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Community College of Philadelphia kicked off its African American History Month celebration on Wednesday, Feb.1, with a breakfast at the Great Hall. President Donald Guy Generals and Sulaiman Rahman, founder and CEO of Urban Philly Professional Network, related storied achievements of the past to emerging issues of today, like immigration.

MLK Day of Service 2017

In honor of the late civil rights leader, Community College of Philadelphia students and staff took part in the Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service on January 16, 2017, at Girard College — a city-wide signature event.

Nearly 5,000 volunteers from organizations across the city took part in 250 service projects throughout the day. Elected officials also attended, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Gov. Tom Wolf spoke to the crowd. College President, Dr. Donald Guy Generals, and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff, Dr. Judith Gay, led the volunteers from the College, including 13 student ambassadors and two student government leaders.

Student ambassadors came up with the ideas for the six projects that were used during the event. A number of them worked for months ahead of the day of service, as they had to consider their works’ impact, timeliness and inclusiveness.

Volunteers who dropped by the College’s student-manned table had their choice of activities: some wrote Valentine’s Day cards for seniors and decorated socks for them; others wrote letters of thanks to President Obama for his service; while others created coloring books of famous Philadelphians, shared peace bracelets and left a one-word message of kindness on a peace wall.

Shalee Hill, a student ambassador project leader, said she enjoyed watching the young people in the crowd practicing the tenets of exemplary citizenship and interacting with diverse neighbors.

“I learned that across the racial and religious gamut people can help for the sole purpose of serving others,” said Hill, citing the example of a Muslim women she met who visited the College’s table and wrote many cards.

On a personal level, the peace wall was Hill’s favorite activity. “I wrote like 10 words on the peace wall,” Hill exclaimed. “I was so excited about this wall; I kept writing.”

Jenavia Weaver, coordinator of the Student Leadership and Involvement Center, has organized the MLK Day of Service at the College for the last 15 years. Upon an invitation from Girard College, she and other members of Community College of Philadelphia have been participating at the city's signature site for service for the last 7 years. This year, the Student Ambassador program, the Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society each provided student representatives.

"We do it because we understand what service means," said Weaver during an interview she did with a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter. "If we could all do a little more service for others, the world would be a better place.”

Hill echoed a similar thought, insisting that she carries lessons of love and service from the experience to her family and neighborhoods.

“If you have a service attitude, you want solve problems,” Hill noted. “I like to serve because what I get out of it in return is more than what I give.”

By day’s end at Community College Philadelphia table, more than 100 socks were decorated, nearly 200 Valentine’s Day cards were written and 150 personalized letters with messages were ready to go to President Obama to thank him for his eight years of service.

Many seniors at the nearby Watermarks Retirement Community received a package composed of a card, sock and handmade bracelet.

Sulaiman Rahman, founder and CEO of Urban Philly Professional Network, speaks at the African American History Month breakfast.

Community College of Philadelphia kicked off its African American History Month celebration on Wednesday, Feb.1, with a breakfast at the Great Hall. President Donald Guy Generals and Sulaiman Rahman, founder and CEO of Urban Philly Professional Network, related storied achievements of the past to emerging issues of today, like immigration.

With the Trump administration’s recent travel ban of seven predominantly Muslim countries, Dr. Generals reminded the audience that African Americans’ gifts to the world have been their spirit of liberation and resistance.

"We have the obligation to take the legacy we are celebrating here during African American Heritage Month to embrace their cause; and find ways to advance their cause, while they’re trying to liberate themselves from the types of hostility thrown against them,” he said.

Rahman inspired students to reach for uncommon achievements, in the community and in the classroom. “You are me, and I am you” he said, reflecting on his shared experiences with students hoping to follow in his footsteps.

Rahman, a “C” student until the 7th grade, eventually realized that his football skills alone were insufficient in achieving his future goals. “If I wanted to achieve my goals, I needed to make sure that I took things seriously in class,” he said.

As he played football in high school, he simultaneously developed a deep love for math and science. Upon graduation, top universities competed to have him at their campuses, including Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. He chose to attend Penn, where he studied engineering, played football, and was drawn to the intrigue of entrepreneurship.

College helped him to discover his purpose, which was to launch UrbanPhilly.com to engage, empower and connect future leaders in Greater Philadelphia using technology and events. Currently, more than 16,000 people have subscribed his website. He also serves on the board of the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, which enhances and enriches the educational experiences for students by providing external resources to support the College’s mission.

While traveling across the country, Rahman said he has discovered that people are the same in their aspirations, and that diversity has value. He cited the power of mind and imagination in envisioning a future, then urged students and staff — “to not just be a human being but a human becoming.”

With a vision and preparation, he said, people can become a leader in any given field. He added that when people have high expectations of themselves, it propels them forward. “How you do anything is how you do everything,” he exclaimed.

He encouraged students to make use of all the College’s resources and support services; and to strive to expand their network. “Be uncommon,” he urged students, and “seek opportunity not security.”

Ramean Clowney, a student, said Rahman is the ideal image of Black success to him. “This guy is phenomenal,” he said. “I learned from his life that it doesn’t matter where you started; it’s all about where you’re going — taking every opportunity for what it’s worth.”

Clowney also appreciated Dr. Generals’ words.

“I really like his leadership here at Community College of Philadelphia,” he mentioned. “It was just moving for me.”

Saturday, February 4, 2017 marks the 25th year for the book fair, originating through non-profit organization The African American Children’s Book Project, which focuses on promoting and preserving literature created by or featuring those of African descent. Lloyd-Sgambati saw rich culture all around the city, but seldomly in bookstores or at literary events, which could yield dismal results.

Reception for members of the College’s Board of Trustees and Foundation Board RSVP

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Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu


WHAT: 57 million Latinos reside in the US, and their educational attainment has changed rapidly. Over the past decade the Latino high school dropout rate has dropped dramatically, while ushering in an increase in college enrollment. 35% of Latinos ages 18 to 24 are enrolled in two or four year colleges, and Community College of Philadelphia is helping to keep the rate rising.

The College is preparing the workforce of tomorrow as it hosts its second annual Latino College Day— inviting prospective students an opportunity to speak with College staff, students, and representatives from various local Latino community organizations from across the City. The event includes bilingual presentations and programs geared towards the College’s Latino population. Staff will be on hand throughout the day to help students and their families navigate through admissions and financial aid applications. Refreshments will be provided by Sabor Dominicana, and door prizes will be raffled.

Community resource organizations in attendance include Congreso, HUNE (Hispanos Unidos por Ninos Excepcionals), LNES-LULAC, the School District of Philadelphia’s Multilingual Family Support Office, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and others. Refreshments will be provided by Sabor Dominicana, and door prizes will be raffled.

WHO: Special welcome and message from Pedro Rodriguez, director of the Office of Human Resources for the City.

WHEN: The event starts at noon on Feb. 11th; College presentations and one-stop services begin at 1 p.m. Staff will help students and their families navigate through the admissions and financial aid process. Services will be provided in English and Spanish.

WHERE: Community College of Philadelphia, Center for Business and Industry, 1800 Spring Garden Street.


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Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.


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