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The 18-year-old resident of the 2000 block of South 17th Street is set to embark on a Community College of Philadelphia journey aimed at his interests in business and culinary arts.

Goldman Sachs has partnered with the Community College of Philadelphia to offer the training program. June 15 is the deadline to apply for business owners to apply to be part of the next session.

But this fall, Delmonico and three classmates from the Community College of Philadelphia will make the jump to the Ivy League by transferring to Penn. Their stories differ, but none is less remarkable than the next.

Majors topics that were covered were expungement eligibility and the application process, voting rights, resources for returning citizens and employment discrimination. Residents were also able to learn if they were eligible for expungements.

Samantha Marchetti is an honors student at Bartram High School. In addition to helping at school and participating in neighborhood cleanup efforts, she serves in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and has performed more hours of volunteer work than any other student at Bartram. She hopes to attend the Community College of Philadelphia, continue to volunteer and, one day, own her own business.

“I am excited to receive some help to start college,” said Lyles, who started a film club at her school and aspires to be a screenwriter and director. “I love to explore what is done behind the scenes. So, I plan to start at Community College of Philadelphia and then complete my studies at St. Joseph’s.”

Applications are being accepted for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses-Greater Philadelphia program, a free training program for entrepreneurs. Applications are due June 15. The program begins Sept. 10 at the Community College of Philadelphia.

“I have always been a voracious reader,” said Knighton. “But whenever I read something bad, I said to myself, ‘I can do better than this.’ So I tried it.”  Knighton’s writing led him to Community College of Philadelphia where he attended English courses.

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

PHILADELPHIA, April 14, 2015—Community College of Philadelphia students Kouame Aka and Lizette Lewis have been named to the 2015 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team—an honor that recognizes 44 students for scholarly achievements and community involvement.

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges paid tribute to the All-Pennsylvania Scholars on April 13 in Harrisburg, Pa. To be named to the statewide academic team, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher. Team members are eligible for scholarships offered by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education that may be used at any of the system’s 14 universities. The scholarships fund up to two years of tuition in a baccalaureate program.

Aka, 22, who lives in Elmwood Park, is a first-generation college student who came to Community College of Philadelphia as a newly arrived immigrant from the Ivory Coast. An honors student in Science, he maintains a 4.0 grade point average. His plans after graduation are ambitious: earning a PhD in petroleum engineering, becoming a mathematics professor at the College, and working as an engineer. On May 2, he moves a step closer to his goals when he graduates with an associate’s degree in science.

“Graduating from a high school based in a third world country has definitely increased my thirst for a better education,” Aka said. “I grabbed the opportunity to live in the U.S. due to its great reputation for providing access to education.”

Since his second semester at the College, Aka has worked as a mathematics tutor at the College’s math learning lab, helping peers struggling with math to understand the material. “I am very grateful to the mathematics professors I have had at the College,” he said. “They improved my knowledge of math and this made it easy for me to be a tutor. I am positive that the people I have tutored will go on to be great assets to the community.”

A math whiz, Aka recalled his shock when he learned about the high failure rate of students in lower level math classes. To make a change, he rallied several classmates in his advanced math

classes to beef up the lab. “Many of my mates started to join as tutors, and the learning lab started to have the help it needed. I was elated,” he said.

Aka plans to transfer to either Drexel University or Louisiana State University in the fall, where he will major in engineering. “I hope to make a contribution to our society, as well as to ensure my family’s survival,” he said. “My hope is to set the bar high so that along the way, I could inspire my family and friends to work hard, too.”

Lewis, 46, who lives in Holmesburg, enrolled in the College as a longtime licensed practice nurse searching for a change in life. Now an honor student with a 3.86 grade point average, Lewis has received a scholarship from West Chester University, where she will attend this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Her lifelong interests in community health and education inspire her to succeed and give back to her community. A student in the Culture, Science and Technology program with a concentration in health careers, Lewis says that since enrolling in the College, she has been providing healthy living tips to her church congregation in West Philadelphia every week before Sunday service—an accomplishment she considers her most significant to date in her College career. She shares with her fellow parishioners practical lessons she has learned from her anatomy, physiology, and nutrition classes. Her presentations, she believes, are having a gradual impact.

“They’re learning about the importance of proper nutrition, how it affects the body, what to eat and what not to eat, and the recommended daily allowances,” said Lewis, an assistant pastor who also runs a youth mentoring program at her church. “These instructions are going from the church out to families and the community by word of mouth, and could help improve the overall health status of our community.”

While taking classes, Lewis also leads Delivering Services with Love, a nonprofit organization she founded in 2007 with her husband that prepares and delivers well-balanced meals and distributes clothing to the homeless and elderly. The organization plans to open a food bank in North Philadelphia in the coming months.

“I want to give back to the community by letting them know that there is something else greater out there than public assistance,” said Lewis, herself a former recipient of public assistance. “I want to encourage them to become whatever their hearts desire, while at the same time, I want to help improve the economy by providing jobs for those in need.”

The College will hold its 50th commencement at 10 a.m., on May 2 at the Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street. Kathleen Hetherington, President of Howard Community College in Columbia, Md., and an alumna of Community College of Philadelphia, will deliver the commencement address.



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

PHILADELPHIA, April 24, 2015—As a first-year student at Community College of Philadelphia, Aminata Sy dreamed of transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. An immigrant of Senegal and mother of three—including a seven month old—Sy yearned for a better life.

So at the end of her first year when her English instructor Jill Shashaty asked Sy (pronounced C), a student taking developmental studies, where she wanted to transfer after graduation, her answer was confident: Penn.

“Professor Shashaty looked at me and promised, ‘Okay, when you’re ready, let me know and I’ll write you a reference letter,” she said.

On May 2, Sy, 34, moves one step closer to her dream at the 49th commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street. And she is Penn-bound. An honor student with a 4.0 grade point average, Sy is graduating with an Associate’s in International Relations and she has been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, where she will continue her studies this fall. She is one of 2,081 candidates for graduation this year.

“The fact that I will attend the University of Pennsylvania has confirmed to me that dreams do come true and that persistent hard work pays off,” she said.

Sy’s story shows that the path to possibilities can lead to the Ivy League. Between 2005 and 2013, 264 of our former students have transferred to Penn and other Ivy League universities, including Brown, Cornell, Yale, and Harvard universities, according to the College’s Office of Institutional Research. Eighty-nine percent—or 235 of these students—have transferred to the University of Pennsylvania.

Thousands of others have transferred to other area universities during the same period, including Temple University (3,138) Drexel University (1,015), and Penn State University (648).

Less than three years after stepping foot on campus, Sy is proficient in English, French, Fulani, and Wolof—plus an avid student of Spanish. She has developed exceptional journalism chops and wrote for the College’s award-winning student newspaper, The Vanguard, for 17 months. Her long-term career goal is to educate girls and create opportunities for youth employment in Senegal and throughout Africa. A recipient of three College scholarships, Sy credits College faculty like Shashaty and fellow English Professor Ravyn Davis, as well as numerous campus administrators and advisors, for inspiring and encouraging her.

“Community College of Philadelphia has allowed me to discover that my potential is limitless, and it has given me the confidence to pursue any career fearlessly,” she said. “I am excited about all the lives that I will touch both in Africa and the U.S. with a degree in international relations from Penn.”

Joining her at Penn are at least two other students, Michael Novak and Crystal Delmonico. Novak, 38, will graduate with an Associate of Arts (Liberal Arts Honors) and is one of 90 students in the country to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Delmonico, 37, has drawn strength from her personal struggles—including homelessness—to find purpose in helping at-risk youth. Both have been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa.