The Netter Center operates a variety of programs and initiatives that support its core mission of bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve the complex, comprehensive, and interconnected problems of the American city so that the local community of West Philadelphia, Philadelphia, the University itself, and society benefit. This includes both local programs in West Philadelphia, as well as regional, national, & international efforts to build partnerships between higher education, communities, and schools. ABCS courses, internships, and work-study and volunteer opportunities bring hundreds of Penn students into the schools and community to support these programs.
A major component of the Netter Center's work is mobilizing the vast resources of the University to help transform traditional public schools into innovative University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS). University-Assisted Community Schools educate, engage, empower, and serve not only public students, but also all other members of the community in which the school is located. UACS focus on the school as the core institution for community engagement and democratic development and provide a strategy for bringing together Penn students, faculty, and staff with K-12 students, teachers, and community members for mutually-beneficial outcomes.
Leaders of Change high school intern reading to Lea Elementary student