Successful Foster Care Youth Recognized As Arise Academy's Second Graduating Class

June 15, 2011

A ceremony for the second graduating class of the Arise Academy Charter High School, the nation’s first public charter high school for youth in foster care, will honor 18 graduates on June 16, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.  The graduation ceremony will take place in the Dan Rodden Theater, 1900 West Olney Avenue, at LaSalle University.  Jim Crawley, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, is the ceremony’s featured commencement speaker.  Those students who plan to pursue post secondary education will be attending schools that range from the Community College of Philadelphia to Delaware Valley Community College, while others prepare to enter the workforce. 

One student in particular, Derrick Pough, faced adversity throughout his life but has thrived at Arise Academy.  While at Arise Academy, Pough served as a Student Ambassador.  He has obtained the honor of introducing the Lieutenant Governor at the graduation ceremony.  Pough is the twin brother of last year’s Arise Academy valedictorian, Dianne Pough.  His future plans include studying Criminal Justice at Holy Family University, on a scholarship.  He hopes to become a police captain one day.

 The Arise Academy opened its doors to students in September 2009.  Founded by the Urban Affairs Coalition, this unique school desires to reduce the number of Philadelphia foster care youth who drop out of high school an overwhelming 75.2%.  Arise Academy strives to provide its 200 students (grades 9-12) with individualized attention in the classroom as well as a network of on-site support services that address the specific needs of children in foster care.  Students can remain at Arise until their education is completed regardless of aging out of the foster care system.  Through the implementation of a wide range of extracurricular activities, students can develop their talents outside of the classroom and experience a positive social environment with others who share their struggle.  Ultimately, Arise Academy strives to offer foster care youth a promising chance at a bright future through encouraging its students to reach their full potential.

Urban Affairs Coalition
The Urban Affairs Coalition is one of the Philadelphia region's leading nonprofits, operating and managing a wide range of programs, services, and public policy initiatives that serve nearly 100,000 people each year. The Coalition drives change from the ground up by building wealth in urban areas, strengthening nonprofits, and developing youth.  As one of the region's premier fiscal sponsors, the Coalition provides administrative and supportive services for more than 75 program partners. Visit us at