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The Price Family, Girard College

Shynita Price wanted her son, Jeremiah, to take a step up in his education. She found that at Girard College, a five-day residential program for boys and girls.

Shynita Price’s son, Jeremiah, was doing well at his public charter school. His grades and behavior were good, and she was a proud mom who delighted in his accomplishments. She also wanted more.

“He’s still at the age right now where he can go left or right,” Shynita said of Jeremiah, who’s 10.

“I told him, ‘I don’t want you to be just an average Joe. I want better for you.’”

She figured fourth grade would be a good time to move him, so she started looking around. As she searched online for a new school, she landed on Girard College’s site. She grew up across the street from Girard’s 43-acre campus, in the Fairmount/Brewerytown neighborhood, but knew it mostly as the place where she rode her scooter as a kid.

The school, founded in 1848 with a bequest from Philadelphia banker Stephen Girard, is a five-day residential program for boys and girls in first through 12th grades. Students come from families with limited means and attend on a full scholarship.  

“I read about Girard and their core values, and certain things stuck out: respect, integrity, self-discipline, and responsibility — all these different things that Girard shoots for daily,” Shynita said.

That emphasis on values was important to her, because she knows that will help her son make the most of his education.

“You can go to school, you can get the education, great,” she said. “But if you don’t have the discipline to go with it, I feel like part of the puzzle is missing.”

Shynita took Jeremiah to an open house, and he didn’t want to leave. He’s musical and loves to sing, so Girard’s strong program and choir thrilled him. He also likes sports, another emphasis at the school.

The day he was accepted, she said, he was so excited that Girard’s admissions office asked if the school could use the video his mother shot of the joyous moment. Jeremiah’s little sister, 5-year-old Ashya, is already counting down to when she can start at Girard.

The residential aspect of Girard — students live in dorms Monday through Friday, then go home on the weekends — is an adjustment. But it’s well worth it, Shynita said.  

“I am just looking at the greater picture and the outcome of him growing and learning responsibility and being independent,” she said. “And, he comes home on Friday.”

Want to know more? Visit Girard College online, or join us for a Talk & Tour Tuesdays Open Houses, held bi-monthly on Tuesdays. 

Photographs by Casey Kallen. 

A recognized leader in the education of children in need, Girard College has an unmatched 168-year history of providing a quality educational experience for economically disadvantaged children on its 43-acre campus in the heart of Philadelphia. Girard changes lives.