The Friends of St. Martin de Porres School was formed as a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation on April 7, 2004 and is recognized as an entity exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. On August 30, 2010, the Friends of St. Martin de Porres School Board of Directors finalized a ground-breaking agreement with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to assume the leadership and future financial sustainability of St Martin de Porres School. Bishop Timothy Senior, Vicar for Administration of the Archdiocese, called the agreement “a future model for the success of our inner-city Catholic schools.” The agreement has been described as the new program for sustainable urban Catholic education.

Located in one of the most economically depressed and crime-ridden areas of North Philadelphia, St. Martin de Porres School has served poor and minority families for over 100 years under the guidance of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Ninety-nine percent of the School’s 500 students are African American, and many come from families living below the poverty line. Without support, neighborhoods like these can’t sustain a Catholic school. Yet for the children of these neighborhoods, an education holds the greatest hope for their future.

With the Friends’ pioneering model, children living in these neighborhoods can still get a great education. And instead of facing the threat of decline or closing as an urban Catholic school, the outlook for St. Martin de Porres School and the surrounding community looks bright.