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The Community of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were among those honored on Thursday for programs designed to boost college enrollment and graduation in the Philadelphia region.

Ricks is working at a dentist's office, studying at Community College of Philadelphia, and hopes to transfer to Temple University.

Contact: Linda Wallace 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Amy Yuen 215-751-8021, ayuen@ccp.edu

Derrick Sawyer Discusses His Rise from A Philadelphia Custodial Worker to Fire Commissioner in the College’s Spring Pathways Magazine

Who: Philadelphia Fire Commissioner and Community College of Philadelphia alumnus Derrick J.V. Sawyer discusses his rise from a Free Library custodian to the head of the nation’s fifth largest fire and emergency services department. He frequently tells that story to make a point to local youth looking for overnight success: “Sometimes you have to start small before you can grow big,” he says. Community College of Philadelphia President Donald Guy Generals and Arlene M. Yocum, President of the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, also will speak.

When: Friday, April 10, 8:00 a.m. breakfast for business, civic and higher education leaders along with members of the city’s police and fire departments, many of whom, like Sawyer, started the path to higher education at the College.

Why: Commissioner Sawyer’s life-changing decision to reenter school after twenty years and his goal of making Philadelphia the most fire-safe city in the country are featured in the Spring edition of Pathways, a Community College of Philadelphia magazine that keeps regional business leaders abreast of vital career, training and workforce development matters. A native Philadelphian, Sawyer also addresses the importance of training and education, and his long-term goals for the department. Since opening its doors to students in 1965, Community College of Philadelphia has prepared legions of the city’s first responders—including five of the eight top executives in the Philadelphia Fire Department—for careers in public safety.

Where: Center for Business & Industry, Room C2-5, 18th and Callowhill streets.




Community College of Philadelphia enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually. The College offers day, evening and weekend classes, as well as classes on the Internet. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

Not wanting to miss out on college altogether, Hawi enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia, where he took classes in the fall of 2009, spring of 2010 and fall of 2010.

Thu 14

Contact: Linda Wallace 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Amy Yuen 215-751-8021, ayuen@ccp.edu

What: Amid colorful processions, musical performances and the continuing celebration of the College’s 50th Anniversary, Dr. Donald Guy Generals will be inaugurated as the sixth president of Community College of Philadelphia on May 1. The installation comes just weeks after Dr. Generals announced the creation of the groundbreaking 50th Anniversary Scholarship, which will expand access and opportunity by providing free tuition this fall for some highly motivated low-income graduates from Philadelphia high schools.

The inaugural ceremony opens at 10 a.m. with an academic procession at Congregation Rodelph Shalom at 615 N. Broad Street.

During the installation, Dr. Generals will wear his hood from Rutgers University, where he received his Ed.D. in social and philosophical foundations of education. The Jazz Ensemble of Community College of Philadelphia, led by Anthony Ferrara, and the Concert Choir of Community College of Philadelphia will perform. The Choir, led by Robert Ross, Director and Chair of the College’s Music Department, draws singers from the College’s faculty, staff, students and alumni, plus additional singers from the larger community. Dr. Ronald Temple, the third president of Community College of Philadelphia, will present Dr. Generals with the Presidential Medallion before the investiture and Dr. Generals’ inaugural remarks. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter also will speak. Delegates represent 38 colleges and universities from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Immediately afterward, the roof deck of the college’s parking plaza, located on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill, will be transformed into a Celebration on the Skyline.

When and Where: The installation service begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 1 and ends at 12 noon. Media wishing to cover the colorful cultural procession of faculty and staff walking from the Main Campus to Congregation Rodelph Shalom at 615 N. Broad Street should arrive at the College Athletics Center by 9:15 a.m. The procession will include flags from the home countries of our international students who come from around the world to attend Community College of Philadelphia. The Center is located on 17th Street, just south of Spring Garden Street.


Community College of Philadelphia enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually. The College offers day, evening and weekend classes, as well as classes on the Internet. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

Contact: Linda Wallace 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Amy Yuen 215-751-8021, ayuen@ccp.edu

PHILADELPHIA, April 27, 2015 — Dr. Kathleen Hetherington, who rose from student at Community College of Philadelphia to becoming president of Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, will give the keynote address at Community College of Philadelphia’s 49th Annual Commencement.

