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A Day in the Life at Future (During a Pandemic)

As we all know, COVID-19 has changed our daily lives for most of 2020. One of these changes for many Americans is virtual learning. This new world of virtual learning has resulted in us re-inventing how we educate our students and in turn, has adjusted how Promise Corps assists our scholars. Here is sneak peak into a typical virtual day for your Promise Corps team at School of the Future 

8:00AM – The virtual day at Future usually starts off with either a team check in or some individual prep time. Due to the sometimes confusing nature of virtual school, the coaches often use this time to get themselves and their schedule in line for the day. It’s very common for a meeting with school staff to pop up the day of, so giving ourselves time to prepare for these things is crucial! 

8:30AM – 11:07AM – During this time your Future coaches are attending their respective seminar classes! During these classes Promise Corps assists teachers in their lessons, leads presentations on college and career readiness, and provides support in any way we can. Ms. Olivia and Ms. Kaitlin work with our 10th and some of our 11th grade students on resumes, goal-setting, and job skills, to name  a few . Ms. Sierra, Ms. Emma, and Ms. Abbey work with our 12th and the rest of our 11th grade students. In those classes they’ve worked on financial aid, college applications, career exposure, and much more! 

11:30 – Most days, this is the coaches lunch period. It’s when we get a chance to regroup and relax between our busy days!

12:00PM – 2:00PM – After lunch our schedule really changes day to day. Some of us attend our remaining seminar classes, while others use this time as prep time for the rest of the week. This is also sometimes used as a time to catch up on timesheets and data tracking

2:00PM – 3:30PM– I would argue that, virtually, this is our favorite part of the day. During this time Promise Corps holds office hours which is a time where Promise Corps students, or Future students in general, can drop by and get help on whatever they need to work on. Normally office hours always start with a drop in from some of our regulars and ends the same way! This is a great time for us to build relationships with our students and accomplish a lot!

Overall, everyday virtually is different. We don’t have a classroom where students can just pop in whenever, so we have and continue to do everything possible to help our students the best we can despite these virtual barriers! 

Students at West Finish the First Marking Period, Set Sights on Further Success

The West Philadelphia High School Team wanted to shine a spotlight on all of the West students in this week’s blog post. As the first marking period comes to a close, students are working very hard to get all of their remaining assignments completed by the deadline! The West Philadelphia High School College and Career Coaches have been working with students the past few weeks on tutoring and assignment completion.  

Some students were struggling with specific subject areas. Ali, a 10th Grade Student at West, who said “the coaches have been a great support for my tough history project”. The ability to have extra help outside of the classroom was clutch for Ali as he later reported doing really well on the assignment.  

Other students were very excited by the opportunity to work with Promise Corps Coaches outside of the classroom setting. Jasmine, a 10th grader at West Philadelphia High School said “the extra support on these assignments at the end of the marking period helps me stay calm about my schoolwork”. Jasmine also said that she couldn’t wait till the marking period was over so that she could use the extra time with Coaches to focus more on her Promise Corps goals for the year.  

The Promise Corps Coaches are always eager to talk with students about their college, career, and life goals. Achieving strong grades each and every marking period at school is crucial to that goal! The West Philadelphia High School Coaches want to give a big shout out to all of the students for soaring to success in the first marking period Go West!  

-Harry Levant  

Virtual College Fairs

Over the past week, there have been several virtual college fairs made available to students with an interest in attending college after graduation. During the fairs, representatives from universities and colleges throughout the country gave a rundown on their institutions. All conducted in a virtual setting that provided presentations and allotted time for questions at the end. 

At the NACAC virtual fair, schools like Kutztown University, Drexel University, and Duquesne University hosted informational sessions for the prospective students, their families, and educators. There was a great turn out of 40-50 students for each informational session. At the end of the informational sessions, time was allotted for questions and answers. During the Q&A, the attendees were able to better understand what these universities have to offer, and the university representatives were able to delve into even more specific information about their school.

NACAC National College Fairs- Register for Virtual College Fairs

Kristopher Bartow, a PC Coach at OHS, attended the NACAC Virtual Fair and shared a few words about his experience, “Overall it was a very informative experience. This event is something I wish I could have attended back in high school. This was a great way to get a lot of information from a lot of different schools.”

In addition to the NACAC virtual fair, there was an HBCU virtual fair as well. The event was very well organized which allowed for easy understanding for the participants. There were even virtual booths for each university for easy access. In addition to the booths held, a panel with alumni from different HBCUs spoke on their experience attending an HBCU. The panelists provided great insight into the cultural aspects of an HBCU and how it allowed them to embrace their culture even more. 

Virtual College Fair

Bryana Pinos-Grada, a PC Coach at OHS, attended the HBCU virtual fair and had a great experience. She highlighted a particular discussion centered around why the panelists chose an HBCU, which stood out to her. Listening to the responses from the panelists, she commented, “Although this was a very simple question, their responses were so packed with information and passion”. Attending the panel discussion allowed Bryana to reflect on her own college experience, where she attended a school with a small percentage of minorities. It showed her the importance of feeling like you are part of a community with similar cultures and experiences.

