Inspiring the Next Generation

In a partnership with Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania (JA) and the School District of Philadelphia, 300 third graders from North Philadelphia participated in the JA Step to Success program and visited Temple University to get hands-on college experience.

Junior Achievement’s purpose has been to educate and inspire young people to own their economic success through financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness programs. By connecting classroom curricula to real world experiences, Junior Achievement gives students the knowledge and confidence necessary to reach their full potential.

JA Step to Success is a new initiative that stemmed from School District Superintendent Dr. Hite’s Action Plan 3.0, which includes a goal to have 100% of students graduate ready for college and career. Third graders participated in a three-hour tour of campus, enhanced by pre- and post- in-class lessons designed to prepare students and reinforce the college experience. Prior to their visit, the students learned key terms related to college including major, scholarship, and the difference between an Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree. During the visit, the students toured Temple and met with different campus representatives to learn about resources such as the library and dining halls.

According to the Matthew Effect, the most pivotal point in determining the success of a child’s educational career happens between third and fourth grade. JA Step to Success encourages students to see themselves in college by providing that hands-on experience.

"This program is critical in the lives of Philadelphia students because it emphasizes the importance of higher education and helps them envision college as a part of their future," commented Anjela Alvarado, Philadelphia Program Manager for Junior Achievement of Southeastern PA.

The College of Education’s partnership with College of Science and Technology and College of Engineering with Junior Achievement and the School District of Philadelphia supports the College’s social justice mission, research, and multigenerational, place-based impact.

 “I overheard students sharing with one another the need to get 'good grades' and finish high school in order to go to college and discussing who would be their roommates at Temple once they are here,” said Dr. Juliet Curci, senior director school and community partnerships for the College of Education.  “It was a wonderful day being able to share this Temple experience with our North Philadelphia partner schools' students.”

“The College of Education will continue to do all it can to ensure that we maintain a pipeline of high-quality, effective teachers and other education professionals for the School District of Philadelphia,” explained Dr. Curci. 

- Jane Clauss