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Faculty, staff, students and friends of the College braved the cold air on Nov. 22, 2016 to raise awareness about the vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking and exploitation. During the Red Sand Walk for Human Trafficking Awareness, participants were giving bags of red sand to pour into the sidewalk cracks as the group traveled from Spring Garden Street to City Hall, where the event culminated in a press conference that shed light on the local and global victims of human trafficking. The Red Sand Project is an activist artwork created to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
 
Watch highlights of the Red Sand Walk and press conference.

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu

 

December 1, 2016– Community College of Philadelphia has awarded second-year students Villisia Betterson and Evelyn Jackson OneMain Financial Completion Scholarships, enabling them to complete degrees in Business Administration in December 2016.

“More than anything OneMain Financial has given me opportunity,” said Betterson, who plans to attend Temple University or Pierce College next year.

“At one point I believed that I would not be able to further my education until I finished helping my children achieve their goals in fulfilling their own academic success. Thanks to the OneMain Financial Scholarship, I am able to work on my goals of getting my education while still helping my children achieve theirs.”

The scholarship, funded by OneMain Financial and administered in five community colleges by Achieving the Dream, provides $3,000 to students who may need the funds to complete their degree. Achieving the Dream works to promote access to quality education and opportunity.

For Evelyn Jackson, the scholarship did that, and more. “Receiving this scholarship from OneMain Financial has changed my life, when I needed help the most. This scholarship enabled me to purchase all my books and a reliable laptop at the most pivotal point in my education,” she said.

“This scholarship widens and extends the path to possibilities for students,” said Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia. “It recognizes their hard work and dedication, and provides our students with the extra financial support needed to excel in their final push towards completion."

“OneMain believes in the power of education to improve the economic wellbeing of students and their families,” said Sheldon Caplis, Director of Community relations at OneMain Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased to support deserving students at the colleges participating in the Scholarship program and help them reach their career goals.”

According to Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, a 2009 report by Public Agenda, six in 10 community college students work more than 20 hours a week, and more than a quarter work more than 35 hours a week. The report also notes that more than 50 percent of those who left higher ed before completing a degree or a certificate said that the “need to work and make money” while attending classes is the major reason they left.

Betterson, who returned to school in January 2015, is a widow with three children. Her youngest son who is now a freshman at Mansfield University finds his inspiration in watching her drive, determination, focus, and commitment to her studies. Betterson enjoys volunteering at her church bookstore and serves as the 2nd President for the Veteran’s Club at Community College of Philadelphia.

Jackson is achieving her degree after 20 years of a series of life challenges. An active member in her community; Jackson is passionate about her opportunities to mentor and currently participates in the College’s L.E.A.D.S. (Leadership, Education, Achievement, Diversity, Success) program helping teenagers develop their own leadership abilities.

Community College of Philadelphia was selected through a competitive process to participate in the Scholarship program, based in part on its recognition of the financial challenges students face on their journeys to completing their studies and commitment to finding additional strategies to help them.

“I hear incredible stories all the time about students making hard choices in order to continue their studies, including skipping meals, rationing gas money and picking schedules to minimize the cost of trips to campus,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “I’m so pleased to be working with OneMain Financial and Community College of Philadelphia to remove financial hurdles that could have stopped exceptionally dedicated students from completing their degrees.”

According to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2015, the average tuition and fee for students at public community colleges was $3,435. However, this figure represented only 20 percent of the annual budget of students who pay for off campus housing. Other costs include transportation, food, and child care.

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu

 

WHAT: Making the transition from involvement with the criminal justice system to success in college often requires a cast of people who see the true depth of your potential, sometimes before you do. Community College of Philadelphia‘s Reentry Support Project of the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society provides campus-based services uniquely designed to help students with criminal records achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals. Attend the Reentry Support Project's Fall Achievement Ceremony and hear students testify how higher education is transforming their lives and helping them leave criminal activities behind.

WHO: Michael DiBerardinis, managing director for the City of Philadelphia, will serve as keynote speaker at the ceremony. Joining him will be Tara Timberman, Reentry Support Project Founder and Coordinator; Kathy Smith, Esq., Director of the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society, and others.

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 1 – 2:45 p.m.

WHERE: Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-28, located on the corner of 18th and Callowhill streets.

 

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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.

 

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu

 

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA., Nov. 10, 2016 - Every day, college students struggle to concentrate on their studies, keep up their grades, and even stay in school because they cannot afford one of life’s basic necessities— food.

At Community College of Philadelphia, students sometimes must sacrifice food for other needs.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Community College of Philadelphia is addressing a serious crisis by providing the Snack Rack Program for food-insecure students.

