Farewell Coaches…. Again?

I am sure many of you are confused to why we are saying farewell to our coaches again. Well, as most of our coaches ended their service on June 5th we had two coaches that end their service today July 3rd. Why? Well Alexis and Roland began their service a few weeks later than the rest of the coaches so their term ends today! Here is the best part of this whole situation, Alexis and Roland both decided to finish their term of service. They were both given the choice to end on June 5th with the rest of their teammates and still earn their whole education award or stay until July 3rd. Both Alexis and Roland made the decision to finish their term to their last day!

In their last month of service Alexis and Roland were great help to Promise Corps! They supported in recruitment of coaches for next year by being in on virtual open houses ready to answer questions and updating university contact lists. Alexis and Roland also supported us in our Work Ready recruitment of students and their enrollment process. They both also provided excellent feedback to the orientation process that will definitely be taken into consideration this summer! Lastly, both coaches were trained in contact tracing for Covid-19, although they were unable to put it into practice it was a great learning opportunity for them.

In just one short month Alexis and Roland were able to provide Promise Corps great supports to get a jump start into summer work. After today Roland will be preparing for law school that starts in the fall and Alexis will be continuing her search for graduate programs!

Thank you both! – Leadership Team

Soon- To- Be Seniors Spotlight

Jahmir Coulter is a soon-to-be senior who has been a Promise Corps regular since his freshman year at West Philadelphia High School! You might be wondering how this happened since Promise Corps starts seeing students their sophomore year but Jahmir took it upon himself to meet Promise Corps staff his freshman year and invest himself fully into everything the Promise Corps program has to offer. Jahmir is a student who focuses on building strong, genuine relationships in his education. Whether this is with his teachers, the administration, or school partners Jahmir makes sure that he not only commits himself to his school work, but also to the people who are a part of his educational journey. 

Jahmir has an innate jovial spirit that is infectious; he always brightens the room that he walks into!  He has a laugh that lights up others and diligently gives out hugs when he feels someone is having a bad day. Jahmir has a strong emotional IQ and does not hide the empathy that he carries. Jahmir’s big heart reaches well beyond the classroom too, as he truly is a student that wants to make sure that everyone is doing well and enjoys their time at West! Jahmir can be seen regularly encouraging his fellow peers and Promise Corps staff throughout the day, and we are sure that his future is as bright as his personality!

-West Philadelphia Promise Corps Team

Summer Work Ready!

WorkReady Goes Digital!!

As we discussed in an earlier post, we have been in the planning process to offer incentive-based activities and other digital experiences for our youth to experience from the comfort of their homes!

We are excited to offer digital career exposure, financial literacy and brand identity as well as additional activities in home management. We are calling this series “Adulting 101!” We have learned that there are things that we had to learn on the fly as adults and we are planning activities that will give our participants the tools to succeed, not just in their prospective careers, but in life!

Enrollment is now open and space is limited! To apply for our program, visit For youth, ages 12-13, use the referral code “IN002” and for youth, ages 14-18, use the referral code “WE010.” Once they complete the initial application, they will receive an email with the next steps to complete enrollment!

Welcome Zoraida & Kaila!

While the close out of this school year and slow transformation into summer has been tumultuous – our staff team has had some transitions of our own!

We’d like to formally welcome and introduce you to, Zoraida Cordero & Kaila Shannon Barnes!

new staff group photo 2020 (002)

Zoraida will be taking on the role of Promise Corps Manager and directly managing the day to day operations of Promise Corps. She has already lead a school district wide virtual event to share alternative pathways after high school graduation, began outreach and engagement efforts to recruit next years 20 College and Career Coaches and is beginning to design the pre-service orientation all members will experience in August! To learn more about Zoraida’s background including 9 years in the Army Reserves and her love for German shepherds – check out our staff page for her full bio!

Kaila is joining us as the Career Pathways Student Coordinator and has already launched an outreach campaign to enroll 40 young people in our virtual Work Ready summer programming! Kaila is leading implementation of a financial literacy, digital literacy and career exploration track for all participants! She is also designing an additional weekly experience currently named “Adulting 101” where young people will learn skills that support home management and collaboration among their household. Check out our staff page for Kaila’s bio which includes her most recent experience at PA Career Link as a Workforce Advisor!


Welcome to the team Zoraida & Kaila!

Farewell 2019-2020 Coaches!

Today we are going to recognize and celebrate our 13 College and Career Coaches who ended their term of AmeriCorps service on 6/5/2020. For the past 10 months this team worked directly with 550+ high school students to assist them with college and career exploration, support their short term and long term goal setting and consistently served as role models of resilience and persistence. Even during school closure and ramping up virtual support – this team continued in their mission!

Lead by Marylissa and Tameka, this team planned and executed incredible events for young people including workshops on site at their school sites and field trips to Morgan State, Orleans Technical Institute, Villanova, Rutgers, Del State, Cabrini, Kutztown and took students to the Apple store on 16th and Walnut for a series of workshops provided by Apple staff on app building and coding. While plans for additional trips to visit SEPTA, Lincoln Financial Field and the Marriott were canceled due to our stay at home order this team worked to bring in external speakers to meet with students and found ways to share diverse career fields with them that matched their interests.

During our final group session yesterday via zoom the Executive Director of the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunities provided words of motivation and recognition for their hard work – noting how challenging it is to see the long term effect on a young person but to know that it is certainly there. We also had school staff from each one of the Promise Corps high schools “zoom bomb” our final session to say thank you and congratulations to each team.


THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to our 2019-2020 Coaches!

Stay in touch and know that you always have resources and a network of support at our agency.

Senior Spotlight: Semaj Hunter

Today we shine the spotlight on a student, Semaj Hunter, who shows dedication and passion in what he wanted to do after high school. Semaj was a student who was on Ms. Leigh’s caseload. When we first met him, he was shy and barely came into the classroom. He was respectful of Ms. Leigh and the rest of the team. Once he got comfortable, he came in at least every day and his smile would light up the room. If Semaj doesn’t come in for help with his senior assignments, then he would come in just to check-in on us. The Promise Corps team hosted a Speaker Week event at High School of the Future in January. We had guest speakers from different occupations. Semaj mentioned that he wanted to become a firefighter. We had a firefighter come in to speak to our high schoolers, he participated and asked questions. One day, Semaj came into our classroom and told us that he joined the Firefighter Explorer Post program to prepare to become a firefighter. We were so proud of him because he was following his dreams and taking matters into his own hands. Semaj quickly became a model student for his fellow classmates and was excited to share his post-secondary goals to 10th grade classes.

Another moment was when Ms. Alexis and Ms. Abbey had their own Jobs and Internships module with their 10th-grade students, Semaj was one of the first seniors to volunteer to speak with the younger students. He used his time speaking about his experience and became a model for the Promise Corps duo on the dos and don’ts for job internships and the various professional dress codes. Semaj’s progression throughout the school year was amazing! 

Semaj, thank you for working with Ms. Leigh and the Promise Corps team. We hope that you continue working hard and celebrating your success. 

-Promise Corps Team at School of the Future