KIPP Philadelphia is committed to supporting its students and alumni to and through college. Students earn alumni status once they have completed 8th grade at a KIPP middle school or graduated from a KIPP high school. The KIPP Through College team provides essential resources to all KIPP students and alumni as they make the transition from middle school to high school, as they prepare for and enter college and while they pursue their college degrees.
Meet Our Team
Vaneeda DaysManaging Director of KIPP Through College
Vaneeda Days joined the KIPP Through College team in Philadelphia as the Director of College Placement, helping students who attend non-KIPP high schools through the college admissions process. A native of Philadelphia, Vaneeda has a vested interest in education and incredibly committed to seeing the youth in our city go to and through college. Her background is in non-profit program management. She has spent the past four years leading the Philadelphia Scholars Program, an initiative of the Philadelphia Education Fund. In this role she provided college admissions and financial aid counseling and support to an annual cohort of over 300 Philadelphia high school and college students. She also tracked and supported the scholarship recipients’ college retention and graduation rates. Prior to her work at the Philadelphia Scholars Program, Vaneeda worked for the Philadelphia Youth Network in roles such as Re-engagement Specialist and Operations Coordinator. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Gwynedd – Mercy College. She enjoys traveling, shopping and dining with friends and family.
Jason SmithSenior Director, Post-Secondary Outcomes
Jason joined KIPP Philadelphia’s KIPP Through College team in 2013. As a proud native of Philadelphia, he recognizes that this work is his way to give back and create change in the city.
Over the past 16 years, Jason has worked with various college access and success programs that served students in the Philadelphia public school system. In that time, he has served in various capacities from direct service to program design and management. He feels privileged to continue to serve in the role of “helper” in guiding students to opportunities beyond high school in the pursuit of achieving post-secondary success.
He leads the two-year college work as well as works on program strategy and design for the Post-Secondary team.
Susan LarsonDirector of College Support
Susan joined KIPP Philadelphia in 2003 as a founding teacher. In 2007, Susan moved out of the classroom and into the KIPP to College office as the Director of Alumni Support. Susan continues to love to help support students on their various paths to a happy and successful life.
Susan began her teaching career on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she taught third and fifth grades and coached the Varsity Field Hockey Team for St. Michaels High School. Outside of KIPP, Susan enjoys running and spending time with her husband Neil and their two children Zachary and Kaitlyn.
She primarily works with 4-year college students and helps to further the KIPP college partnership work for our region.
Mia Moore-TaylorDirector of Alumni Career Development
Mia joined the KIPP Through College team in 2016 and is leading the career integration strategies for KIPP Philadelphia’s alumni and high school students. She has worked in career development with regional Workforce Investment Boards in Florida, California and Louisiana, and as a career counselor and consultant in the opening of a Career One-Stop Center at the Berkeley Adult School, in Berkeley, CA. Mia has completed PhD coursework in Career and Workforce Education at the University of South Florida where her research included viable post-secondary options for students who do not attend college immediately after high school.
Through the Embark program, she primarily supports alumni who are enrolled in Career & Technical Education certification programs, or who are actively looking for opportunities to enter the workforce. Further career integration efforts include working with KTC Pre-College colleagues to guide Junior and Senior high school students in connecting career-awareness to post-secondary planning, along with offering career-readiness support for alumni on track to complete Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees.
Rachel KylerDirector of College Placement (Promise Alumni)
As Director of College Placement for Promise Students, Rachel Kyler works with non-KIPP high school students through the college admissions process. Rachel joined the KIPP Through College team in 2013 teaching Junior Seminar for KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy. Prior to joining KPS, Rachel began her career as an education reporter in Northwest Florida and then worked as an English teacher in Philadelphia. After several years of teaching stateside, she moved overseas to Beijing before returning to Philadelphia. Rachel earned her B.A. in Journalism from Penn State University and her M.Ed. in Education from Arcadia University. She enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.
Stephen GarlingtonDirector of College and Career Readiness
Stephen Garlington joined KIPP Philadelphia in 2016 as Director of College and Career Readiness. In this role he is tasked with ensuring students are developing with regards to professional development and exploration of career pathways. Prior to joining KIPP, Stephen served as a Retention Counselor at North Carolina Central University where he supported students persevere barriers to academic performance. He earned a BSW from Coppin State University and MSW from The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.
Nicholas WilsonDirector of College Placement (11th Grade, KIPP DuBois)
Nicholas Wilson joined KIPP Philadelphia in 2017 as the Director of College Placement. In this role, he teaches a college readiness curriculum to high school juniors and implements the early stages of our Match strategy which include self exploration, financial aid preparation, standardized test prep and registration. Prior to joining KIPP, Nicholas spent time at Breakthrough Philadelphia leading college readiness efforts for Philadelphia high school student and served as a teacher throughout area high schools in Philadelphia. Nicholas holds a B.S in Education from Cairn University.