The ceremony, one of the milestones during the College’s 50th Anniversary celebration, begins at 10 a.m. on May 2 at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street. This year, the College has 2,080 candidates for graduation. Among them are 40 veterans, 25 international students and four employees of the College.  Students are encouraged to share their personal Commencement stories on social media using the hashtag #CCPGrad2015.

Dr. Hetherington is a respected educator who spent 23 years as an administrator and student advocate at Community College of Philadelphia. Since becoming HCC’s president in 2007, Dr. Hetherington has led the college to national recognition for its emphasis on student completion. HCC has also landed on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For list for the past six years.

In 2014, the American Association of Community College Trustees awarded Dr. Hetherington the 2014 Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement for a chief executive. "The ACCT Association Awards are among the most prestigious awards any community college, its trustees, presidents, faculty or staff member can receive," said ACCT Chair and Lansing Community College (MI) Trustee Robin Smith.

During the ceremony, Dr. Donald Guy Generals, Community College of Philadelphia President, will present Dr. Hetherington with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of her outstanding achievements as an educator, leader and an alumna.

Charlene Hoffman, a 57-year-old mother of three, will be the student speaker. She enrolled in Community College of Philadelphia after being laid off from her job educating teen parents on health and wellness. She has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, and Delta Psi Omega, an honorary dramatic society. She has acted in several productions at the College and at the Bushfire Theatre of Performing Arts. She will graduate with an Associate in Arts degree. She plans to teach theater to young people to build their confidence and self-esteem. In her student address, Hoffman will urge her fellow graduates to give back to their communities as they move forward towards the future.

The personal stories shared during the 50th Anniversary of the College are rooted in the transformative power of service, civic engagement and leadership. Over the last five decades, more than 54,000 students have graduated from Community College of Philadelphia.

The Class of 2015 standouts are students from all walks and stages of life:

  • Michael Novak, who will graduate with an Associate in Arts (Liberal Arts - Honors), is one of 90 students in the country to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The award, which pays up to $40,000 a year, will help him complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania where he plans to focus on Japanese studies. Between 2005 to 2013, 264 of the College’s former students have transferred to Penn and other Ivy League universities, including Brown, Cornell, Yale, and Harvard universities, according to official transfer data. Eighty-nine percent—or 235 of these students—have transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. Aminata Sy, 34, and Crystal Delmonico, 37, are also headed to the University of Pennsylvania this fall. A mother of three, Sy started classes in developmental English, but worked hard to perfect her academic scholarship. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA. Delmonico 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 and are passionate about community empowerment and education.
  • Shawn Jorden, a participant in the College’s Center for Male Engagement who was homeless for part of the academic year, will graduate in May with two associate's degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts and plans to transfer to a four-year university. While homeless, he spent several months couch surfing with friends but kept up with his studies despite the hardships. At the Center for Male Engagement, he said he found a brotherhood that supported him like family.
  • Lizette Lewis and Kouame Aka have been named to the 2015 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team—an honor that recognizes 44 students for scholarly achievements and community involvement. Lewis, 46, is a longtime licensed practical nurse who has used her coursework in health careers to provide healthy living tips to her Northeast Philadelphia church congregation every Sunday before service. She will attend West Chester University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work. Aka, 22, is a 4.0 science student from the Ivory Coast who plans to transfer to a four-year university and aspires to earn a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering, return to the College as a mathematics professor and work as an engineer.
  • Jordan Sanjaya, 22, is an honor student and Computer Science major who lost his hearing at age two and has become a community leader and advocate for deaf teens and young adults. Sanjaya has been accepted to Temple University, where he will continue his studies in computer science. He hopes to one day create an American Sign Language dictionary in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to help future deaf students succeed in STEM classes.




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.

Saturday night she was spotted at the star-studded White House Correspondents' Association dinner, which - depending on your perspective - is known as Washington's Super Bowl or the Nerd Prom. But whatever you think of it, it's heady stuff for anyone - much less a hip-hop-loving Philly homegirl with an associate's degree from Community College of Philadelphia.

The national limelight seems perfectly timed to shine a light on the school's new program, which jump-starts a college education for motivated local students who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

The project began in 2007 as a pilot at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), under the direction of Elaine Tagliareni, EdD, RN, CNE, FAAN, professor and Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing at the college and then-president of the NLN.