Ours for Life: “Prepared & Supported for Life”

The Ours for Life program aims to help RBCS students get to and through college and into their chosen career. Ours for Life guides students and families through academic and socio-emotional transitions. We work to ensure that all students have access to excellent out-of-school-time, academic, and social opportunities to foster the personal growth that results in success in school and in life.

True to our mission, Ours for Life gives RBCS students the roots of a strong education while they are with us, and the wings to succeed long after they’ve graduated from RBCS. Ours for Life is a unique program that provides support and resources to each of our students every step of the way – as a student here, through the completion of their secondary education, until college graduation and into their career.

What We Provide

The Ours for Life Program focuses on the following five core components:

  1. Longitudinal Alumni Tracking — Effective communication and tracking systems are essential to the success of Ours for Life. The Director of College and Career Programs aims to maintain contact with every RBCS alum to provide ongoing programming and supports through college and into career.
  2. College-Preparatory Transitions — The Director focuses on ensuring that all RBCS students successfully transition to college-preparatory middle and high schools. The Director is available to support families in their school search and assist with the application process to find the best-fit middle or high school.
  3. Collaborative Connections — Ours for Life is a connector. In addition to working with school admissions officers and counselors, we build relationships with outside academic and enrichment programs. Currently we are working closely with Summer Search Philadelphia, Steppingstone Scholars, A Better Chance, and Squash Smarts to identify the RBCS students and alumni who would benefit most from their programs.
  4. Individualized College Advising — We provide assistance with preparation, applications and financial planning: We guide and support our students and families during the important transition to college. Each summer, the Director hosts two “College Toolbox” summer camps for RBCS alumni entering either their junior or senior year of high school. Students develop target colleges, draft application essays, and research financial aid options.
  5. RBCS College & Career Explorers Program — We encourage our students to dream big about what they can do with their lives. The College & Career Explorers Program aims to broaden our students’ horizons about college and career opportunities. Professional women and men serve as role models and Explorer Guides for 4th through 6th grade RBCS students. These Explorer Guides and RBCS students discover the road to college and career through field trips to area businesses and colleges.
Student Voices

“When I think back about my time at Russell Byers, one word that comes into my mind is 'life-changing.'”

Aaricka, Class of 2013
Photo: Chris Kendig
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