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The College Promise Campaign has arranged screenings to take place at community colleges during both the Republican and Democratic  National Convention. In Philadelphia during the DNC, scheduled panelists include: President Donald Generals, Community College of Philadelphia; American Federation of Teachers Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Richter, White House Social Secretary Deesha Dyer, Monique Makhlouf, a CSN alumna featured in “No Greater Odds,” and CSN Communications & Government Affairs Director Michael Flores.

Philadelphia college student Jimmy Mulholland, who bicycled across the country last year, received many offers of help after his bike was recently stolen at 30th Street Station.

On July 10, Mulholland had locked up his old bike outside of 30th Street Station, where he took a train to Media, Delaware County, to visit his parents overnight. When he returned to get his bike the next day, it was stolen from the rack on the Schuylkill River side of the station. He realizes he probably shouldn't have kept his bike there overnight.

The bike had been his constant companion on his road trip last year when he took a break from Temple University, where he was having difficulties in school.

This past spring semester, Mulholland, who still lives in an apartment near Temple University in North Philadelphia, transferred to the Community College of Philadelphia, where he is studying business administration. He is taking summer classes now.

He plans to start a photography business and hopes to transfer back to Temple to finish his bachelor's degree.

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When community colleges first opened their doors, they widened the gateway to social mobility and were fondly celebrated as America’s “people’s colleges.”

Today, more and more scholars are enrolling at Community College of Philadelphia because they know they can travel to just about any destination from there – while spending less money along the way. Plus, rigorous academic preparation and skill development are now woven into its nationally known Liberal Arts - Honors Option curriculum, which was designed to serve students who plan to advance into professional life and attend competitive four-year schools.

Community College of Philadelphia's president, Dr. Donald "Guy" Generals, is more blunt when it comes to the need to intervene early on, particularly for those who have dropped out of school.

"If we don't find a way to catch them early and put them on a path towards something more productive, they are only going to be a burden in terms of the services they are going to need later on in their life," Generals said. "Their inability to find gainful employment and incarceration is way more costly than community college. So these programs are incredibly important."

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The growth of Queenie's Pets wasn't just happenstance. Silberstein is one of 251 Philadelphia business owners who have graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Community College of Philadelphia.

The 10KSB program, as it is known, started three years ago, said Margaret Berger Bradley, the executive director of the program at CCP until this week. Through the program, business owners get an education, expert advice, networking, and sometimes access to business loans. It has been described as a mini-M.B.A., where owners learn about accounting, financial reporting, and writing business plans.

"One of our owners said he was trained as an architect, but he was never trained to run his own business," Bradley said. Silberstein said of 10,000 Small Businesses: "It took my success and kicked it into high gear. "It gave me this enormous access to all these other entrepreneurs who were having some of the same challenges I was having despite being in different industries."

After completing the program in April 2014, Silberstein moved from her home-office to the store in February 2015. Philadelphia has a great record of people starting small businesses, said John Grady, president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., which teamed with CCP and the city to bring the program here. But the region lags in the businesses' rate of growth.

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