Overbrook High School Visits Temple U

November 5th, 2018

On Tuesday, October 30th, CCA’s Jessie and Rodney accompanied 20 of their students on a college visit to Temple University in North Philadelphia. The day began with high levels OHS Temple 1of excitement and energy as students began trickling into the Promise Corps room around 8:15 a.m., where the OHS team took roll and prepped students on the eventful day ahead.


As 9 a.m. approached, OHS students and CCA’s headed to the bus stop and prepared to navigate SEPTA together. After riding a bus, the MFL and then a subway, the group arrived promptly at Temple’s Howard Gittis Student Center, ready to begin the tour! Students were greeted and led through the tour by an enthusiastic student from Temple, who provided detailed insight about the campus, specific programs and student life at the university.

After a brief introduction of the university and student center services, OHS students were guided through numerous buildings, including Samuel L. Paley Library and Alter Hall, Temple’s School of Business building, where students were given the opportunity to hear about the different resources available to business students. Additionally, the group was provided information on important landmarks and common hang-out spots around campus. After receiving ample information on academics, admissions, and student life at Temple University, the tour concluded at the famous Temple Owl Statue, where CCA’s debriefed with students & took a few pictures to celebrate the end of a successful tour.


To give you a sense of our students’ experience, we interviewed senior Destiny Burton about her time at the university:


Jessie (CCA): What did you go into the Temple Trip expecting and what did you get out of it?

Destiny: I was expecting to get more knowledge about Temple University and I got what I expected.

Jessie: Can you share some of the questions you asked? What did you like?

Destiny: I asked what the admission requirements were, how the cheerleading squad is, and what the tuition is. It was a beautiful, peaceful campus, and they gave us a lot of good food. The students around campus were friendly.

Jessie: What did you learn about this experience?

Destiny: I learned that schools in the city often have a lot more students than schools located outside of the city.

Jessie: What are the things that you liked about Temple that might push you to go? If you were to tell other students about how to prepare for college trips, what would you tell them to do?

Destiny: I liked the atmosphere of the campus and how you can make your own club if you have a good idea. Your voice matters to them. I would tell other students to wear their best smile, behave themselves, and ask many questions.

OHS Temple 4
Senior Destiny Burton


Over the next few weeks, the OHS team will be planning several more college trips for our students, including tours of Delaware State and East Stroudsburg University.


-Jessie Klein, College & Career Ambassador at Overbrook High School

Fun at the West Philly Fall Fest!

On Saturday October 20th, two of Sayre’s College and Career Ambassadors  participated in a community event called the West Philadelphia Fall Fest, held at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. The event took place outside on a beautiful fall morning, from 10am- 2pm, and started off with a performance from the jamming West Powelton/76ixers Drumline. As the day went on, kids engaged in a variety of fun activities, including a face-painting station inside the community center, multiple bouncy houses in which to jump around, and several booths that offered information about their community.


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Two College and Career Ambassadors from Sayre High School, Anna and Shakeira, staffed the Promise Corps table, where they engaged participants with exciting trivia questions related to college and career readiness. People came up to the table to find out about Promise Corps programming, win some prizes, learn more about college and career readiness, and inquire about local employment opportunities. The CCAs were also able to include themselves in the Fall Fest and win some prizes of their own.


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There was a variety of other tables at the fest as well. To the left of Promise Corps table was the Promise Zone table. At their table, they had a fun photo backdrop where you were asked to write what Promise Zone looks like to you and what it means as well. Promise Corps was able to get a few fun pictures taken by them. There was another table to the right of Promise Corps, where attendees of the fest were able to find out how much sugar is in their drink. They had samples of water, vitamin water, gatorade, Day’s soda, and Monster energy drink. As neighbors and kids came up, they distributed plastic cups that changed colors from the temperature and gift bags filled with goodies.

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West Philadelphia Fall Fest was an amazing turn out and Promise Corps hopes to participate again next year!

CCA Spotlight from School of the Future

This week we want to highlight Shaquana, our second-year CCA here at High School of the Future. Shaquana is from North Philadelphia and attended Mariana Pracetti Academy Charter School. Her favorite subjects in high school were History and English. Shaquana was regularly involved in sports and clubs throughout her time at Mariana Pracetti Academy Charter School. She played basketball and participated in student government. After graduating from high school, Shaquana attended Temple University where she studied education, human development, and community engagement. On campus, she was involved in the National Honor Society.


Shaquana really enjoys working with the students at Future and spends her days attending classes to support them with their academic needs as well as helping them prepare for their lives upon graduation from Future. Shaquana explains that mentoring youth in West Philly is extremely rewarding and she really enjoys giving back to the community. When asked what students she enjoys working with the most she replied, “All of my students are awesome, they really know how to make me laugh”.