These virtual college fairs have been a great way to expose students, families, and educators to different universities from the comfort of their own homes. In this new majority virtual world, we’re living in due to COVID-19, it’s great to have these types of resources offered to students and their families.

  • Arianna Coleman, College and Career Coach at Overbrook High School

Students at West Finish the First Marking Period, Set Sights on Further Success

The West Philadelphia High School Team wanted to shine a spotlight on all of the West students in this week’s blog post. As the first marking period comes to a close, students are working very hard to get all of their remaining assignments completed by the deadline! The West Philadelphia High School College and Career Coaches have been working with students the past few weeks on tutoring and assignment completion.

Kelly Maiello Architects: New West Philadelphia High School

Some students were struggling with specific subject areas. Ali Zubair, a 10th Grade Student at West, said: “The coaches have been a great support for my tough history project.” The ability to have extra help outside of the classroom was clutch for Ali, as he later reported doing very well on the assignment.

Other students were very excited by the opportunity to work with Promise Corps Coaches outside of the classroom setting. Jasmine White-West, a 10th grader at West Philadelphia High School, said: “the extra support on these assignments at the end of the marking period helps me stay calm about my schoolwork.” Jasmine also said that she couldn’t wait till the marking period was over so that she could use the extra time with Coaches to focus more on her Promise Corps goals for the year.

27 Quotes That Will Change The Way You Think About Success | Inc.com

The Promise Corps Coaches are always eager to talk with students about their college, career, and life goals. Achieving strong grades each and every marking period at school is crucial to that goal! The West Philadelphia High School Coaches want to give a big shout out to all of the students for soaring to success in the first marking period. Go West!

-Harry Levant

Virtual FAFSA Events Deemed a Success

This past month the Promise Corps team of coaches and supervisors came together to host two virtual pop-up FAFSA events for the entire school district of Philadelphia. Since the FAFSA application opened October 2nd, helping students and parents complete the application as soon as possible has been a main priority for Promise Corps. Like many people are experiencing with a multitude of tasks this year, helping with the FAFSA application in a completely virtual space comes with a new set of obstacles.

The first event took place on October 7th, and the second on October 29th. Several students and parents from different schools were in attendance. The event was hosted on Zoom and coaches were split into break-out rooms with small groups of parents and students to go through the application step by step. For anyone that has completed the FAFSA application before, they know how tedious, overwhelming, and confusing it can be.

When asked what the hardest part of the application is, one senior at School of the Future said, “getting my parents’ information and having them fill out their part of the form.”

Another student expressed gratitude for the virtual FAFSA events because they found it easier to get their parents’ information: “It helps them better understand why their personal information is required for completion, and they are more willing to participate”.

One mother joined the first event stressed out and worried because she knew the application was important, but not much else about it. By the end of the night she had completed the application for her son and I was lucky enough to hear her profusely thanking Z, Tameka, and Marylissa for hosting such an important event: “There should be a survey or something we can fill out so people can know how helpful this was!”

Even though we had a small turn-out, I am happy to know that we helped a handful of people complete the application and therefore get a step closer to their goal of attending college!

By Emma Cottone, College and Career Coach at School of the Future

Member Spotlight: Olivia Chandler

Meet Olivia Chandler, one of the coaches at School of the Future! Ms. OIivia was born and raised in Philly and attended Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where she got a Bachelor’s in Political Science. She graduated earlier this year with her Master’s in Educational Leadership – College Student Affairs from Bloomsburg, too, and was very active in different honors societies throughout undergraduate and graduate school. When asked what influenced her transition from political science to education, she said it was when “the president of Bloomsburg University [of Pennsylvania] asked… if I ever considered receiving my master’s in education…” Though it was not on her mind at the time, she went for it and “fell in love with education and assisting students in their personal, professional, and academic growth.”

     Upon finding her true love in working with students and in education, Ms. Olivia was motivated to apply to Promise Corps and to continue to serve as a role model and mentor for students. With Promise Corps, she gets to utilize her learned experiences to guide and support students to the best of her ability and continue to pursue her passion. This passion for students is supported tenfold when it comes to being part of the School of the Future (SOF) family. Ms. Olivia admired the school spirit found in every staff member, student, and educator at SOF, and wanted to be part of the supportive environment. So far, she has been part of seminar classes and met with some students on her caseload, and has enjoyed every part of the experience. In her own words, Ms. Olivia is most looking forward to “witnessing students discover their passions and dreams while becoming their best self!”

     Besides working with students, Ms. Olivia is a gym junkie! Outside of class time you can find her working out or planning a workout- she is a true fitness fanatic. She also loves watching 90 Day Fiance, snacking on Chomp’s grass fed jerky, and spending time with loved ones. Here is to an amazing school year with School of the Future coach Ms. Olivia!

Sierra Serna, College and Career Coach at School of the Future