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Board member highlight: Betsy Porth

Apr 15, 2019

Betsy Porth with CSFP students and alumni.

Long-term organizational friend and supporter Betsy Porth has been a fixture on CSFP’s Board for a number of years. She states that CSFP holds a special place in her heart, and this is reflected in her dedication to our mission. We recently spoke with Betsy about what inspires her work on behalf of Philadelphia children and families.

Q: Why are you interested in CSFP? Do you have a personal connection to our mission?

A: My favorite day of the year as a child was the first day of school … new teachers, new friends, new adventures and so much to learn. In time, I believed that my ability to live an independent, self-sufficient life with lots of choices was tied to a good education. 

Though much has changed since I was young, and though inequities abound, I still believe that education is the single best promise. CSFP extends this promise of possibilities through education to children who otherwise might not have access to a quality education.

Q: What is a “quality education?”

A: While it’s hard to define a quality education, some elements are clear. Children must feel safe, not just physically safe, but also safe to explore, question and try new things. A quality education is dependent on teachers who lead and guide students to understanding appropriate subject matter in classrooms where all are respected. A quality education leaves the student with knowledge and skills to progress, hopefully with confidence. 

Q: What’s the one piece of advice you would give to a CSFP student?

A: If I could, I’d encourage every student and certainly our CSFP students to participate … to try everything. Our world, our culture is evolving so fast that it’s impossible to predict what’s to come. So, learn all you can, develop all your skills, and try, try, try everything. 

Q: What was your favorite subject in grade school, and why?

A: My very first favorite subject or skill was learning to read. I have always loved reading. It seemed to me that the world opened up to me through books. I could travel everywhere, learn about different cultures, visit the past, anticipate the future and be amazed by miracles of science. 

Thank you, Betsy, for all you do!