. not playing fortnite or watching basketball videos), help them with their work, and talk to them about school, life, and their plans for when they graduate.

1:30PM – 5th block. At the end of the day, we have a regular group of students who come to our room a before school ends to do work and prepare for their after school activities.  The end of the day is usually pretty hectic as students like to leave their classes early and wander. We always have to be diligent about who we’re letting in and making sure they’re actually doing work, and not just wandering.  However, the last hour or so of the day is usually devoted to helping students with their work.

3:00PM – It’s a Tuesday, so after school, the West Philadelphia High School team goes to Paul Robeson High School for an after school program.  We offer the same support for students at Paul Robeson as we do at West. Today, I help a student apply to two colleges.  We also tutor students and help them with their senior projects.  It’s fun to change it up during the week and meet with more students.  There’s a different atmosphere at both schools so it’s also a learning experience for us, and it’s good to see the way different schools run.

If there’s time, we’ll spend the rest of the afternoon meeting and planning out our events after all the students leave. At 4:30, our day ends, but sometimes we stay late to work on things like data, or this blog!

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– Patrick Ambrosio, College & Career Ambassador at West Philadelphia High School


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