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The Full Story



Metro Phila is a community-based nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, PA, founded by Russell McCullough in November 2017 and was designed specifically to help youth and individuals by strengthening and developing their skills through our community outreach projects and our Basketball Skills Training Academy. The academy utilizes structured, educational, social, and recreational interventions with a strong emphasis on team development and participation. We also teach golf, tennis, track and field along with strengthening and conditioning techniques. The primary goal of our mission is to instill and improve self-confidence, in education particularly math through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). 

We also strive to promote individual achievements and obtainable career and life choices to reach positive measurable outcomes. Metro Phila is designed to empower youth and families through structured academic, vocational, athletic, and recreational interventions. It is responsible for hosting tournaments and establishing leagues and referee associations. Interventions are implemented through skill clinics in Golf, Tennis, Boxing, Track and Field, and Basketball. In addition, Metro Phila provides sports clinics, supports summer camps, and one-on-one drill sessions. A strong emphasis is placed on strengthening interpersonal skills through recreation, team development, and participation.


Beginning in January 2021, Metro-Phila for Education undertook a three-month strategic planning effort to engage clergy leaders, community, business, education, and political leaders as well as parents, teachers, and congregants in a conversation about the formation of an effort to galvanize faith leaders and congregants to demand excellent schools for their children and their community. This three-year strategic plan, covering June 2021 through May 2024, is the result of this work. The plan lays out the mission, vision, values, and theory of action that underlies the organization. Additionally, the plan identifies the organization's three-year goals along with the strategies Metro-Phila for Education will take to achieve these goals.

Philadelphia's education system has been in crisis for many years and the problem has exceeded the investments of the municipal administration, advocacy agents, and well-intentioned philanthropists. There is little debate about the state of the schools. Analysis tells us that the Philadelphia School District has some of the lowest performing schools versus other school districts in the state of Pennsylvania. This translates to condemning hundreds of thousands of children to a life with little chance of success.

There have been many efforts to transform education in Philadelphia. However, to truly turn the tide, there is growing agreement that there needs to be an investment in making public schools a top priority to improve the educational system and to build excellent public schools. A core group of passionate, faith-filled community leaders are committed to transforming the education system in Philadelphia known as the city of "Brotherly Love." Together they have established a new non-profit organization called Metro-Phila for Education. The group has begun meeting bi-weekly to begin the strategic planning process which is being conducted from March 2021 through June 2024. The founding members that make up the core team that is participating in this strategic process are George Clark, Larry Gainey, Deborah McCullough, Russell McCullough, Pastor William McCullough, and Kim Patton. The team is conducting two-hour bi-weekly planning sessions during this planning process. Based on the input gathered, Metro-Phila for Education first clarified its mission, vision, values, and theory of action. Then, they developed strategies and tactics to accomplish those priorities over the next three years. Governance structure, organizational structure, job descriptions for core staff as well as evaluation processes, and a three-year budget are being developed.



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