About

Mission

The Philadelphia Education Fund creates equitable access to opportunities for students by providing resources and expertise that build paths to college and career success.

Vision

Our vision is for all young people in Philadelphia to have the skills and opportunity to succeed in college and career.

 

For copies of past Form 990 filings from PEF, visit Candid or ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer.

I Am College Material

Founded in 1985, the Philadelphia Education Fund drives exceptional student outcomes by developing great teachers and building paths to college and career success. We elevate opportunities, unlock potential, improve our city and our community and change lives—one student at a time.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Our board members are dedicated volunteers who give generously of their time, talent, and treasure to resource the efforts of the Philadelphia Education Fund and ensure its work remains responsive and attuned to the educational needs of the community.

Board of Directors

Officers

John G. Ginelli, Chair
Department Head of Control, Vanguard Group

Joann Mitchell, Vice Chair
SVP, Institutional Affairs, University of Pennsylvania

Siobhan Reardon, Treasurer
Principal, Riverfront Partners, LLC

Mark L. Silow, Esq., Secretary
Chair of the Firm, FoxRothschild LLP

Members

David Baker
Chief Executive Officer, Vallon Pharmaceuticals

Tom Ball
Retired, Evonik Industries AG

Valerie Brown, Esq.
Partner, Holland and Knight LLP

Richard Corcoran, CFA
Managing Director, Private Wealth Advisor, Alternative Investment Director
Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Aleksandra Davis
Managing Director, Deloitte Digital

Patricia Day
Director of Community Development
Health Union

Donald J. DiLoreto
SVP, Non-Profit Banking, Citizens Bank

Phillip Gabler
Distinguished Engineer, Comcast

La-Toya P. Hackney, Esq.
SVP, General Counsel, & Secretary, Saint-Gobain

Asim Haque
VP, State Policy & Member Services
PJM Interconnection LLC

Susan Lorenz-Fisher
VP, Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability
AmerisourceBergen Corporation

Melinda Marchesi
EVP and COO
Momentum Financial Services Group

Thomas Morrison
Principal, Deloitte Consulting

Juliana Mosley-Williams, PhD
Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Salus University

Markus Weidner
Chief Innovation Officer, Pennoni

Meet our Scholars Advisory Committee

Our Scholars Advisory Committee members sign on to grow and steward the investments of our Philadelphia Scholars scholarship endowment, and to support the awarding of more than $550,000 in scholarship aid annually to eligible students.

Scholars Advisory Committee

Richard Corcoran, Chair
Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Mark S. Blaskey, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Ballard Spahr

La-Toya P. Hackney, Esq.
SVP, General Counsel, & Secretary, Saint-Gobain

Jonathan M. Heckscher
SVP, Director of Fixed Income, Chief Investment Officer, Pennsylvania Trust

Brad Hodge
VP, Enrollment Management & Student Services, Peirce College

James Jolinger
Private Investor, Permit Capital

Margaret (“Peggy”) Steele
Private Investor

 

Emeritus

Helen Cunningham
Retired, Samuel S. Fels Fund

John B. Neff  (in memoriam)

A. Morris Williams, Jr.
Williams & Company

Our dedicated and experienced team of professionals is best in class. They drive results for students by leveraging one another’s talents and working collaboratively to deliver a comprehensive and effective suite of college and career programming.

Leadership

In Photo: Portrait of Toni Austin smiling

Toni Austin

Manager, Finance and Operations215-665-1400, ext.3314taustin@philaedfund.org
In Photo: Portrait of Toni Austin smiling

Toni Austin

Manager, Finance and Operations

Toni is the point person for all financial management and fiscal operations of PEF, including grant and contract management and compliance. Reporting to PEF’s President and CEO, Toni is supported by a team of accounting professionals from Your Part-Time Controller.  Toni has been a proud “Ed Funder” for over 15 years.

Email Toni Austin215-665-1400, ext.3314
White woman in red top smiling

Sarah Clark

Senior Manager, Spark Philadelphiasclark@philaedfund.org
White woman in red top smiling

Sarah Clark

Senior Manager, Spark Philadelphia

Sarah Clark is the Senior Manager of Spark Philadelphia which helps students in the middle grades discover who they can be today and in the future through a one-of-a-kind career exploration program facilitated through a passionate network of volunteer mentors.

