We are Penn's CiviliansLearn More About Us

Welcome to the website of Penn's Civilians Educational Organization (Penn's Civilians). Penn's Civilians is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization of purely public interest. With unique programs designed to advance and affirm Pennsylvania's youth, with your help, we will continue to reach out to the young people of our State.

Our mission is to increase the academic and social achievements of low socio-economic students, and to serve as a resource for parents, educators and all who seek to enrich the lives of children.


  • Penn's Civilians Educational Organization (Penn's Civilians) was founded by Mr. L. Richard Sayles to commemorate and to continue the leadership, scholarship, and service he received from charitable civilians and historically exemplified by the life of Pennsylvania's founder, Mr. William Penn.
  • Our pilot program was first introduced at the Steelton-Highspire high school, in Steelton, Pennsylvania. It was a proven success and has pioneered the way to achieve the necessary growth and enhancement of our programs. Through increased support and participation, we aim to broaden our contributions and extend our reach, both fundamentally and geographically.
  • Through the Organizational efforts and the efforts of those in conjunction, we commemorate the support of concerned citizens and continue toward a more vital, just, and caring community.

"William Penn was the first great hero of American Liberty The only person who made major contributions to liberty in both the New World and the Old World." - Jim Powell, Laissez-Faire Books


Our programs and services are designed to meet these objectives.

  • To administer programs that foster greater achievement by way of social and academic enrichment initiatives held after or out of school.
  • To support programs that include the following essential components:
    • Homework assistance
    • Test Preparation
    • Experiential Learning
    • Field trips
    • Community service
    • Incentives and achievement celebrations
  • To encourage parental involvement
  • To promote the pursuit of higher education and the acquisition of college degrees.
  • To engage college students and community members in service toward our mission.
  • To assist in preparing the youth in our programs for their future roles as productive members of the community.
  • To organize and coordinate events that will provide incentive for our programs and serve to create greater local and national awareness of our overall mission, as well as continue to enhance community and sponsor support.


The goal of our organization is to assist public school performance via non-formal outreach educational opportunities. We target poor performing low-income and/or transient students in primarily urban areas to maximize the effects of our service. Our program strives to raise the achievement levels of our targeted audience to meet the proficiency standards set by their school and/or the state.

Each after school session is a learning experience that provides a foundation of inspiration for continued academic growth. In so doing, we provide academic assistance to public school performance and develop a grassroots foundation of education that aspires toward a vital, just, and caring community.

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Please reach out if you have any questions about participating or contributing to our programs in your area.

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The strength of our organization resides in the fact that our philosophy of building lasting relationships with various organizations and community type members complements other organizations who wish to give back to the community in the hopes of making a difference.

  • GRASSROOTS FOUNDATION. We are a grassroots extension of the efforts provided by many local and national youth service providers. We are, in fact, a development of the experience offered by the Corporation of National and Community Service headquartered in Washington DC.
  • ENRICHMENT. Through vast exposure and association with Penn's Civilian efforts to provide quality after school programs, we will enrich the lives of children via our mission.
  • STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES. Our programs aim to strengthen the link between academics and communities by encouraging community involvement and serving as resource for parents, educators and all who seek to become involved and share in this quest.
  • GEOGRAPHIC MARKETS. Currently, programs are being offered in the Harrisburg and State College Areas. With the continued support and success of our programs we expect to expand to various geographic locations throughout the Commonwealth.


Like many low-income disadvantaged youth, our founder, Mr. Sayles, excelled in athletics but was underdeveloped in the social and academic arenas. The social support he received during these less privileged times inspired him to pursue this non-profit endeavor and to appropriately name it Penn's Civilians Educational Organization. As the culmination of more than a decade of work with various schools, childcare facilities, and youth service organizations, Penn's Civilians was incorporated in June 2002.

Since its inception, the organization has steadily advanced upon its mission to increase the academic and social achievements of low-income students. The after school program was brought into existence at the Steelton-Highspire high school near the capitol area of the Commonwealth in the Spring of 2003. After a successful pilot introduction, Penn's Civilians began their inaugural year with 100% of the piloted students and a 70% increase of the targeted body. Marginal support is steadily growing so that we not only increase the quality of our services, but also increase the quantity of students our services are provided for. Many students stand by in lieu of further resource development of our after school program. Many more are in need of similar services that we don't provide. Hence, our commitment to serve as a resource for, and encourage the support of, all who seek to enrich the lives of children.