The Company

Universal Companies

Universal Companies’ Mission

Universal Companies is in the business of helping people. Our mission is to improve communities and change lives, by creating cultural and entrepreneurial opportunities that break the cycle of generational poverty within historically disenfranchised communities. To accomplish this, Universal focuses on the identification and removal of systemic barriers to wealth creation within urban settings. We are committed to a comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization that embraces education as its foundation for economic transformation. Universal works in collaboration with community stakeholders to create an environment where all children are achieving academically, socially, and emotionally at a high level. We have maintained a proven track record of turning around under-achieving schools since 1999.

Our Vision

Universal Companies will be recognized as a change agent and national leader in urban education as evidenced by student awareness of self, high academic achievement, positive school culture and community transformation. The purpose of the Universal Family and Student Resource Centers (FSRCs) is to consolidate and organize the schools’ non-academic functions to offer a comprehensive array of school based services and supports to improve student achievement.

Our Core Values

Safe Schools – All schools can and will be a safe and nurturing environment; a place where everyone is valued and respected.
High Expectations – The achievement and opportunity gap can and will be eliminated.
Customer Service – We strive to achieve absolute customer satisfaction.
Exemplary Academics – All children can and will learn at or above grade level.
Parent Partners – Our parents are an essential partner in their children’s educational journey.

“As a Family of Schools, we are committed to providing scholars with an educational program that meets their individual needs while at the same time challenging and stretching their limits intellectually. We need to do that in an environment that is safe, nurturing, full of high expectations and one that allows for all types of growth. Ultimately, our job is to prepare all scholars to be well rounded and prepared for college and career.”

Rahim Islam, is a founding member of Universal Companies and has served as president and CEO since its inception in 1993. He has been at the forefront of resolving many of the community and social issues facing Philadelphians and currently works directly with a number of organizations in the areas of childcare, youth and recreation programs, drug and alcohol prevention, faith based efforts, block associations, political activity, and K-12 education.

For more information about Universal Companies, visit the main web site at

Shahied Dawan
President & CEO
Universal Companies