Prior to joining the Philadelphia Education Fund, Sarah used her career development background to serve college students in the career centers at Emory University, Florida State University, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received her Specialist in Education and MS in Counseling and Human Systems degrees from Florida State University and earned a BA in Psychology degree from Rhodes College. Sarah is currently a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Georgia and is completing her dissertation on Covid-19’s impact on undergraduate student career choice.

White man smiling at a lectern with a blue jacket and pink buttondown shirt.

Bryan DeFoney

Director, TRIO - College Access Programbdefoney@philaedfund.org
White man smiling at a lectern with a blue jacket and pink buttondown shirt.

Bryan DeFoney

Director, TRIO - College Access Program

Bryan DeFoney joined PEF as the Director, TRIO – College Access Program in July 2021. Bryan had been Program Manager at College Possible Philadelphia, a national nonprofit college access and success organization. Bryan’s program served more than 500 students in three area school districts, and he was responsible for student SAT prep programming, student matriculation, and student persistence outcomes. Bryan is also a School District of Philadelphia FAFSA coach, a member and presenter at PACAC, and a member and contributor of the Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable. He got his start in this field as a middle school English teacher in North Philadelphia. Bryan received his bachelor’s degree from Neumann University where he developed a love for higher education as a first generation college student himself. Currently, Bryan proudly serves as the Vice President of the Executive Alumni Board at his alma mater.

white woman dark hair among large trees, smiling

Alison Foster

Director of Development215-665-1400, ext.3311afoster@philaedfund.org
white woman dark hair among large trees, smiling

Alison Foster

Director of Development

Alison Foster joined PEF as the Development Director in 2021. Most recently, she was Development Director at College Possible Philadelphia, a national nonprofit college access and success organization. She was responsible for institutional and individual fundraising as well as overseeing the site’s marketing and communication efforts. Prior to College Possible Philadelphia, she worked at Children’s Literacy Initiative as well as in publishing and higher education. Alison received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University. Currently, she is working toward a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University.

Email Alison Foster215-665-1400, ext.3311
Farah Jimenez

Farah Jimenez

President and CEO215-665-1400, ext.3313fjimenez@philaedfund.org
Farah Jimenez

Farah Jimenez

President and CEO

As the President and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund, Farah Jimenez is at the forefront of the effort to ensure that every young person in Philadelphia has access to a high quality education that prepares them to succeed in college and careers.

In addition to her role with PEF, she served from 2014-18 on the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, then the governing body of the School District of Philadelphia. Her nonprofit career spans more than 20 years in executive management roles with leading agencies engaged in community revitalization, public and Indigenous housing, affordable housing development, and social services. This includes past tenures as Executive Director of Mt. Airy USA and as President and CEO of People’s Emergency Center. She also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Commission on Women and the Pennsylvania Homeless Education Task Force, as a board member of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and as the founder of a visiting scholars’ program conducting research to inform policy impacting vulnerable families.

Farah currently is on the editorial board of Al Dia, Philadelphia’s Spanish-language newspaper. Her media and public speaking experience includes stints as a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, a keynote speaker for Philadelphia Magazine’s ThinkFest, and a regular panelist on WPVI’s Inside Story. She is a graduate of both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Email Farah Jimenez215-665-1400, ext.3313

Allison Kelsey

Senior Manager, Philadelphia Scholars Program215-665-1400, ext.3338 COVID 215 668 8798akelsey@philaedfund.org

Allison Kelsey

Senior Manager, Philadelphia Scholars Program

Allison is Senior Manager of the Philadelphia Scholars program. Contact her about the Last Dollar Scholarship and about financial and volunteer opportunities supporting Scholars. Allison came to know PEF as a Scholars mentor. Prior to PEF, she was a communications, program development, and events consultant whose clients included Princeton’s Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Citizen Diplomacy International, and many regional nonprofit education and economic development organizations. She is President of the Board of Trustees of Independence Charter School in Philadelphia, on the alumni board of her high school, and is block captain in her Graduate Hospital neighborhood. A first-gen college graduate herself, Allison has a bachelor’s from Brown University and a master’s from Penn, and she is certified in adult Mental Health First Aid.

Email Allison Kelsey215-665-1400, ext.3338 COVID 215 668 8798
Portrait of Rick Moses smiling

Rick Moses

Director, Postsecondary Success Program215-665-1400, ext.3340rmoses@philaedfund.org
Portrait of Rick Moses smiling

Rick Moses

Director, Postsecondary Success Program

As the Director of the Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Program (PPSP) at PEF, Rick oversees PPSP’s aim to increase access to and success in postsecondary education for students from traditionally underserved neighborhood high schools.

Rick has extensive experience in the non-profit, education, and corporate sectors. He began his professional career as a commercial lender (Mellon & PNC Banks) and a marketing executive (Xerox Corporation). He moved to the education/nonprofit sectors, developing in depth knowledge of K-16 education trends (private & public) and has held numerous senior level positions including: President – Steppingstone Scholars Philadelphia; Vice President – Philadelphia Academies Inc.; Director of Alumni Affairs – Friends’ Central School; and Dean of Upper School – Brooklyn Friends School.

He has served in various volunteer roles including: Compass consulting; mentor Philadelphia Futures; member Urban League of Philadelphia; and board member – North Phila. YMCA and The Miquon School.

Rick Moses holds a master’s degree in Urban Education from Temple University and a B.B.A. in Accounting  from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Email Rick Moses215-665-1400, ext.3340
Nancy Peter EdD

Nancy Peter, Ed.D.

Director, McKinney Center for STEM Education215-665-1400, ext.3342npeter@philaedfund.org
Nancy Peter EdD

Nancy Peter, Ed.D.

Director, McKinney Center for STEM Education

Dr. Nancy Peter directs the McKinney Center for STEM Education at the Philadelphia Education Fund. She has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Behavior, a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership, and a doctoral degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum. Nancy is also is a certified elementary and secondary science teacher and a certified professional development instructor for the Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System. She has published several papers, articles, and research studies on out-of-school time program design, promising practices in professional development, informal science education, and sports-based youth development.

Prior to PEF, Nancy’s roles included Director of Education at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Curriculum Manager for the Fairmount Park Commission, Senior Policy Specialist for Youth and Afterschool in Philadelphia’s Office of Children’s Policy, Children and Youth Project Manager for Philadelphia’s Best Practices Institute, Co-Director of the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, and Director of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her position at the Philadelphia Education Fund, Nancy is an assistant adjunct professor in Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

Email Nancy Peter, Ed.D.215-665-1400, ext.3342

College Access Program

Brandi Ashley

College Access Coordinator, Bartram High Schoolbashley@philaedfund.org

Brandi Ashley

College Access Coordinator, Bartram High School

A Greater Philadelphia native, Brandi graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Africana Studies. Her experiences at Pitt ignited a passion to pursue a career in the education field. Following positions with City Year Philadelphia and Spark Philadelphia, Brandi received her M.Ed. from Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

Madeline Birkner

Senior Manager, Persistence and College Partnerships215-665-1400, ext. 3336mbirkner@philaedfund.org

Madeline Birkner

Senior Manager, Persistence and College Partnerships

Madeline Birkner served as a College Access Program Coordinator at Olney Charter High School for more than 6 years and moved into the new role of Senior Manager of College Partnerships and Persistence Programs in 2021. Prior to her work at PEF, she was an Admissions Officer at Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated with her bachelor’s in Sociology and Spanish Literature. Her photographs of College Access students are routinely featured in PEF’s publications.

Email Madeline Birkner215-665-1400, ext. 3336
White man smiling at a lectern with a blue jacket and pink buttondown shirt.

Bryan DeFoney

Director, TRIO - College Access Programbdefoney@philaedfund.org
White man smiling at a lectern with a blue jacket and pink buttondown shirt.

Bryan DeFoney

Director, TRIO - College Access Program

Bryan DeFoney joined PEF as the Director, TRIO – College Access Program in July 2021. Bryan had been Program Manager at College Possible Philadelphia, a national nonprofit college access and success organization. Bryan’s program served more than 500 students in three area school districts, and he was responsible for student SAT prep programming, student matriculation, and student persistence outcomes. Bryan is also a School District of Philadelphia FAFSA coach, a member and presenter at PACAC, and a member and contributor of the Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable. He got his start in this field as a middle school English teacher in North Philadelphia. Bryan received his bachelor’s degree from Neumann University where he developed a love for higher education as a first generation college student himself. Currently, Bryan proudly serves as the Vice President of the Executive Alumni Board at his alma mater.

