Jimenez to head Philadelphia Education Fund
Over the weekend, Farah Jimenez — a Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC) member and former head of the People’s Emergency Center — was named president and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund.
The independent nonprofit organization promotes the continued improvement of public education in the city. It also provides scholarships to help local students attend college.
“I was approached about whether or not I’d be interested in applying, so when I received the call I pursued it,” said Jimenez. “What I’m most interested in doing is helping the larger Philadelphia community learn about this incredibly important organization that has been doing incredible work in Philadelphia in serving teachers and students.”
Farah was originally appointed to serve on the SRC by then-Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014. Since the SRC is a volunteer role, Jimenez added that she will remain on the commission.
“I see it as mutually beneficial in that the work of the education fund is really a way of responding to the program gap at the district,” she said. “There are many ways in which the district wants it to serve the needs of the educators and its students but there are different realities that make it difficult. The education fund works hard to raise money in the larger Philadelphia community, so that it can provide those services.”
For teachers, the education fund provides support for teacher development and educator networks, Jimenez added. Those two areas would involve the professional development of teachers in a range of areas so that it can give them the ability to talk to students and also provide peer networking.
On the student side, many people will know of the Philadelphia Education Fund through its work with the college access centers. The centers are designated spots in certain schools that provide college and post secondary counseling.
One of her goals now, Jimenez said, is to be very responsive to the needs of the community that the education fund is trying to serve.
“So, learning more from our educator community and our teachers as to what’s the best way to serve them and to how they can improve quality education in Philadelphia,” Jimenez said. “The other is to be responsive to students, because we can make sure we’re supporting students in graduating but that they are also successful post graduation.”
Jimenez added that those two things, in terms of listening to the community in a big way, is one big piece of it. The next piece, she said, is being a good fundraiser so that there are enough resources.