|
   Text A+ A- A Subscribe to Community College of Philadelphia RSS

Speakers at college graduation are often notable alumni or individuals distinguished in their field.

The commencement speaker for the Community College of Philadelphia's Saturday graduation is both — a graduate and a White House staff member.

White House social secretary Deesha Dyer will stand up in front of more than 2,000 graduates of the college to say she's just like them.

From West Philly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; Deesha Dyer is our own hometown success story.

The Washington Post describes her as “a girl from a hard-knock neighborhood in West Philadelphia who dropped out of college, got a 9-to-5, developed a side-hustle writing about Philly’s hip-hop and soul scene, went to community college, and at age 31 became a White House intern.”

After working her way up the White House ladder from intern in the Office of Scheduling and Advance to associate director for scheduling correspondence to hotel program director to deputy to the social secretary, in 2015 she was named President Obama’s Social Secretary. The Washington Post reports that it’s a role that’s typically held by “upper-class white women with pedigree, connections and political networks.” Dyer is the second black woman to hold the position; she succeeded Jeremy Bernard, who was the first man and first openly gay person to have the post. Along the way she had gained the respect of First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.

Deesha Dyer entered the Community College of Philadelphia as a 29-year-old woman who doubted whether she had the smarts necessary to succeed at the college level.

But by the time she graduated in 2012, Dyer already had secured a job – at the White House. As the associate director for scheduling and correspondence, Dyer merely helped arrange lodgings and site logistics when traveling with the Obamas.

Four years later, Dyer now serves as the White House Social Secretary, a vital position responsible for organizing every social event held at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

On Monday, Vice President Biden along with his wife, Jill, a professor at Northern Virginia Community College, touted the plan in an appearance at the Community College of Philadelphia.

"Community Colleges are America's best kept secret," Biden said to a crowd of students and professors on Monday. "They're helping people get into jobs and into the middle class." He noted that many U.S. manufacturers complain that there are not enough skilled people to handle jobs in the contemporary workplace.

President Obama pledged in 2015 to work toward a goal of making community college tuition free, and he’s now pledging $100 million for expanded workforce training programs.

The money will be available through America’s Promise Job-Driven Training Grants program, Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, announced at the Community College of Philadelphia. That school adopted the tuition-free model Obama favors last year, The Washington Post said.

Vice President Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden announced the $100 million program of competitive grants at the Community College of Philadelphia. The overarching America’s College Promise, introduced by President Obama in 2015, brought the national discussion of free college into the forefront of public policy.

“Manshop,” a bold stage comedy by up-and-coming playwright/director Wanda Farlow Cooke (aka Freedom), comes to the Arts Bank on Broad Street for one performance only, at 6 p.m. on May 7.

A vivacious Germantown native who attended Martin Luther King High School, “Manshop” is the theatrical debut for Freedom, who has a degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Community College of Philadelphia and a master’s degree in social work from Temple University.

The announcement came as part of a week of events hosted by the White House surrounding College Signing Day, including a visit by Vice President Joe Biden to Community College of Philadelphia and a visit by first lady Michelle Obama to New York City’s Harlem Armory for an event attended by thousands of New York high school students.

Vice President Joe Biden made the announcement on Monday at the Community College of Philadelphia. The community college launched a free program last April that was modeled after the America’s College Promise plan, a joint state and federal effort to give responsible students two years of free instruction at a community college.

Also scheduled are an investment banker, a national political commentator, an advocate for the homeless, a pharmacologist, a judge, a renowned sculptor, a Los Angeles pastor whose enterprise trains former gang members for honest work, and a 2012 Community College of Philadelphia grad who works with Michelle Obama in the White House.

Pages