Rachel Gerberick

College Access Coordinator, KCAPA High Schoolrgerberick@philaedfund.org

Rachel Gerberick

College Access Coordinator, KCAPA High School

Rachel Gerberick is PEF’s college access support for 9th to 12th grade students at Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School. Rachel graduated from Penn State with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Psychology. She earned her master’s in Counseling Psychology and certification as a K-12 school counselor at Temple University.

Jacqueline Ihnacik

College Access Coordinator, Roxborough High Schooljihnacik@philaedfund.org

Jacqueline Ihnacik

College Access Coordinator, Roxborough High School

Jacqueline joined the Philadelphia Education Fund in fall 2022 as the College Access Program Coordinator in Roxborough High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY before returning home to the Philadelphia area. She has previously worked in the education field in Philly with College Possible and Teach for America – Greater Philadelphia through AmeriCorps. She gained experience during this time collaborating with many different schools throughout the city and working with students to achieve their academic and personal goals.

Gemelle John

Managing Coordinator, College Access Programgjohn@philaedfund.org

Gemelle John

Managing Coordinator, College Access Program

Gemelle John joined PEF in October 2022. Previously, she was a full time World Language (Spanish) teacher and a part-time nonprofit program administrator. Also, she has served as an Instructor, Reading Specialist, Instructional Coach, Program Dean, Program Coach, and Main Office Director at such in organizations as The Summer Learning Collaborative (Wilmington, DE), The Exploration School, (Wellesley, MA and Bronxville, NY), and Upward Bound (Newark, DE). Gemelle received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Education from the University of Delaware and master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Wilmington University, and she’s currently enrolled in Penn’s Urban Teaching Residency master’s program.

 

Gemelle continues to be an advocate for developing teachers and teacher diversity, further investing her time with the University of Delaware’s Teachers of Tomorrow Project and the Diversifying Delaware’s Educator Workforce initiative. Outside of these career paths, you can find her cooking, writing, and publishing poetry (continuing her practice as a 2018 Delaware Division of the Arts grantee) and trying to teach her cat to take walks.

Catherine Lucey-Warner

Persistence Fellowcluceywarner@philaedfund.org

Catherine Lucey-Warner

Persistence Fellow

Catherine began at the Ed Fund in August 2022 as the AmeriCorps VISTA Persistence Fellow. She works to conduct research and data analysis in order to build out the PEF persistence programming for students who graduate from the College Access Program. As a Philadelphia native she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology. Catherine is passionate about urban education and in her free time enjoys taking walks with her dog and spending time with family and friends.

Mike Noel

Data and Evaluations Managermnoel@philaedfund.org

Mike Noel

Data and Evaluations Manager

Mike Noel joined PEF as the Data and Evaluations Manager in February 2022. Previously, Mike served as Program Outcomes and Evaluation Manager at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, working alongside school leadership, frontline staff, and external partners to rebuild the school’s information system in a way that promoted streamlined data and evaluation processes and built a professional culture of learning and continuous improvement. He got started in college access work at YouthBuild in 2014 as a practitioner, providing individualized career development support for over 300 students and alumni, while managing several college and career partnerships. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from La Salle University in 2013 as a member of the University’s Honors Program. When he’s not swimming in program data, Mike enjoys long bike rides around Philadelphia, reading poetry and playing guitar, planning trips abroad with his partner, and rooting for his favorite sports teams.

Woman with short dark hair and dark coat with Chiluly glass sculpture in background.

Liza Rangel

Lead College Access Coordinator, Frankford High School215-665-1400lrangel@philaedfund.org
Woman with short dark hair and dark coat with Chiluly glass sculpture in background.

Liza Rangel

Lead College Access Coordinator, Frankford High School

Liza joined the Philadelphia Education Fund in May 2022 as the Lead College Access Coordinator for Frankford High School. Liza brings experience teaching in the public school system, in school admissions, and in bilingual Spanish education. She obtained her undergraduate degree from NYU in Education and later earned her master’s degree in Education from Penn. Liza is also licensed to teach in Pennsylvania.

