By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local program that helps students get to college marks its silver anniversary tonight.

At a graduation ceremony at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia Futures will be marking  25 years of its “Sponsor-a-Scholar” program.

That program provides mentoring and money to low-income, first-generation-to-college students.

Philadelphia Futures executive director Joan Mazzotti says 63 college students and 85 high school seniors are graduating.

“Watching our students achieve their college degrees is the greatest joy possible,” she said today.  “And for those of us who have been here ten, fifteen years, we’ve actually seen two generations.”

Graduates from each year of the program are taking part.  Philadelphia Futures will also honor the first inductees into its hall of fame, including founder Marciene Mattleman.