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Community College of Philadelphia is the sole sponsor of the Black History Month news vignettes, Philadelphia Gamechangers, airing in February 2014 on CBS 3/CW Philly and KYW Newsradio 1060.

They feature the stories of 10 individuals or groups from across the region that have positively impacted the African-American community in Greater Philadelphia.

All three broadcast stations will feature a series of reports on the Gamechangers, and the vignettes will be hosted by CBS 3 television anchor Ukee Washington and KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg throughout the month.

The featured Gamechangers are Loretta Winters, president of the NAACP of South Jersey; Jerome Shabazz, executive director of the Overbrook Arts and Environmental Education Center;  J. Donald Dumpson, a composer, musician and producer; Alexa Grabelle, a 7th grader who founded Bag of Books, which gives used books to children in need; Maria Pajil Battle, president of AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership; Nikki Johnson-Huston, a lawyer who is working to end poverty; Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia program director for the Knight Foundation; Linda Cliatt-Wayman, principal of Strawberry Mansion High School; and Archie Leacock, founder and executive director of the Institute for the Development of African-American Youth, and the Wolves Athletic Association, which uses sports to mentor young inner- city boys and girls.

The College has sponsored the Black History Month celebration of broadcast stations CBS 3, The CW Philly and KYW Newsradio for the last few years as part of the institution’s ongoing commitment to diversity and learning.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), on campus to promote economic security and opportunity for women, took a moment on Feb. 7 to praise community colleges for providing a path to better opportunities.

Women now hold the majority of bachelor’s degrees and advanced degrees nationwide, putting them in a position to drive our 21st century economy. Sixty-three percent of the students at Community College of Philadelphia are female.

"Community colleges are the bridge," she said. "They are the path that takes people from where they are, to where they want to be," Pelosi said. "With everything that we do, education is essential. That’s why it’s so important that we’re here at the College."

Pelosi, the first woman to serve Speaker of the House of Representatives, is currently the House Minority Leader. She spoke during the invitation-only "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds" event, which advocated for a higher minimum wage, access to child care for working mothers, and other policy issues that strengthen women and families.

PathWays PA, and The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces sponsored the event.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) joined Pelosi on a panel alongside three area women who discussed the difficulties faced by those in low-paying jobs. They spoke to a packed room in the Klein Cube of the Pavilion Building.

Onetha McKnight, who works as a wheelchair attendant at Philadelphia International Airport, said she earns $5.75 an hour plus tips. She uses a co-worker’s asthma inhaler because she can’t afford to buy her own. McKnight said she is among 2,000 workers employed by a subcontractor to provide passenger services at the airport.

"I wish I could say my situation was unique at the airport, but it’s not. Most of my co-workers at the airport are women struggling to get by on poverty wages. Thankfully, legislators like Nancy Pelosi are listening," McKnight said.

Democratic congressmen have a put forth a proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour and peg it to inflation. "Over 60 percent of people who make minimum wage are women over age 30," Pelosi said.

State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia) and State Rep. James R. Roebuck, Jr. (D-Philadelphia) were among the dignitaries in attendance. Rep. Roebuck also serves as vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees.

The College’s spring 2014 Professional Development activities focused on strengthening the culture for students with unique or complex learning needs.

During the opening session on Jan. 6, Bill Welsh, executive director for the Office of Disability Services at Rutgers University, delivered the keynote, "Creating an Environment that is Usable by All".

The presentation included a brief tutorial demonstrating how to use Microsoft Word tools to create documents that are easily accessible to those with special learning needs. Afterward, Welsh led a workshop for the President’s Cabinet on “Best Practices for Accessible Technology and Information.”

Jocelyn E. Sirkis, director of Professional Development, coordinated the Professional Development event and others that took place that week.

“What we know is that when we make our courses and our processes accessible to people with disabilities, we also typically make them better for all users,” Sirkis said.

In panel discussions and workshops, students, faculty and staff discussed the challenges of living with disabilities and offered the tools and strategies for making the learning environment more accessible. Workshop titles included “More than Life without Sound: ASL (American Sign Language),” “Being Deaf and a World of Visual Adaptation” and “Get to Know Us: A Person- first Panel.”

10,000 Small Businesses–Greater Philadelphia recently marked its second commencement and the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking program’s launch.

Judith Gay, Ph.D., the College’s interim president; Nicole Pullen Ross, Mid-Atlantic region head of Goldman Sachs; Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor for Economic Development and director of Commerce; and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter were among the dignitaries who attended the Jan.11 ceremony, where 27 business owners received program completion certificates.

“We’re really proud of this class,” said Nutter, who also met with the business owners before the ceremony. “We’re particularly excited about this program. We have a lot of focus on start-up businesses and entrepreneurs but this program answers ‘What are we doing to support those who have already survived the initial start-up phase and are trying to expand their businesses?’”

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses–Greater Philadelphia is a fully funded program that offers 14weeks of entrepreneurial instruction, one-on-one coaching and access to capital for eligible business owners from the region. The business owners in the second class represent a diverse mix of industries and professions, including urban planning, manufacturing, funeral rites, web development, education and retail. They come from cities and suburbs across the region and have two things in common—a proven track record and willingness to learn more.

Since its launch last year, 50 business owners from across the region have completed the program in Philadelphia. Applications for 10,000 Small Businesses are accepted on a rolling basis at Community College of Philadelphia, with Feb. 10, 2014, as the deadline to apply for the next cohort.

In his speech to fellow scholars, graduate Rich Goldberg, president of Safian & Rudolph Jewelers, noted how much the business owners had bonded during the course. “Each of us decided we were destined for something greater,” he said. “Not just because we believed it, but because we made others believe in us and our visions.”

In her closing remarks, Margaret Berger Bradley, the program’s executive director, told the entrepreneurs that their new skills and business acumen had prepared them for the next level of success. “This is not a graduation. This is your commencement,” she said.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi visited Philadelphia Friday to push for a Democratic plan designed to boost women's economic prospects. Read more.

Hundreds of African American kids lined up around the block to meet authors and buy books at this years' book fair.   Read more.

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