Email Liza Rangel215-665-1400
Brown woman with a hat amid hay bales.

Kelsey Smith

College Access Coordinator, Furness High Schoolksmith@philaedfund.org
Brown woman with a hat amid hay bales.

Kelsey Smith

College Access Coordinator, Furness High School

Kelsey Smith has lived and worked in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona before settling down in Philadelphia. She loves working with students toward their goals and is currently stationed at Furness High School. Kelsey earned her BA from University of Central in Orlando and gained college access experience in many evolving roles at College Depot in Phoenix. After implementing an education program in public housing through a HUD grant, Kelsey relocated to Philly where she resides with her husband and cat.

Young Black man in a gray suit next to a green building.

Ahmad Williams

College Access Coordinator, Frankford High Schoolawilliams@philaedfund.org
Young Black man in a gray suit next to a green building.

Ahmad Williams

College Access Coordinator, Frankford High School

Ahmad Williams joined PEF in April 2022 as a College Access Coordinator at Frankford High School. After completing his undergraduate degree at Millersville University in 2020, Ahmad committed himself to transforming postsecondary preparation within the current educational system. Before PEF, he served as a College and Career Readiness Counselor for Upper Darby High School with College Possible and Belmont Charter High School. When he is not working with his scholars, you can find Ahmad travelling and performing with his band, Central City Orchestra. Ahmad is also a proud resident of the City of Chester. 

Consulting to Schools

Portrait of Rick Moses smiling

Rick Moses

Director, Postsecondary Success Program215-665-1400, ext.3340rmoses@philaedfund.org
Portrait of Rick Moses smiling

Rick Moses

Director, Postsecondary Success Program

As the Director of the Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Program (PPSP) at PEF, Rick oversees PPSP’s aim to increase access to and success in postsecondary education for students from traditionally underserved neighborhood high schools.

Rick has extensive experience in the non-profit, education, and corporate sectors. He began his professional career as a commercial lender (Mellon & PNC Banks) and a marketing executive (Xerox Corporation). He moved to the education/nonprofit sectors, developing in depth knowledge of K-16 education trends (private & public) and has held numerous senior level positions including: President – Steppingstone Scholars Philadelphia; Vice President – Philadelphia Academies Inc.; Director of Alumni Affairs – Friends’ Central School; and Dean of Upper School – Brooklyn Friends School.

He has served in various volunteer roles including: Compass consulting; mentor Philadelphia Futures; member Urban League of Philadelphia; and board member – North Phila. YMCA and The Miquon School.

Rick Moses holds a master’s degree in Urban Education from Temple University and a B.B.A. in Accounting  from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Email Rick Moses215-665-1400, ext.3340

Kelly Staskel

Program Manager, Postsecondary Success Program215-665-1400, ext.3309kstaskel@philaedfund.org

Kelly Staskel

Program Manager, Postsecondary Success Program
Email Kelly Staskel215-665-1400, ext.3309

STEM Education Initiatives

Barbara Cousar

STEM Workforce Development Managerbcousar@philaedfund.org

Barbara Cousar

STEM Workforce Development Manager

Photo and bio to come!

Sarah Godner

Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem Project Managersgodner@philaedfund.org

Sarah Godner

Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem Project Manager

Sarah Godner joined PEF in 2022 as the Project Manager of the Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem (PSSE). PSSE facilitates stakeholder convenings, amplifies STEM resources, drafts policy recommendations, and stewards a community of practice to advance equitable access and inclusion in STEM education and workforce development.

Sarah has worked at a variety of nonprofits over the last fifteen years (most recently at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia) managing projects and programs and organizing events related to education, political advocacy, and economic growth. She also taught elementary education in Philadelphia. Sarah received her bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin and her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

Brown haired smiling woman in dark pink.

Susan (Betsy) Payne

Manager, Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem215-665-1400, ext.3333spayne@philaedfund.org
Brown haired smiling woman in dark pink.

