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New Year, New School: Murrell Dobbins CTE High School

Above: High School Coach Tika and Michael, a College Possible student.

College Possible Philadelphia is growing: in our second year, we will serve two new partner high schools. We are pleased to welcome Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education (CTE) High School into the College Possible Philadelphia family. Dobbins is a vocational high school located in North Philadelphia.

Dobbins Principal Dr. Toni Damon has worked as a vocational educator for more than 20 years. One of her goals as principal is to challenge the perception that vocational students do not go or should not go to college. “That’s the wrong idea of career and tech,” she said.

Many students at Dobbins have college goals, like Qadirah, a College Possible junior who hopes to become a pediatrician. “My parents didn’t attend college,” she said, “so right now it’s a priority for me to go.”

Michael hopes to study business and technology in college and said “In College Possible, I expect to learn skills so that when I go to college I already know what’s expected of me.”

Tika and Dr. Damn, principal of Murrell Dobbins CTE High School

Tika and Dr. Damn, principal of Murrell Dobbins CTE High School

This year, Michael and Qadirah will be served by Tika, a high school coach who knows how they are feeling firsthand. Tika is a College Possible alumna and was a first-generation college student herself.

“I feel like the whole school is supportive of College Possible,” Tika said. “Teachers and administrators are making sure we’re known.”

Dr. Damon hopes that College Possible will help promote higher education to her students. In particular, she hopes it will encourage those students who may be asking themselves “am I going to college?” or “can I go to college?”
“Because we have College Possible, the answer is ‘yes,’ you absolutely can go to college…you’re expected to go to college,” she said.

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