The Snack Rack Program, sponsored by the Student Government Association, will provide packaged snacks such as dried fruits and nuts, fruit cups, and Pop Tarts to students in need; in addition it will have microwaveable foods such as macaroni and cheese, soups, and oatmeal packages. Students will be directed by staff and students to locations at the Main Campus and the Regional Centers, which will serve as Snack Rack areas. Additionally, the Student Leadership and Involvement Center will provide larger quantities of food for students with families who may need a few items to get them through a few days over the holiday season.

Last year, Single Stop USA, a one-stop, on-campus organization that connects students to social services and resources; and the Association of Community College Trustees surveyed students at 10 community colleges, including those in Pennsylvania. They found one in five students said they had gone hungry because they didn’t have enough money to pay for food. A majority received financial aid and worked, but that income still wasn’t enough to make ends meet; especially for hard-working students trying to raise families, in addition to paying for such college expenses such as transportation, books, tuition, and fees.

Witnessing hunger amongst his classmates motivated Student Government President Troy Bundy to follow up on former SGA President Nadia Mendez’s idea for a food pantry last year. “A lot of students were hungry and didn’t have money for something to eat, but because of their pride they didn’t say anything,” said Bundy; who then brainstormed with Director of Student Life David Greene to expand the program and solicit donations.

Currently, there are 13 Snack Rack locations on the Main Campus and at the Regional Centers. During the giving season, the Student Government Association enlisted the College community to donate needed items during the College’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon to help sustain the Snack Rack Program. “We have made great strides this year, but we know there is much more work to be done,” Greene said.

During this season of giving, as compassionate students provide for each other, donors and others are also finding ways to assist college students facing hunger and homelessness. Each year just before Thanksgiving, the College donates more than $7,500 worth of grocery gift cards to students courtesy of the Pincus Family Foundation. In addition, various faculty and staff members contribute each year to provide supermarket gift certificates for students and their families in need.

Community groups and individuals who would like to contribute to the College’s giving campaign can visit www.ccp.edu/donate, or mail a contribution to the attention of Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Gregory Murphy, at Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130.

 

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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.

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu

 

WHO: Mayor Jim Kenney was raised by Irish Catholic parents who taught him to respect everyone, no matter what race, religion or zip code. His upbringing, along with the community service values instilled by the Jesuits at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and LaSalle University, laid the foundation for the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia to ensure opportunity for every Philadelphian, beginning in preschool.“ Children by third grade aren’t reading at grade level. By seventh and eighth grade they are embarrassed they can’t read, and by 10th grade they are out of there. Then they go to the corner, or to the cemetery, or jail,” he said in an interview with Pathways magazine, the college’s workforce development publication. In the article, Kenney details how he intends to fulfill his inauguration day pledge to make every neighborhood the best it can be - by fostering strong commercial corridors and affordable housing, improving amenities such as libraries and recreation centers, and providing young people with real economic opportunities that will keep them out of a life of crime. He calls on the entire city, including the business leaders, to get involved – by mentoring youth, helping out at recreation centers, supporting the Police Athletic League and more. “These young babies, we have to make sure they are educated and sheltered so they don’t end up in the drug life. It is a really hard job. I can’t do it by myself, that’s for sure.”

Pathways magazine explores ways the College will help advance Kenney’s agenda, by implementing programs that boost entrepreneurism in working-class neighborhoods and expanding early childhood education.

WHEN: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Mayor Kenney will be the keynote speaker.

WHERE: Center for Business and Industry, Room C2-5, Community College of Philadelphia. The Center for Business and Industry is located at the corner of 18th and Callowhill streets.

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu

 

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 18, 2016—The Fox Rothschild Center for Law & Society at Community College of Philadelphia will present the 2016 Judge Edward R. Becker Citizenship Award on December 1st to Carole Haas Gravagno, a local philanthropist and champion of hope for youth.

The Becker award is named for the late Edward R. Becker (1933-2006), a Philadelphia native, scholar, and a highly respected jurist— who served on the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Judge Becker was a civil servant and a nationally-known jurist noted for upholding the highest standard of the law, while maintaining down-to-earth humility and approach.

The presentation will be made during a breakfast that will begin at 8 a.m. in Room C2-5 of the Center for Business and Industry, located on 18th Street on the corner of Callowhill Street. Invited guests include students, educators, youth advocates, patrons of the arts, elected officials, and Judge Becker’s widow, Flora Becker. Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. was the previous winner, receiving the award in 2015.

A former elementary and high school teacher, Carole was selected by the awards committee for her long-standing support of programs that introduce the transformative power of the arts to children and youth, and working vigorously for strong families and better communities. She is currently working with “Play On, Philly!,” a music program at St. Francis de Sales School and Freire Charter Middle School. Over the years, she has worked with the Liberty Museum, Arden Theatre Company, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Please Touch Museum, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Settlement Music School, Morris Arboretum, and many others.

