First Lady Susan Corbett Highlights Opening Doors Initiative During Visit to Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences

Oct 18, 2012, 11:30 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett today toured the Feltonville School for Arts and Sciences, a Philadelphia middle school that uses the national Diplomas Now program. 

Diplomas Now is a program that identifies students at-risk of dropping out and helps keep them on track to graduate.

The visit officially kicked off Mrs. Corbett's Opening Doors initiative in the Philadelphia region. Opening Doors aims to recognize middle school students in Pennsylvania who are likely to drop out of high school and then provide them with guidance and support to stay in school.

"The Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences is a prime example of the success of early warning systems in Pennsylvania," Mrs. Corbett said. "By identifying and supporting students who are at-risk of dropping out, we can change the course of their lives."

The Diplomas Now program is a public-private partnership based on research by Robert Balfanz, a Johns Hopkins University professor and national leader in dropout prevention. It is made possible through support from the PepsiCo Foundation. Partner organizations including Communities in Schools of Philadelphia, City Year Greater Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Education Fund and Talent Development provide expertise and resources through the program.

"Interventions from within the school and community are vital to keep students engaged and focused on their futures," Mrs. Corbett said.  "I applaud the Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences and its community partners for their commitment to ensuring promising futures for Pennsylvania's youth."

Mrs. Corbett launched the Opening Doors initiative in the summer of 2012 to increase the number of students in Pennsylvania who graduate from high school on time.  Mrs. Corbett travels across the commonwealth, talking with school administrators and students. She also visits schools and programs that are making strides to keep students in school.

To learn more about the Opening Doors initiative, visit  

Media contact: Kirsten Page, Governor's Press Office; 717-783-1116
Ashley Chunko, First Lady's Office; 717-787-1965

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady