Stewarding a Founding Father’s Wishes
Benjamin Franklin believed in pennies saved and pennies earned.
When he left 1,000 pounds sterling to the city of Philadelphia, Franklin instructed city leaders to hold part of it for 200 years and then use it to train “artificers” – a Colonial term for craftsmen and tradesmen. In the 1990s, the trust funds managed by the City of Philadelphia were transferred the Philadelphia Foundation. Today, the fund continues to support vocational training for graduates of Philadelphia’s high schools and benefits programs that prepare young people for employment.
Empowering Local Students
A pharmaceutical company was inspired to help local students who have overcome adversity.
GSK established the Opportunity Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to Philadelphians who have overcome adversity such as serious illness, sexual abuse, domestic violence and personal loss. The goal is to continually support students who have triumphed over such situations with dignity and grace and help them receive an education that will allow them to flourish in today’s innovative global economy. These scholarships are part of GSK’s national outreach effort.
Addressing Adult Illiteracy
When creative thinking met an important societal issue, an innovative program was born.
In the 1960’s, the Philadelphia Foundation made a significant contribution to a daily educational television program called Operation Alphabet which was designed to teach the basics of reading and writing to adults who were illiterate. Hosted by Alexander Shevlin of the Philadelphia Board of Education, the show provided valuable lessons in 30 minutes, for nearly 200 episodes. The program was one of the first to deal with adult literacy and became one of Philadelphia’s longest-running programs.