Become a mentor to a West Philadelphia High School student

West Philly High Mentor

A new Penn mentoring program with West Philadelphia High School offers University faculty and staff the opportunity to advise and counsel local students.

As part of a partnership between Penn and the School District of Philadelphia, Penn mentors spend one hour a week with a West Philly High student. The young men and women are what Samantha Foster of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships calls “middle of the pack” students who can benefit from some adult guidance.

As the director of the West Philadelphia High Community School and Student Success Center, Foster says mentors can have a significant impact on students’ lives. “It gives them an adult to connect with,” she says.

The program is seeking 100 volunteers who can commit to mentoring a student for one year. To volunteer, or for more information about the program, email

Foster says that high school students can be at times overwhelmed with the various activities and concerns going on in their lives, including personal relationships, SATs and post-high school plans.

“Mentoring relationships give them exposure to different ways of thinking, and a sounding board with someone who isn’t family, someone they don’t know but will get to know,” she says.

As part of Penn’s ongoing commitment to engage with the local community, The Netter Center for Community Partnerships also offers other mentoring opportunities with middle and high schools in West Philadelphia. To learn more about those programs, visit the Center’s Penn Volunteers in Public Service.


Originally published on October 7, 2010