By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 15th annual Philadelphia Futures Conference took place in University City Saturday, with this year’s theme being “blast off to college and beyond.”

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Nearly 600 students ranging from high school freshman through college seniors attended the event at Drexel University.

“We serve students in Philadelphia and our goal is to help them get to and through college,” says Holly Mantle, director of communications with Philadelphia Futures.

She says most of the program participants are first generation college attendees, and because of that, they face greater challenges getting into and completing higher education:

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“Some students aren’t as academically prepared as well as they should be when they go off to college, so we certainly try to help our students a lot with that transition.”

And Mantle says one of the greatest resources of this conference is the support that students gain from each other:

“We want them to start the New Year with excitement and we want them to have the tools to be able to earn a college degree.”

More information on the Philadelphia Futures is available here.

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