Carole has helped many local children and youth to live as she would want her children to live—by introducing them to the life-changing power of the arts, and working vigorously for strong families and better communities. A champion for children and advocate for quality public education, she stood

alongside Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.in a press conference back in 2013 and said, “If we let the education of our young people go down the drain, we’re in big, big trouble,”

The award honors outstanding citizens who have dedicated their lives to public service. It is named for a man who was as comfortable in the presence of Supreme Court Justices as he was with hourly wage workers, Edward Becker. A Philadelphia native, Judge Becker served on the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals from 1981 to 2006; using his extensive gifts to uphold the highest standards of the law while maintaining a down-to-earth humility and common touch.

Other recipients include U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (2014); former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (2011); Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Marjorie O. Rendell (2010); Co-Founder, President and Executive Director of Project H.O.M.E., Sister Mary Scullion (2009); former U.S. Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman, Jr., Esq. (2008); and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (2007).

Carole holds a B.A. from Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina, and a Master of Education from Temple University. In 1999, Gov. Tom Ridge appointed her a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.

 

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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.

On the same day the Department of Labor announced the November unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, the lowest level in nine years, a winding line of job-seekers snaked around Spring Garden Street and down 17th Street on the Main Campus.

One of the hopeful was Wakeler Tongor, a married father of two, including a newborn, who has been looking for a family-sustaining job since graduating from Temple in 2009. He currently works two part-time jobs, for a pharmaceutical company and for an assisted living facility, but both jobs combined don’t pay him enough to support his growing family. He hoped to find salaried, full-time employment, preferably a supervisory job in social services.

Like hundreds of others, he marveled over the overwhelming turnout as the City of Philadelphia hosted a jobs fair seeking applicants for 30 job areas ranging from police officers to firemen to city planners to sanitation workers and lawyers.

“This just goes to show how badly people need work,” Tongor said. “Even if people are working, they aren’t making as much as they would want to make.”

The City Government Career Fair came to Community College of Philadelphia Friday, December 2nd. The fair provided informational sessions with more than 30 participating city departments, including the Philadelphia Police Department, the Department of Human Services and the Free Library of Philadelphia. More than 2,000 applicants attended, including 1,000 current and former Community College of Philadelphia students. They learned about various jobs openings and in some cases, applied for them. Staff from the College’s Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS) program helped out by registering people in line, and handing out college career literature to those who aspired to higher-paying jobs.

“I just want a job with benefits,” said Mike Scott, an unemployed locksmith, who stood in line with his live-in girlfriend Kristen Sanders, who added, “It’s hard when there’s only one person working in a household.”

The fair was scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but because of the enormous numbers of applicants, members of the KEYS staff cut the line off at about 1 p.m., allowing those already assembled time to go through the process. But those left out did not leave empty-handed, as College staffers provided them with information about employment, upcoming job fairs and more.

Many jobseekers had never been on the campus before, so it gave staff a captive audience, and an opportunity to discuss a range of job training and degree options. “We’re letting them know they can come to the College and get a degree,” said Kimberly Daniel, project director of KEYS, who was speaking with job seekers and conducting interviews as they left. “Or, if they have a degree, they can come back and get more training. We can be a resource for them.”

“I’m not surprised so many people came out,” she added. “I don’t care what anybody says, people want to work.”

The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF) this year expanded its venues to include the Main Campus of Community College of Philadelphia, where the diverse community fosters a variety of learning experiences.

The Festival, now the largest Asian American festival on the East Coast, exposes the region to films by and about Asian Americans through an abundance of film screenings and events. The other venues were the International House in University City, and the Asian Art initiative in Chinatown.

“Hosting PAAFF events at the College was important because it offered an opportunity to educate people about Asian American people and cultures,” said Michelle Myers, associate professor of English and a conference organizer. “There is a misperception that all Asian people and cultures are the same, which is terribly inaccurate and serves to erase the true diversity of the Asian American/Pacific Islander community. By presenting more accurate portrayals of the AAPI community’s diversity, we can challenge such views and, hopefully, correct stereotypes that people have held.”

Whether it is fostering an appreciation for the world through its Center for International Understanding or study abroad programs, the College’s international programs and activities allow students to sharpen their critical thinking and analytical skills; and prepare them to embrace a global view. Over the years, student and faculty groups have traveled to countries as extraordinary as Tanzania, Turkey, Japan, and, beginning in 2017, Cuba.