Susan (Betsy) Payne

Manager, Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem

Working for equity and diversity in education has been Betsy’s lifelong pursuit. As Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem Manager, Betsy coordinates PEF’s backbone organization responsibilities and relationships as well as works with the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective, a 10-year initiative in partnership with GSK.

Before joining PEF, she managed the Women In Natural Sciences (WINS) program at the Academy of Natural Sciences for more than 11 years, where she worked closely with a cohort of 60+ high school girls annually. As part of WINS, Betsy traveled with them as close as the Philadelphia Waterworks and as far as Mongolia. Betsy previously worked as the Garden Educator for the Camden Children’s Garden, Interpretive Specialist at El Yunque National Forest, Manager of Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Puerto Rico, and as a biologist with the Institute of Neurobiology of the University of Puerto Rico.

Email Susan (Betsy) Payne215-665-1400, ext.3333
Nancy Peter EdD

Nancy Peter, Ed.D.

Director, McKinney Center for STEM Education215-665-1400, ext.3342npeter@philaedfund.org
Nancy Peter EdD

Nancy Peter, Ed.D.

Director, McKinney Center for STEM Education

Dr. Nancy Peter directs the McKinney Center for STEM Education at the Philadelphia Education Fund. She has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Behavior, a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership, and a doctoral degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum. Nancy is also is a certified elementary and secondary science teacher and a certified professional development instructor for the Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System. She has published several papers, articles, and research studies on out-of-school time program design, promising practices in professional development, informal science education, and sports-based youth development.

Prior to PEF, Nancy’s roles included Director of Education at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Curriculum Manager for the Fairmount Park Commission, Senior Policy Specialist for Youth and Afterschool in Philadelphia’s Office of Children’s Policy, Children and Youth Project Manager for Philadelphia’s Best Practices Institute, Co-Director of the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, and Director of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her position at the Philadelphia Education Fund, Nancy is an assistant adjunct professor in Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

Email Nancy Peter, Ed.D.215-665-1400, ext.3342

Shubha Sarode

STEM Professional Development and Curriculum Managerssarode@philaedfund.org

Shubha Sarode

STEM Professional Development and Curriculum Manager

Shubha (shuh-buh) is PEF’s inaugural STEM PD and Curriculum Manager. She believes professional learning communities can be powerful spaces for teachers to exchange ideas, feel inspired, and reflect on their work. Having had positive experiences in her own PD, she is excited to continue creating similar spaces for others. Additionally, she has enjoyed writing curriculum in various stages of her career: reorienting science labs to make them more student centered, creating an AP bio sequence that is more relevant, and designing science methods that integrate science perspectives from many cultures. In this role, she will continue to ensure that curriculum is equitable for students and accessible to teachers.

 

Shubha is a former high school science teacher, teacher educator/coach, and national curriculum reviewer. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology and graduate degrees in both Science Education and Leadership and Policy.

 

Administration

In Photo: Portrait of Toni Austin smiling

Toni Austin

Manager, Finance and Operations215-665-1400, ext.3314taustin@philaedfund.org
In Photo: Portrait of Toni Austin smiling

Toni Austin

Manager, Finance and Operations

Toni is the point person for all financial management and fiscal operations of PEF, including grant and contract management and compliance. Reporting to PEF’s President and CEO, Toni is supported by a team of accounting professionals from Your Part-Time Controller.  Toni has been a proud “Ed Funder” for over 15 years.

Email Toni Austin215-665-1400, ext.3314

Heather Conboy

Communications Managerhconboy@philaedfund.org

Heather Conboy

Communications Manager

Heather joined PEF as the Communications Manager in November 2022. She has recently been a communications and marketing strategist for several nonprofits in the Philadelphia region, most recently within the healthcare sector at The Inglis Foundation and Community Volunteers in Medicine. She received her BA in Digital Communications and Design from Immaculata University and her MA in Nonprofit Arts Administration from Goucher College. Heather also serves as a committee member of the Public Arts Commission in her town of West Chester, PA.

