By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A conference today at Drexel University will bid farewell to a longtime fixture in Philadelphia’s education community.

For 16 years, Joan Mazzotti has led Philadelphia Futures, the group that provides counseling and money for low-income, first-generation students to help them get to college and succeed once they get there.

She says now, it’s time to step aside and allow a new executive director to implement his or her vision. Mazzotti, a huge Phillies and baseball fan, said she wanted to end her career as Derek Jeter did in his last at-bat at Yankee Stadium.

“And that’s what I’ve always said, I wanted to hit a walk-off. And 2016 was a great year for us. So it’s a good time for me to step away.”

As for her own future, the 66-year-old Mazzotti said she plans to continue to be a champion for vulnerable communities.

“This has not been a job for me. This has been my personal mission.”