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Since 1927, gifts to The Penn Fund—from undergraduate alumni and parents like you—have made a profound and immediate impact on all aspects of student life and learning at the University by providing grant-based financial aid packages to undergraduates, supporting enhancements to academic programs and campus technology, and fostering community through student clubs and organizations. This longstanding tradition of loyal generosity allows donors to support the University’s greatest needs and highest priorities through the general fund, long-term scholarship support, and special reunion class projects.

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Hakiem's headshot

Penn challenges me to unveil the potential I never realized I had.”

Hakiem Ellison C’22

Hakiem Ellison C’22

On the day of his high school graduation, Hakiem was already ready for Penn. He had just received the books he would need that following summer as a student in the pre-freshman College Achievement Program headed by PennCAP. He was beyond excited; he had been looking forward to this moment for quite some time.

Hakiem was born and raised in University City and accustomed to calling Penn his home. As a tenth-grader, Hakiem was already looking ahead to college applications. He connected with then-current undergraduate students through a summer mentorship program with the engineering cohort. That program solidified his desire to join them on campus as a Penn student himself, in a few years. So he got to work and soon discovered that the Penn community was ready and willing to help.   

“The number-one way I was able to get into Penn was through the College App Bootcamp [offered through the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life], and through the generous support from Penn donors, faculty, and staff.” 

Since matriculating at Penn, Hakiem has flourished academically and personally. One of his favorite classes was the freshman seminar on inequality, in which he and his classmates discussed the justice system and economic disparity. That seminar helped inform his course of study. He plans to focus on educational policy and working to mitigate inequities across the education system, particularly as it pertains to accessibility for minorities and underserved populations. The world will be lucky to have Hakiem’s energy, intellect, and passion after he graduates. Until then, Penn’s the lucky one.

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Favorite Campus Cafeteria
Houston Hall
Favorite Penn Tradition
Avoiding stepping on the Compass on Locust Walk before a test
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