Christian Guadalupe

Special Assistant to the President and CEO215-665-1400, ext.3322cguadalupe@philaedfund.org

Christian Guadalupe

Special Assistant to the President and CEO
Email Christian Guadalupe215-665-1400, ext.3322
Farah Jimenez

Farah Jimenez

President and CEO215-665-1400, ext.3313fjimenez@philaedfund.org
Farah Jimenez

Farah Jimenez

President and CEO

As the President and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund, Farah Jimenez is at the forefront of the effort to ensure that every young person in Philadelphia has access to a high quality education that prepares them to succeed in college and careers.

In addition to her role with PEF, she served from 2014-18 on the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, then the governing body of the School District of Philadelphia. Her nonprofit career spans more than 20 years in executive management roles with leading agencies engaged in community revitalization, public and Indigenous housing, affordable housing development, and social services. This includes past tenures as Executive Director of Mt. Airy USA and as President and CEO of People’s Emergency Center. She also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Commission on Women and the Pennsylvania Homeless Education Task Force, as a board member of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and as the founder of a visiting scholars’ program conducting research to inform policy impacting vulnerable families.

Farah currently is on the editorial board of Al Dia, Philadelphia’s Spanish-language newspaper. Her media and public speaking experience includes stints as a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, a keynote speaker for Philadelphia Magazine’s ThinkFest, and a regular panelist on WPVI’s Inside Story. She is a graduate of both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Email Farah Jimenez215-665-1400, ext.3313

Resource Development

white woman dark hair among large trees, smiling

Alison Foster

Director of Development215-665-1400, ext.3311afoster@philaedfund.org
white woman dark hair among large trees, smiling

Alison Foster

Director of Development

Alison Foster joined PEF as the Development Director in 2021. Most recently, she was Development Director at College Possible Philadelphia, a national nonprofit college access and success organization. She was responsible for institutional and individual fundraising as well as overseeing the site’s marketing and communication efforts. Prior to College Possible Philadelphia, she worked at Children’s Literacy Initiative as well as in publishing and higher education. Alison received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University. Currently, she is working toward a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University.

Email Alison Foster215-665-1400, ext.3311

Philadelphia Scholars Program

Allison Kelsey

Senior Manager, Philadelphia Scholars Program215-665-1400, ext.3338 COVID 215 668 8798akelsey@philaedfund.org

Allison Kelsey

Senior Manager, Philadelphia Scholars Program

Allison is Senior Manager of the Philadelphia Scholars program. Contact her about the Last Dollar Scholarship and about financial and volunteer opportunities supporting Scholars. Allison came to know PEF as a Scholars mentor. Prior to PEF, she was a communications, program development, and events consultant whose clients included Princeton’s Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Citizen Diplomacy International, and many regional nonprofit education and economic development organizations. She is President of the Board of Trustees of Independence Charter School in Philadelphia, on the alumni board of her high school, and is block captain in her Graduate Hospital neighborhood. A first-gen college graduate herself, Allison has a bachelor’s from Brown University and a master’s from Penn, and she is certified in adult Mental Health First Aid.

Email Allison Kelsey215-665-1400, ext.3338 COVID 215 668 8798

Spark Philadelphia Program

White woman in red top smiling

Sarah Clark

Senior Manager, Spark Philadelphiasclark@philaedfund.org
White woman in red top smiling

Sarah Clark

Senior Manager, Spark Philadelphia

Sarah Clark is the Senior Manager of Spark Philadelphia which helps students in the middle grades discover who they can be today and in the future through a one-of-a-kind career exploration program facilitated through a passionate network of volunteer mentors.

Prior to joining the Philadelphia Education Fund, Sarah used her career development background to serve college students in the career centers at Emory University, Florida State University, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received her Specialist in Education and MS in Counseling and Human Systems degrees from Florida State University and earned a BA in Psychology degree from Rhodes College. Sarah is currently a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Georgia and is completing her dissertation on Covid-19’s impact on undergraduate student career choice.

Black woman in black and white top and smiling.

Stacey Sandle

Coordinator, Spark Philadelphiassandle@philaedfund.org
Black woman in black and white top and smiling.

Stacey Sandle

Coordinator, Spark Philadelphia

Stacey came to PEF from GEAR UP’s Norristown program where she was a Site Facilitator and College and Career Coach. She earned her BA in Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State and her masters from Eastern University in Urban Studies with a concentration in Youth Development. Stacey also serves as a board member for the nonprofit organization Haircutz 4 Homeless and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.