The time for investment in our civic future has come


The Germination Project aims to create a self-sustaining, and perpetuating ecosystem for Philadelphia’s next generation of leadership. By enlisting our region’s current leaders, the Germination Project seeks to catalyze and energize an elite cadre of ambitious young men and women, brought together by their talent, drive and commitment to putting their gifts into service for the benefit of our city.

It invites our best and brightest, regardless of circumstance, into a committed and empowered fellowship–bestowing a lifetime’s worth of opportunities in exchange for a promise by its members to pay those opportunities forward.

Portraits of students

The Summer Leadership Boot Camp

The Summer Leadership Boot Camp, a two-week program designed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, aims to inspire our Fellows to maximize their individual potential and ability to contribute to Philadelphia’s growth through a two-fold approach of leadership development and social entrepreneurial skills development. Under the guidance and direction of experienced professors and guest lecturers, each Fellow will undertake a range of experiential learning opportunities designed to develop the leadership skills needed to thrive as a leader in our region.

The Initiatives

Through their involvement in specially-designed service initiatives, Germination Fellows will have the unique opportunity to work alongside leaders from a variety of Philadelphia’s most prominent organizations, companies and academic institutions. Fellows will gain invaluable experience working on all aspects of the service initiatives which are designed to address key issues that impact Philadelphia.

  • Literacy Initiative Icon

    Literacy Initiative

    The next generation of our regions’ leaders needs strong academic skills to succeed, yet thousands of students lack the basic literacy skills necessary to graduate from high school. We know literacy is at the heart of academic success. Immediate action is necessary to equip all Philadelphia students with the literacy tools they need to succeed. We found the solution. For our literacy initiative, we have chosen Achieve Now as our content partner. The program’s content and delivery method is research based and data driven and systematically moves students to grade level reading. The Germination Project student fellows will coach younger students to reading fluency, thus giving them the opportunity to pay it forward.

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  • Healthcare Access Initiative Icon

    Healthcare Access Initiative

    For too many low-income Philadelphians, the abundant medical service facilities and resources that this city boasts are out of reach, whether due to geographic and transportation barriers or prohibitions of cost. The Healthcare Access Initiative will partner with local healthcare systems to establish a mobile health clinic (MHC) targeting Philadelphia’s most underserved communities. Student fellows will work alongside volunteer professionals in the medical field and community liaisons to plan and implement the MHC, while directly engaging with the individuals benefitting from its services.

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Partner Schools

Baldwin School

Boys’ Latin

Central High School

Council Rock High School North

Episcopal Academy

George Washington High School

Germantown Academy

Haverford School

Julia R. Masterman School

Neumann and Goretti High School

Parkway Center City

Pennsbury High School

Swenson Arts and Technology High School

The Shipley School

Friends of the Germination Project

The Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation

The Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation is committed to re-establishing Philadelphia as a global force in policy, commerce and culture. With its foundational support of strategically selected philanthropic initiatives, the Raju Foundation employs a unique interdisciplinary approach to the greater development of Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Among the Raju Foundation’s principal enterprises is the Germination Project, a catalytic incubator and ecosystem for Philadelphia’s next generation of business, political and civic leaders, drawn from the best and brightest of Philadelphia’s high school students. In addition to its civic leadership and education endeavors, the Raju Foundation is a leading supporter of arts and culture and Philadelphia. The Foundation’s successful efforts both to promote Philadelphia’s robust and growing creative community and to attract leading artists and patrons from around the world have opened new cultural and commercial trade routes, putting Philadelphia on the map as a truly cosmopolitan city and as a promising destination for global investment. Underpinning each of the Raju Foundation’s initiatives is the conviction that recapturing and cultivating the very traits that made Philadelphia a historically great city will ensure its bright and thriving future.