In addition, PAAFF held its first-ever academic mini-conference this year at the College, exploring topics as varied as media representations of Asian American identity; Asian American food, and its function socially, culturally and politically; and representations of culture, gender, and politics in Iranian film.

Serving as a host venue for PAAFF was a natural fit for the College. For the past 32 years, it has celebrated world cultures with the International Festival, a weeks’ worth of multinational dancing, music, workshops and cuisine; all designed to highlight and pay homage to the many cultures of the world.

Through the film festival, the learning continued. A recent screening of the PBS documentary, “In Football We Trust,” which chronicled the emergence of Samoan-American high school football players in a small town in Utah, enlightened members of the College community about culture and customs of Asians and Pacific Islanders that were different from their own.

Azari Jacquan, a Liberal Arts major at the College, said he left the screening with a new appreciation of a culture he knew little about, and the knowledge will be useful to him in the

future: “I’m interested in interpersonal communications. To be able to communicate with people, you have to be educated about their culture,” he said.

Meyers said providing a platform for events such as the film festival positions the College as a place where world views are formed and take hold. “We want to spotlight Community College of Philadelphia as a college where exciting academic work and conversations are taking place,” she said. “Hosting this academic mini-conference was an opportunity to convey the College’s positivity in this way.”

Council members join Mayor Jim Kenney (left) business owner Monica Parrilla (center), Community College of Philadelphia President Donald Guy Generals, (2nd left) and city Commerce Director Harold Epps (far right) to announce the launch of Power Up Your Business.

Monica Parrilla, owner of Marz Auto Center in Hunting Park, loves her job but sometimes the challenges can be difficult to bear.

Her four employees and their families rely on her and her auto repair business for their livelihood. She is working for her customers, and for them.

On Monday, Parrilla, clad in a Dale Earnhardt pullover shirt, breathed easier. Power Up Your Business, a new initiative funded by City Council and created by Community College of Philadelphia, aims to help her company grow, and the neighborhood along with it.

“There are workshops and grants for businesses with large revenue streams but small businesses like mine are excluded because we don’t meet the benchmark,” said Parrilla, who will serve as a member of the Power Up advisory board. “Small businesses have the power to keep the local economy moving, provide jobs in our area and to increase our revenue.”

From Hunting Park to Wynnefield, from Logan to South Philly, small businesses — the barbershops, the bodegas, the laundromats — throughout the city’s 265 neighborhood commercial corridors are the economic drivers of the city. Yet, those businesses are oftentimes overlooked in economic development conversations.

Power Up will help kick-start the conversation, block by block, and introduce the city to a group of unsung heroes — the men and women whose businesses keep neighborhoods and communities strong and who serve as job creators.

Starting Jan. 11, the College will offer workshops that cover the small business financial management, personal and business credit and neighborhood-based marketing. The workshops will be held at the College's Main Campus and three Regional Centers, starting with the Northwest Regional Center.

It will also offer 10-week training programs for up to 25 businesses at a time for a total of 100 businesses in one year. The College will match the participants with a business coach and introduce them to small business resources.

“At the end of the day, stronger local businesses mean more jobs and better neighborhoods for all Philadelphians, and I think we all can get behind that,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, who has advocated for opportunity for every resident of Philadelphia. “When neighborhood businesses are strong, neighborhoods are safer, home values go up, more people are working, there’s more of a community feel in the neighborhood.”

City Council hatched the idea and created funding for Power Up Your Business in response to the sweetened beverage tax imposed on small business owners earlier this year. “To me, consumption was driving the argument. Not enough was about ownership,” said Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, who shepherded the $800,000 program through the budget process. “With that in mind, we were able to come together about the development of the program.”

Standing alongside Mayor Kenney, Councilwoman Parker, and Community College of Philadelphia President Donald Guy Generals were: Council President Darrell Clarke, and Council members Curtis Jones, Jr., Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Derek Green, William Greenlee, Mark Squilla, Allan Domb, Al Taubenberger and David Oh. Clarke lauded Community College of Philadelphia as the “go-to” College “we go to when we want to come up with some very specific programs.”

“The College has one simple goal,” Dr. Generals said, “make every neighborhood the best it can be, by helping every business prosper.”

PIDC, City Commerce Department, PACDC, Enterprise Center, the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are among the College’s community partners as Power Up prepares for a January rollout.

“It’s a neighborhood-centric approach to economic inclusion and change,” said Carol de Fries, the College’s vice president of Workforce and Economic Innovation.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Community College of Philadelphia will honor and recognize heroes by hosting a ceremony and job fair to connect those who have served in the military.

Since the 9-11 tragedy, one out of every two veterans will face joblessness upon transitioning from the military back into the workforce, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report. The study also found that the average time for being on unemployment was approximately 22 weeks in 2013.

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