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HFL had provided Lipkovsky a $5,000 interest-free loan in 2007 that helped her pay for two years at Community College of Philadelphia. Now, as a 2014 graduate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a pastry degree, an internship at the acclaimed Pink Cake Box in Denville, N.J., and more than 1,000 cakes baked for family, friends, and neighbors, Lipkovsky had returned to Hebrew Free Loan's website with a desire to open a custom-cakes business.

Leaving his past behind, he has started his new life at 20th Street and Washington Avenue with his wife and two daughters - Charity, 8, and Emani, 7 - and works as an IT specialist for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He’s also telling his story to prevent children from taking the wrong path and to help ex-offenders find their way in through his organization Boys Mentoring for Positive Youth Development and to “Stop the Violence.” Since he has beaten all odds, he hopes to help others accomplish the same feat.

RSVP for Judge Edward R. Becker Citizenship Award Presentation and Lecture

The Community College of Philadelphia
Board of Trustees
Dr. Donald Generals, President

Cordially invite you to the

Judge Edward R. Becker
Citizenship Award
Presentation and Lecture

with Award Recipient

On Sept. 23, Community College of Philadelphia Six jazz ensemble serenaded an appreciative crowd gathered to celebrate the countdown to the College’s 50th anniversary. Faculty, staff and administrators in the band harmonized on jazz melodies and entertained the crowd, as many munched on donuts and pastries, ate anniversary cookies, wore anniversary buttons and sipped their morning coffee in the Bonnell Circle.

 College Launches Countdown to 50On Sept. 23, The CCP Six jazz ensemble serenaded an appreciative crowd gathered to celebrate the countdown to the College’s 50th anniversary.

Faculty, staff and administrators in the band harmonized on jazz melodies and entertained the crowd, as many munched on donuts and pastries, ate anniversary cookies, wore anniversary buttons and sipped their morning coffee in the Bonnell Circle.

The band, which had only rehearsed once, included music instructor Mary Ellen Desmond on vocals; instructor Grander Smith on the keyboards; instructor Tim Schilling on guitar, student Kayla Brewer on the saxophone, and a guest Shane Aaserud on bass. Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals, wearing dark shades, kept the beat on the drums. (He formerly served as a back-up drummer for Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney Houston.)

On September 23, 1965, the College first opened its doors for classes. To mark its upcoming 50th anniversary, it is hosting a year-long celebration to commemorate the past, with events both solemn and festive, and to reimagine the future.

Alfred Nicholson drove to campus that morning as he has done on many occasions over the past decades. The College not only provided him with a strong educational foundation, it served as a career springboard for his family. “I went here. My former wife (a nursing graduate) went here –my grandson, and my two daughters,” said Nicholson.

A year after he received his associate’s degree, as a part of the College’s second graduating class, the institution he grew to love gave him a job in human resources, and that opportunity would transform his life.

“I loved it. Still love it. I enjoyed working at Community College and working with the College Family. It was like a family. It was a great place to work,” said Nicholson who retired as affirmative action officer.

And it was a great place to make lasting friends. Alfred’s grandson, Rodney Nicholson, an officer at PNC Wealth Management, met the woman he would later marry on campus. Rodney also found a professional mentor and friend in Richard S. Downs, an alumnus, philanthropist and retired executive who regularly invests in the College’s students.

College Launches the Countdown to 50

Throughout the year, the College is encouraging students, faculty, alumni and staff to share stories on the microsite, www.ccp.edu/50. The 50th anniversary website features a detailed timeline of College history, video clips and photos, and interviews with standout alumni, along with a place to post congratulatory messages and share memories.

The 50th anniversary coincides with the Golden Anniversaries of legislation expanding access to opportunity, civil rights and voting rights in America. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law July 1964, and the Voting Rights Act was enacted in August 1965, just seven weeks before the College opened its doors to Philadelphians like Downs who had limited options for higher education.

Over the next year, the College, its faculty and its Student Government Association will be highlighting this era of expanding opportunity, and this institution’s integral connection to it, by hosting a series of events and voter registration drives. The first drive was held on Sept 23, when 82 new voters were registered.

Other events over the next 12 months will reflect upon rich moments in history, and celebrate America’s diverse voices. U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. will accept the Edward R. Becker Citizenship Award during an invitation-only event at the College on January 15.

 The Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society will host a year-long retrospect on the city’s interaction with MOVE, a black liberation group, including the City’s decision to bomb a house on Osage Avenue. Lectures, panel discussions, films and other activities and exhibits are planned.
Philadelphia, you’re invited.

Check out the 50th Anniversary site or join us on #CCPedu.

Joann Gonzalez-Generals

As colorful flags representing Spanish speaking countries fluttered from the ceiling of the Great Hall in the Winnet Student Life Building, more than 100 members of the College family and their guests enjoyed Latin music, fajitas and uplifting messages during the 5th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon on October 1.

Students took the stage to discuss their paths at Community College of Philadelphia and shared career goals. Dr. Donald Generals, College president, opened the program and welcomed the audience in Spanish.

The luncheon was one of several events planned to mark Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. Upcoming events include a conversation on identity differences on October 14, a Muestra de Arte (Art Show) on October 16 featuring work by actor and artist Paolo Andino and a Latin Caribbean Concert on October 22.

Student speaker Juan Quintero, a Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management major, spoke briefly about his chance to work at Disney World. In 2011 and 2012, he applied to the Disney College Program, a competitive internship that immerses students in Disney’s world-famous hospitality culture. Only a fraction of program applicants are accepted into the program each year, according to news reports.

“Disney came to the College and spoke about the program and gave a presentation. If they hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have known about it,” said Quintero, whose goal is to become a renowned chef. “As an intern, I learned how to interact with guests. I was used as a translator since I’m bilingual. I was a good team leader and I assisted the managers and filled in as a cook when needed.”

Cynthia Huertas, a Business Administration major and treasurer for the Student Government Association, added that her creativity has blossomed here. “I write poetry. I write songs for R&B and Rock,” she said. “There’s a lot of talent here, which is why I’ve been networking and meeting people.”

Ms. Joann Gonzalez-Generals, the former executive director of student success at Caldwell University in New Jersey delivered the keynote speech. Gonzalez-Generals, who is married to Dr. Generals, shared her life story and stressed the importance of completing an academic credential.

“I am the proud daughter of immigrants,” Ms. Gonzalez-Generals said. “My mother was born in Colombia and my father and stepfather were Dominican. I am a first-generation college student.” She said her parents taught her that education was the key to financial independence. “My mother would say, ‘Stay in school so that you’ll never have to rely on anyone’,” she said.

As the nation’s largest racial minority, the progress made by Hispanics today affects the well-being of society, Gonzalez-Generals said. “If Hispanics are not educated, that would be devastating to all of us in the country,” she said.

In closing, she encouraged students to reach for their dreams. “Sometimes, you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to take risks. Take your chances, or someone else will.”

A birds' eye view of the Campus against the backdrop of the city of Philadelphia.

In 2012 the theater premiered its fist play Philadelphia Here I Come! at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, staring Community College of Philadelphia students and staff.

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