McNamee Scholars Program


The McNamee Scholars Program was named for Father John P. McNamee in recognition of his many accomplishments as pastor of Saint Malachy Parish and School over a period of twenty-five years. Fr. McNamee is also well known and respected throughout the city and beyond as a passionate advocate for the poor and for social justice. In addition, he is an author and a poet. His writings include four books one of which, The Diary of a City Priest, was made into a movie.

The goal of the McNamee Scholars Program is to provide low-income students with the opportunity for a good high school education that will prepare them for college or other post-secondary education.

The program has two major components; mentoring and tuition assistance. Each student selected as a McNamee Scholar is assigned a mentor on a one-to-one basis and receives a $2,500 grant each year toward their high school tuition. The grant along with matching grants provide the opportunity for the student to attend a quality high school while the role of the mentor is to provide the necessary support and assistance to insure the student's success in high school.. The program currently selects graduates of four elementary schools in North Philadelphia, Saint Malachy School, La Salle Academy, Hope Partnership for Education, and Saint Francis DeSales.

“Beginning with this 2013-14 school year, one qualified McNamee Scholar who has graduated from high school and has been admitted to college, will be granted a four year college scholarship, up to $7,000 per year based on available funding. Two additional college scholarships, up to $10,000 per year for each of the four college years, will be granted to one qualified graduate of Saint Joseph’s Prep and one to a graduate of Cristo Rey High School.

Click here to watch a video about the Program.

The McNamee Scholars Program is indebted to the following foundations and corporations for their generous financial support.


Paul E. Kelly Foundation, Narberth, PA
Union Benevolent Assoc., Philadelphia, PA
Caroline Alexander Buck Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
Sovereign Bank, Villanova, PA
Southco Corporation, Concordville PA
Mellon BYN Bank, Philadelphia, PA
C.W. & Marjorie J. Schrenk Family Foundation, Holland, PA
Beneficial Bank, Philadelphia, PA
Milani Charitable Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
William M. King Charitable Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
Chit Chat Charities, Philadelphia, PA
Verizon Foundation Philadelphian, PA
Vanguard Charitable, Boston, MA



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