Vision for the Future Letter

Our Vision

A letter from KIPP Philadelphia’s Chief Executive Officer, Jessica Cunningham Akoto

Dear KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools Community,

In the summer of 2003, we opened one school serving one cohort of 5th graders in North Philadelphia with one simple mission—to provide students with the education needed to get to college. Since then, KIPP Philadelphia has grown to six schools serving 2,600 students in kindergarten through 12th grade; established a robust alumni counseling program, KIPP Through College and Career; and built a regional office team to support the work of both our schools and our alumni support programming. Our mission has also evolved. Over the years, KIPP Philadelphia, as well as KIPP schools around the country, have grown to better understand the needs and wants of the communities we serve. We’ve also learned to listen to and elevate the voices of our students, alumni, and families, which led us to our new mission: Jessica Cunningham Akoto

Together with families and communities, we create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence they need to pursue the paths they choose—college, career, and beyond—so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world.

As we worked with alumni and families to update our mission, we realized that a refreshed mission requires a refreshed approach and plan. An approach that speaks directly to ensuring our students and alumni have the skills, both academic and social-emotional, and the confidence to pursue whatever endeavors they choose. A plan that requires us to not only continue to accelerate academic achievement, but to expand opportunities for our students and alumni to learn more about who they are, the brilliance of their communities, and how to navigate systems that were not designed for their success.

This need was further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial uprisings in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing. This strategic plan, our 2025 Plan, was completed in the midst of an unprecedented moment in American history. A moment that required all of us to think more deeply about systemic inequities and our role as a public school system in disrupting them and equipping our students and alumni with the tools to do the same. Our 2025 Plan represents KIPP Philadelphia’s approach to ensuring that our students and alumni leave us with the academic preparation, navigation skills, and belief in themselves needed to realize their dreams and build a more just world.

I am both excited and resolute about the commitment to our students, alumni, and community represented in our 2025 Plan. I hope that you share that excitement and resolve with me and consider how you want to be a part of this next phase of our journey.


Jessica Cunningham Akoto, Chief Executive Officer