As we mentioned before, Shaquana is serving her second year as a Promise Corps CCA. She decided to come back to work with the new senior class that she worked with as juniors. She wanted to be able to work through the challenges and rewards of senior year with them, and to see them graduate. After this year, Shaquana wants to stay in the education field and impact even more students.


When she is not at work, Shaquana enjoys watching Netflix, online shopping, and spending time with family and friends. Shaquana is an amazing CCA; she is able to connect with the students and encourage them to do their work. She has been working hard to help them prepare for their future after Future! Thanks for all of your hard work, Shaquana!

CCA Spotlight from Overbrook High School

This week we want to introduce corps member Rodney, one of our CCAs at Overbrook High School!

Rodney is from West Philadelphia and attended West Philadelphia High School. While in high school, Rodney enjoyed his History and English classes. Additionally, Rodney participated in the school’s cross country and track team. Rodney then moved on to Pennsylvania State University to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice; however, this was not his initial degree decision. Rodney took classes as a Psychology and Pre-Law major before taking interest in Criminal Justice. Besides focusing on his academics, Rodney decided to get involved on campus. He wanted to get involved because his campus was lacking diversity and inclusion, and his goal was to bring awareness to the issues students of color were facing. Rodney participated in the Black Student Union. This was one of the only clubs on campus that sparked his interest.


Rodney, Overbrook High



Rodney made the decision to serve with Promise Corps this year because he wants to give back to his community to show them that anything is possible! So far this year, Rodney has been working on forming positive relationships with each of his students and the school staff in the building. Rodney has very high expectations for each of his students. Rodney would like all of his students to have a plan after high school. He would like those of his students who plan on going to college to learn about independence and the importance of asking for help when they need it, as he knows from experience that nobody will hold their hand once they leave Overbrook!

Rodney enjoys serving with Promise Corps because he can give back to the West Philly community and can show the students that no matter where they are from, anything is possible. Rodney’s favorite part about being a CCA is meeting and working with the students. He says he enjoys each student he is working with; they are all unique in their own way, and they make him laugh.

After this year, Rodney would like to enroll in a Masters of Social Work Program. He is looking at several universities, such as California State University at Long Beach, University of Denver, and Long Island University-Brooklyn. Rodney hopes to become a clinical social worker to work with those who suffer from mental health issues.

When he is not busy with Promise Corps, Rodney enjoys reading, exercising, meditating and cooking. His favorite thing to cook is veggie fried rice. When asked why, he explained, “That’s my go to meal to impress anyone.”

We believe that Rodney is an exceptional CCA and we are very lucky to have him on our team this year!

FAFSA Fiesta!

With the new school year underway, seniors are not wasting any time preparing for life after West Philly High School. There has been a whirlwind of activity in the Promise Corps room since the very start. For the most part, students having been stressing out about their senior projects. In their eyes, this is the only thing standing between them and graduation. We have been striving to help students recognize the importance of taking the necessary steps to prepare for college. It has been a struggle getting them to multitask, while also trying not to overwhelm them.

One of our primary focuses has been on getting students to complete their FAFSA, which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Many of our students did not know about the FAFSA, realize its importance or understand what information they needed in order to complete it. When we noticed this lack of exposure, we made it our mission to get the word out to the students. In order to reach seniors, we prepared in-class presentations, chased after students down the halls, brought laptops to the cafeteria, begged them stay for a few minutes after school, and did our best to make sure everyone stayed informed. Luckily, the mention of free money for college was all it took to give many students the motivation they needed.

For students who were still dragging their feet, we had to rethink our strategy. So we decided to have a FAFSA completion competition. Using a donation from a local coffee shop, we promised baked goods to the first fifteen students who showed us confirmation. Surprisingly, this was just the push that some of our students needed. In some cases, it seemed like the treat was the real prize, and the thousands of potential dollars for college was just a bonus.

Additionally, Promise Corps members from all four school sites came together on October 3 at the Philadelphia School District Office to assist with a FAFSA completion night. Hundreds of students showed up with their parents, grandparents, and siblings to get help with their FAFSA applications. We are so proud of the students who have already completed their FAFSA, and look forward to helping the rest of them get it finished.




Off to a Busy Start

From onboarding a new cohort of College and Career Ambassadors to supporting teachers and administrators bring in a new school year, from hosting workshops on the college application process to greeting families at Back to School Nights, and from attending intricate professional development sessions on topics such as navigating school environments and de-escalation techniques to performing physical labor at community service sites, Promise Corps has been BUSY!!

Take a look at our program timeline, from the start of the ’18/19 School Year to date, to get a snapshot of all that we’ve been up to:


Program Timeline – School Year to Date