PHILADELPHIA STUDENT UNION

aka PSU   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  www.phillystudentunion.org

Mission

The Philadelphia Student Union exists to build the power of young people to demand a high quality education in the Philadelphia public school system. We are a youth led organization and we make positive changes in the short term by learning how to organize to build power. We also work toward becoming life-long learners and leaders who can bring diverse groups of people together to address the problems that our communities face.

Ruling year info

1995

Executive Director

Julien Terrell

Main address

501 S. 52nd Street CO#1

Philadelphia, PA 19143 USA

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EIN

23-2815998

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Leadership development and Organizing Training, School-based campaigns, Media Literacy and Production, Retreats and Conferences, and High School Survival Programs.

Leadership Development
and Organizing Training

 

Every PSU core member makes a commitment to engage in our
leadership development program – at their school-based chapter meeting and/or
at our Saturday citywide meeting. This program is based on an engaging and interactive PSU curriculum that
has been carefully tested and revised over 10 years of school-based organizing
with young people. It teaches
young people the skills they will need to take leadership, understand school
reform, and organize their peers. The program is designed to help young people
develop skills to become lifelong leaders and it has three major goals:

 

2.     To
assist young people to see themselves as agents of change by both growing as
individuals and learning and practicing the leadership skills necessary to
become organizers.

3.     To
build a sense of family among members that acts as a safety net in difficult
times and forms the bedrock for the growth and success of the organization.

 

School Based Campaigns

 

Each PSU chapter has a campaign around an issue specific to
that school. The advantage of
local school campaigns is that they address immediate needs of students as they
perceive them, they are winnable in relatively short time periods, and wins can
be directly felt by students. After students complete the initial leadership development training they
begin the process of choosing an issue around which to organize. This process begins by having students
complete workshops on learning theory. Then they design their ideal school, analyze the situation in their
school, and compare the two. Next
they do surveys and interviews of students, teachers, parents and
administrators to find out what their concerns are and learn more about the
problems. Finally an issue is
selected and once enough research is collected a campaign is designed to make
changes.

 

Citywide Campaigns

 

In addition to our local organizing, the Student Union runs
citywide campaigns that bring together students from all of our chapters.
Citywide campaigns work toward the implementation of the Student Platform on
School Reform that PSU ratified with over 400 students from 27 schools. The citywide campaign this year will
focus on a new strategy around organizing for adequate funding for our schools.

 

Media Literacy and Production

 

The newest component of our leadership development work is a
commitment to putting media literacy and media making at the center of our organizing
work. We are developing ways to empower our members with hard skills around
media production so that our young people can actually become media makers. Our leadership development program is
enhanced by providing youth with the means and skills to produce their own
messages in their own words to recruit new members, engage current members, and
promote our view of education reform.   

 

Retreats and
Conferences

 

In addition to the leadership development that takes place
in Philadelphia, we feel it is also critically important to assist our members
to access other opportunities to bond with each other outside of their usual
surroundings as well as to understand the big picture of school reform that is
happening, nationally, and internationally. Every year we take our core committed members on two
leadership retreats outside of the city, once in the fall and once in the
spring. This year for the first
time on a large scale, about two dozen of our members were able to attend
conferences in Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta where they were able to present issues
important to PSU and interact and network with youth and adult organizers more
broadly.

 

High School Survival
Programs

 

At PSU we believe that strong youth
organizing can only result from strong youth. Youth need a number of supports to assist them to cope with
academic and life challenges as they continue to organize, including a
supportive and positive peer group, access to caring adults, academic supports,
and opportunities for healthy self-expression.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Financials

PHILADELPHIA STUDENT UNION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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PHILADELPHIA STUDENT UNION

Board of directors
as of 07/08/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Chris Rogers