Who We Are - Educational Opportunities for FamiliesEducational Opportunities for Families

Who We Are

Educational Opportunities for Families is a community based organization of Philadelphia parents and teachers fighting for better schools.

Sylvia P. Simms

Executive Director


Appointed by Mayor Nutter on January 28, 2013, to the School Reform Commission Sylvia has dedicated her life to helping Philadelphia’s children through sustained parental advocacy, voicing concerns regarding education equity and volunteer service. In 2009, she founded PARENT POWER, a family driven organization focused on protecting the rights of young people and eliminating the academic achievement gap in Philadelphia’s schools.

Previously, Sylvia worked for the Urban Affairs Coalition as a Broadband Adoption Community Liaison where she helped expand digital access to underserved communities in Philadelphia. Prior to this position, she served as a bus attendant for students with disabilities for more than 15 years as a School District of Philadelphia employee.

Sylvia has been honored by local community organizations for her long-lasting commitment to Philadelphia’s youth. She has sat on the Mayor’s Office of Community Service Advisory Board, represented the District on the PA and National Parent Advisory Council, and served on the Superintendent Task Force that selected Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. as the leader for Philadelphia’s schools.

Sylvia is a lifelong resident of North Philadelphia, and a proud mother of two adult daughters and two grandchildren.

Parent and Community Organizers

Shereda Cromwell

Anna Figueroa

Maritza Guridy

Cecil Parsley

Educational Opportunities for Families' Advisory Board

Toya Algarin

Parent of a student attending a charter school

Jay Cohen

Parent of a student who attended a special admission district school

Esther Gillyard

Parent of a student attending a district school

Robin Hale-Garland

Parent of a student attending a private school

Elizabeth Vargas

Parent of a student attending a district school

Elaine Wells

Parent of a student attending a charter school

Tina Winkfield

Parent of a student enrolled in a cyber charter school

Latest News

Sept. 20, 2018 – Sylvia P. Simms’ Testimony Before the Philadelphia Board of Education

Good evening school board members, Dr. Hite, District staff, families and community members. My …