Philadelphia Futures names new executive director

Philadelphia Futures, a nonprofit that helps first- generation students prepare for college, announced Monday that its board selected Sara L. Woods to be its next executive director.

Woods, the executive director of Philadelphia VIP, an agency that provides pro bono legal services for low-income clients, will succeed Joan Mazzotti, who is stepping down after 16 years.

"Sara has spent her entire career advocating for underserved populations and communities," Laura Williamson, chair of the Philadelphia Futures board, said in a statement. "Her energy, experience and passion for this field of work immediately drew the attention of the search committee members, who along with our board, unanimously selected her as Philadelphia Futures' executive director."

Woods, who will assume the post March 6, said she looks forward to continuing Philadelphia Futures' work helping first-generation students enroll in college and graduate.

"As a teacher, lawyer and administrator, I am excited to help create new opportunities for the young people of our community to realize college success," she said.

Woods has led Philadelphia VIP for more than nine years. Her previous experience includes serving as director of Public Service Careers and Pro Bono Programs at Villanova University School of Law and being staff attorney at Women Against Abuse. 215-854-2789 @marwooda