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Philadelphia Students Create the Perfect Holiday Jawn

“Behold, the jawnament! Delicate, wooden – and singularly Philly – the holiday handcraft is the latest offering from student entrepreneurs at the Workshop School, a project-based public school whose innovations have won national recognition. The school’s teens are best known for building a fuel-efficient fast car that made its way to the White House.” Read […]

Small Loans for Big Impact

Kiva Philadelphia When Arthur Verbrugghe was laid off from his non-profit job at the age of 59, the life plan he’d pursued for 35 years – to retire at 65 to be with his grandchildren – was in ruins. “My life was upended,” he said. His unemployment benefits ran out at the end of 2013 […]

A Message About Our Changes

July 8, 2014 With our Foundation’s roots in the scientific method, the practice of innovation is a process that—for Barra—requires certain elements. It involves creating opportunities for idea generation, selecting ideas that have the potential to influence others, supporting risk-taking and sharing learning. Over the past several months, we have been working to better align and define […]

Designing a New Kind of High School

Chip Linehan and Laura Shubilla are the founders of Building 21, a new secondary school in the School District of Philadelphia designed to adapt to all learners and help them pursue their interests while preparing for college success. Read more. Harvard Graduate School of Education, April 2014 | Grantee: Building 21, Catalyst Fund 2014

For Striving Students, a Connection to Money

With some social problems, information or logistical gaps keep solutions from those who need them. Finding ways to connect supply and demand can be a cost-effective solution — Single Stop is an example. Read more. The New York Times, March 2014 | Grantee: Single Stop, Catalyst Fund 2013

The Philadelphia Story

Things are looking up, operatically speaking, in the City of Brotherly Love. Read more. Opera News, March 2014 | Grantee: Opera Philadelphia, Catalyst Fund 2013

White House Makes College a Priority for Low-Income Students

Nonprofit groups say they’re ready to help students navigate the Byzantine college admission and financial aid processes. Read more. National Public Radio, January 2014 | Grantee: College Possible, Catalyst Fund 2013

Today’s Disruptors and Tomorrow’s Brightest Stars in Education

Alejandro Gac-Artigas: This former 1st grade teacher turned social entrepreneur’s goal is to close the literacy gap by transforming the summer from a barrier into a springboard for financially disadvantaged students and families. Read more. Forbes “30 Under 30”, 2014 | Grantee: Springboard Collaborative, Catalyst Fund 2013

Advancing the Dream by Shrinking the Skills Gap 

Nearly 10 million Americans are still unemployed even though some 4.5 million jobs are unfilled right now. What’s the issue? It’s called the skills gap. Read more. MSNBC, PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, October 2013 | Grantee: University City District, Catalyst Fund 2013

Being Regional for a Reason

More than just the first official new play program in our theater’s thirty-eight year history, New Play Frontiers is an investment in cross-sector partnerships, community reciprocity and organizational re-invention. Read more. Howlround, March 2013 | Grantee: People’s Light & Theatre, Catalyst Fund 2013

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