PHILADELPHIA , PA -Seventy beautiful young ladies from Philadelphia, PA and Los Angeles, CA in long white ball gowns, wearing white gloves and carrying a long-stemmed red rose, were presented to an audience of more than five hundred guests during Teenshop's Cotillion-style Gala. The guest speaker was Dr. Arlene C. Ackerman, Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, who delivered an inspiring message that challenged the girls to always strive for excellence.
Teenshop, Inc. was founded in 1985 by Elleanor Jean Hendley, an Emmy Award-winning former Philadelphia CBS television news education reporter and talk show producer and host. Teenshop has become one of the nation's longest running weekend volunteer-based programs dedicated exclusively to the positive development of adolescent females. More than three thousand girls have been enrolled and while participating in the program, no girl drops out of school or becomes a teen parent, and all graduates go to college or professional schools. The curriculum is an innovative series of life skills workshops that include social graces, character development, financial literacy, health and fitness, arts and culture, community service, and college tours.
Among Teenshop's unique initiatives is a Residential Summer Leadership Conference, started four years ago, and held on the Bryn Mawr College campus in Montgomery County, PA. The participants, all Teenshop rising seniors, are individually sponsored by career women who also mentor the girls during their senior high school year as they prepare for college. Next year in July 2011, the Conference will be expanded to provide an opportunity for girls who are not enrolled in Teenshop. The new Teenshop program year, which began in September and ends in June, is now underway.
Enrollment is for girl students thirteen to eighteen who are not teen parents. About one hundred and twenty five girls enroll annually in Teenshop's three Philadelphia chapters and one in Los Angeles, California, each under the direction of five outstanding female volunteers.