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Pre-College Events

Through the following events, we invite students as early as third grade to come to Drexel, experience what it is like to be on a college campus, and begin to envision themselves in that space. Each event focuses on a specific audience and age group in order to best serve these underrepresented students.

If you have questions about any of the events below, please email Bernetta McCall-Millonde at

Aramark Ignite

Aramark Ignite is funded by the Aramark Corporation to energize the classrooms of select Philadelphia high schools, thereby increasing workforce skills, high school graduation rates and post-secondary success of participating students. This program connects several of Aramark’s Philadelphia higher education and healthcare partners with community-based organizations, and is led by the Urban League of Philadelphia in an effort to create a high school-based enrichment program focused on career exposure to the food services and facility management industries, mentoring and building 21st-century skills.

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CAPTIVATE 6.7.8 is designed to capture the imagination of middle school students and inspire them to plan for college and consider future STEM careers. CAPTIVATE launched at Drexel in May of 2016 with six middle schools from Philadelphia’s Promise Zone in attendance, and has grown since in participation and reach. The event is a half-day program with hands-on STEM activities under the guidance of faculty, staff, and current students in STEM fields and includes a campus tour. 

The next CAPTIVATE 6.7.8 Event will be held on Friday, May 13, 2022. 

Future Ventures: Entrepreneurship Seminar for Young Men

Desiring to inspire an entrepreneurial spirit and actively live the mission of the Charles D. Close School, this one-day program is designed to help underrepresented and underserved young men of color in the city of Philadelphia to be entrepreneurial thinkers and doers, preparing them to meet the world market on solid footing and to create their own opportunities. In this interactive seminar, concepts of social entrepreneurship, tech entrepreneurship, and art and design entrepreneurship will be on display with current Drexel student entrepreneurs presenting their companies.

The inaugural Future Ventures event will be held on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement's STEP To Success Program is a partnership between the School District of Philadelphia, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Drexel University. The goal of the program is to help 3rd graders learn the importance of higher education. When the program was founded in the fall of 2017, it had an impact on over 660 students from nine schools over two days.  The program includes a kick-off “you can go to college” pep rally and a campus tour.

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STEM Conference for Young Women

Understanding the importance of exposing young women to college and STEM careers, the STEM Conference is a collaboration between Drexel and the Camden, New Jersey-based non-profit organization, Women of the Dream. Historically underrepresented and underserved young women of color from Philadelphia and Camden are invited each year to partake in the conference, which includes hands-on STEM activities under the guidance of professionals, faculty, and current students in STEM fields; a panel discussion featuring professional women of color in STEM careers; and a college access workshop discussing the high school preparation that it takes to pursue a STEM major in college.

The next STEM Conference will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022. 

Teenshop, Inc.

Teenshop was founded by Emmy Award-Winning journalist Elleanor Jean Hendley, while she was working full-time at CBS 3 TV as the education news reporter and talk show host/producer of City Lights, a prime-time week-end magazine show. Celebrating 35 years empowering ‘girls with goals’®, what began as an enrichment program for girls at a Philadelphia church has grown to five chapters in three states. More than 3,000 girls of color from all zip codes have achieved their goals and become productive citizens and leaders in their communities and careers. While enrolled in Teenshop, no girl drops out of school or becomes a teen parent, and all graduates matriculate to college.

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