Philadelphia Financial Scholars

We believe access to financial and entrepreneurship education is critical to overcoming systemic economic barriers. Philadelphia Financial Scholars aims to provide Philadelphia high school students, teachers and families with the tools needed to develop financial skills, build greater wealth and achieve financial empowerment.

Philadelphia Financial Scholars’ roots date back to 2016, when the FS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of FS Investments, partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to create a financial literacy program for high school students. Since that time, the program has expanded significantly and now includes in-class financial literacy education, after-school entrepreneurship training, a summer business accelerator program at The Wharton School, and a nights-and-weekends curriculum for the teachers, families and caregivers of our students. The program is currently operating in 15 schools, both public and charter, and has reached more than 1,500 students.

Building on this proven model, other companies in the Philadelphia financial services community, as well as several law firms, accounting firms and community organizations, have come together to expand the program and reach more teachers, families and students with these critical financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs.

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Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Founded in 1740, The University of Pennsylvania is the fourth oldest institute of higher learning in the United States. The University is credited with many “firsts” including the first school of medicine in North America, the first collegiate business school, and the first student union. It is recognized as one of the premier research universities in the country with a research budget of over $900 million and over 35 Nobel laureates. The University has a strong social impact presence both locally and globally.


“We expect young people to succeed after high school without teaching them how to balance a checkbook or understand what interest rates are and why they matter. In today’s world, we need to better equip our youth.“

Mike Gerber
Chair, Philadelphia Financial Scholars
Executive Vice President, FS Investments

Founding supporters and board representatives

Brinker Capital
Noreen Beaman

Clark Capital
Brendan Clark

Ryan Oswald

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Josh Deringer

FS Investments
Marc Bryant
Mike Gerber

Hamilton Lane
Brian Gildea

Keith Leaphart

Stradley Ronan
Bill Sasso

Rob Zion

The Enterprise Center
Jeff Wicklund

Murrell Dobbins Career & Technical Education High School 
Dr. Toni Damon

Freire Schools Network
Kelly Davenport

Sulaiman Rahman 

Permit Capital
Mimi Drake

The current landscape

Young Americans are faced with high-stakes economic decisions, yet financial literacy standards in the U.S. are disappointingly low. With the rise of economic inequality, our nation’s unpreparedness for retirement and the proliferation of student debt, our programs aim to equip our young people with the tools needed to make smart, early financial decisions.




of students nationwide are required to take a personal finance class to graduate high school.1

The U.S. is ranked


out of 15 countries surveyed for student financial literacy knowledge.2

Savings and Retirement


of Americans save nothing for retirement.3


of Americans have no savings, in addition to their retirement savings.3

Partner schools

Originally piloted at Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, Philadelphia Financial Scholars currently operates in fifteen Philadelphia-area public and charter schools, including:

Bodine High School for International Affairs
Magnet, North Philadelphia

Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School
Charter, West Philadelphia

Central High School
Public, North Philadelphia

Esperenza Academy
Charter School, Germantown

Freire Charter School
Charter, Center City

Freire Tech
Charter, North Philadelphia

George Washington High School
Public, Northeast Philadelphia

Hamilton School
Public, West Philadelphia

John Bartram High School
Public, Southwest Philadelphia

Kensington Health Sciences Academy
Public, North Philadelphia

Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High School
Technical High School, North Philadelphia

Paul Robeson High School
Public, West Philadelphia

Sayre High School
Public, West Philadelphia

South Philadelphia High School
Public, South Philadelphia

West Philadelphia High School
Public, West Philadelphia