Southwest Leadership Academy Charter School (SLA) students have completed their work in the 2022-2023 school year program. Future for Her is a nonprofit organization founded by Emily Zhang, a senior at Baldwin School. She began the program during her sophomore year.
Future for Her aims to provide financial literacy and business skills to female middle school aged students, with a focus on inner city schools.
SLA has partnered with Future for Her program since the 2021-2023 school year.
Future for Her started as a virtual summer camp in partnership with Bryn Mawr College, which has received positive input from both parents and students. The program’s success led the founder to establish a long-term and consistent program for middle school girls.
The program consists of hour-long after-school workshops that are held once a week, with each workshop designed to stand independently. The topics covered in the workshops include financial literacy, networking, and a shark tank simulation. Future for Her also invites female guest speakers in business or STEM to share their experiences with the girls.
The founder of Future for Her also works with two other schools in the Delaware Valley region, including Cedarbrook Middle School and Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. The workshops are designed to be flexible, and there is no homework so that the girls can miss a session or two without falling behind.
Emily hopes that the program can continue for years to come and expand to other schools in the future. After graduating Baldwin School, she will attend the University of Pennsylvania to study under the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business.
Emily shared that when she set out to develop her organization, she contacted every inner-city middle school in Philadelphia. SLA was among the first to respond to Emily’s solicitation. Given her sheer determination—not giving up no matter how many unanswered queries or rejections she experienced—there is no question Emily is on the path to a successful career. Her commitment to making her idea materialize is a great example and a lesson to everyone regardless of age, gender, or experience. Staying the course, believing in what you’ve set out to do, and doing what it takes to make it work is a model for anyone who wants to succeed.
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