About Us

Our Mission

The mission of Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc. is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Our Principles

At Communities In Schools, everything we do is guided by the “Five Basics.” Developed by our founder Bill Milliken, the Five Basics are a set of essentials that every child needs and deserves.

1. A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult

2. A safe place to learn and grow

3. A healthy start and a healthy future

4. A marketable skill to use upon graduation

5. A chance to give back to peers and community

Communities In Schools of Philadelphia’s vision is to create communities within our schools to address the whole child, adhering to the five basics of CIS, by having a positive impact on their values, self-esteem, job skills, and life focus.

Our Story

Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc., a charitable 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the largest of nearly 200 local affiliates of Communities In Schools, Inc. (CIS), the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. The Communities In Schools idea was conceived in the hearts and minds of a group of young men and women motivated by a growing concern for the plight of under-served urban youth. CIS was created by founder and President Bill Milliken in 1977 as a grassroots program devoted to working with youth who are at risk for dropping out. With a challenged and ever-changing school system, communities must work together to put young people on the right track.

Since its inception in 1986, CIS of Philadelphia is growing to become CIS of Southeastern Pennsylvania and annually serves nearly 14,000 students attending southeastern Pennsylvania’s K-12 and postsecondary schools. CIS of Philadelphia’s network includes passionate professionals working in collaboration with schools, agencies of the local, state and federal governments, and a large number of other community-minded businesses. Our staff and partners strive to connect youth and their families with critical community resources, tailored specifically for their needs. Our model is one that has proven to increase graduation rates, decrease teen pregnancy and violence, and create an empowered community.