About Us

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School Partners

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Teachers Trained

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Students Taught

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Growth in
financial knowledge

At Philadelphia Financial Scholars, we believe access to financial and entrepreneurship education is critical to overcoming systemic economic barriers.

Our Mission

We provide high school students, teachers, and families with the tools needed to develop financial skills, build greater wealth, and achieve financial empowerment.

Our Story

Philadelphia Financial Scholars is an evolution of a program that launched in 2016, when Mike Gerber, president of the FS Foundation, partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to create a financial literacy program for historically overlooked and under-served high school students and school communities.

In 2020, building on this proven model, members of the Philadelphia financial services community, as well as several law firms, accounting firms and community organizations, joined to expand the program and reach more teachers, families and students with critical financial empowerment programs. Philadelphia Financial Scholars expanded to include curriculum and professional development for daily in-school financial literacy education, entrepreneurship enrichment powered by corporate and university volunteers, paid summer workforce development programming for teens, and evening financial empowerment workshops for adults in our school communities.

We currently partner with 28 high schools to serve over 2,300 students. We're focused on student impact and outcomes: we train teachers and prioritize curricular resources and activities that reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the students we serve. We aim to incorporate culturally relevant materials and examples into our financial literacy curriculum, enabling students to see themselves and their access to bright futures reflected in their learning materials.

Through a commitment to equity and a focus on accessibility, we aim to bridge the opportunity gap and ensure that historically under-served students have equal access to the knowledge and skills necessary for financial empowerment.

What Board Members
Are Saying

It was amazing to see how engaged and informed the students were. Impressively, not only did they demonstrate that they understood the concepts and terminology, but they also articulated their preferences for managing their finances responsibly. Such an amazing program that I wish I had in high school.”

Sulaiman Rahman, CEO/Founder of DiverseForce
(PFS Board Member)

Core Team

Kerry Wagner Woodward

Executive Director

Kerry Wagner Woodward is the first Executive Director of Philadelphia Financial Scholars. She oversees curriculum and professional development, school partnerships, corporate sponsorships, program expansion, mission advocacy, and collaborates with the Board of Directors on the strategic vision of the organization.

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Danielle Hernandez

Financial Empowerment Specialist

Danielle Hernandez is the Financial Empowerment Specialist at Philadelphia Financial Scholars. She supports high school educators by offering guidance on instructional strategies, enhancing curriculum, and creating professional development programs that enhance content knowledge and allow for collaboration among educators.

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Partner Schools

  • Belmont
  • Bodine
  • Boys Latin
  • Carver
  • Chester HS
  • Cristo Rey
  • Dobbins
  • Fels
  • Freire
  • Freire Wilmington
  • Furness
  • Kensington Health
  • KIPP DuBois
  • KIPP
  • Lincoln
  • MaST
  • MaST II
  • Mercy Vocational
  • MLK
  • Northeast
  • Palumbo
  • Parkway C.C.
  • Preparatory Charter
  • South Philly
  • TECH Freire
  • Mastery Hardy Williams
  • Mastery Lenfest
  • Mastery Pickett
  • Mastery Shoemaker
  • Mastery Simon Gratz

Board of Directors

  • Brendan Clark | Clark Capital, CEO
  • Brian Gildea | Hamilton Lane, Mananging Director
  • Josh Deringer | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Partner
  • Keith Leaphart | Philanthropi, Founder
  • Kelly Davenport | Freire School Network, CEO & Founder
  • Marc Bryant | FS Investments, Chief Legal Officer
  • Mia Fioravanti | Hilco Capital, Vice President, Corporate Affairs
  • Mike Gerber | FS Investments, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
  • Rob Zion | TIFF, COO
  • Ryan Oswald | EY, Partner
  • Sarah Roth | Argosy Capital, CEO
  • Steve DeAngelis | Villanova University School of Business, Executive in Residence
  • Sulaiman Rahman | DiverseForce , CEO & Founder
  • Toni Damon | Cherry Hill High School, Principal
  • William Sasso | Stradley Ronon, Chairman Emeritus
  • Chiwuike Owunwanne | KeyBank, Corporate Responsibility Officer
  • Shawn Lytle | Macquarie, Head of Public Investments, President Delaware Funds
  • Iola Harper | The Enterprise Center, Senior Executive Vice President
  • Jeff Wicklund | The Enterprise Center, Executive Vice President

Our Sponsors