The mission of Sunrise of Philadelphia, Inc. is to advance the academic achievement and development of at-risk students by providing a continuum of career-focused exposure and preparation. Since 1999, we have provided high-quality educational and youth development programs. Sunrise has a proven track record and strong working relationships within the South Philadelphia neighborhood where we provide academic enrichment, career and college programming, and workforce development to over 700 youth annually.
The Community We Serve
Our Out-of-School Time (OST) programs serve low-income students in Kindergarten-12th grade, offering a progression of educational enrichment activities with increasing focus on preparing young people for future education and careers. Our approach unites schools, families, and communities to support young people in staying on track to high school graduation and connecting to post-secondary education and training. As an embedded provider in two South Philadelphia host sites - Southwark Elementary and South Philadelphia High school - Sunrise works closely with administrators and other on-site partners to plan, coordinate, and communicate about student needs, services, and success. At the elementary level, we provide academic enrichment, project-based learning (PBL), STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) PBL, English Language Learning support, literacy, and recreation. Students transition into our middle school JumpStart program where they continue to work in a PBL model, participate in STEAM workshops, and begin to prepare for their future by exploring high school, college, and career options.
Youth are then supported at the high school level through clubs focused on careers in high-growth industries, access to an inviting Teen Lounge for students to work with each other and adult mentors to plan for their post-secondary lives, and credit recovery services to enable struggling students to graduate on time. Sunrise also places 140 high school students in educationally-enriched work opportunities throughout the City of Philadelphia. Participants complete a 6-week paid work experience that increases their 21 st Century skill development and enables them to see the connection between work experiences, skill development, and finishing high school. Youth workers can also obtain high school credits for their summer work experiences.
Sunrise of Philadelphia was founded and still run by a group of highly qualified educators and community leaders passionate about providing quality opportunities for the community’s youth and families. Executive Director, Vincent Litrenta, was one of the founding members of Sunrise of Philadelphia in 1999 and has served in many roles in Sunrise over the years. Vince began his career in non-profit service in 1987 as a community organizer in the traditional settlement house movement in South Philadelphia. He has years of experience in program management, supervision, training, and community engagement. Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Sorichetti, attained his MA at Villanova University. He is one of the original founders of Sunrise. Al is a certified principal and has worked for the School District of Philadelphia as a teacher, lead teacher, roster chairman, vice principal and principal of the Edward W. Bok Technical High School in his career. Al was the driving force behind Bok becoming a Community School. He has affiliations to many honorable educational organizations and is the recipient of many awards. Chief Financial Officer, Loretta V. Crea, is also one of the original founders of Sunrise. Loretta worked for many years as the Administrative Assistant to the Principal of the Edward W. Bok Community High School. She was initially hired by the School District of Philadelphia in 1975 as a School Secretary, advancing to the position of Senior Administrator in 1981 at Bok. Loretta worked for Sunrise of Philadelphia and the Legal Aid Society of Philadelphia for 15 years, where she found satisfaction in caring for those in the community who were in dire need of help and assistance.
Transformations, Not Transactions
After a period of strategic planning in 2011 and with the infusion of 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) funds in 2012, Sunrise established a distinct program model and identity—the College and Career Pathways model. This Pathways model links all of our program offerings and sharpens focus on the long-term goals of youth graduating high school and connecting to post-secondary education or training. Building on the progression of elementary and middle school OST programs, Sunrise’s high school offerings include afterschool clubs which can lead to career certifications, as well as credit recovery services. At the elementary level, Sunrise is deepening literacy supports for English Language Learner students (ELLs). At the pre-school level, Sunrise received support from the Fund for Quality to explore the feasibility of launching an early childhood education program. This long-term project is still underway.
Sunrise of Philadelphia's 21st Century Program Evaluation Report compiled by Research for Action
You can donate to Sunrise via United Way on the Donors page of their website.
Sunrise of Philadelphia, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.