On Monday, January 29, College Possible Philadelphia hosted It’s a Matter of Degrees, a cocktail reception at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for its donors, board members, school and university partners and friends. The event highlighted College Possible Philadelphia’s work in helping to close the degree divide and assist in workforce development. It also was the opportunity for the organization to thank its supporters and partners and welcome new donors and friends.
During Jen Weikert’s opening remarks, she spoke about her role as Executive Director of College Possible Philadelphia. Weikert, who joined the organization in September, is a first-generation college student who understands the importance of receiving a college degree and feels deeply connected to the mission of the organization. “I wish during my college journey that I would have had a College Possible coach to help me navigate many of the challenging roadblocks I experienced as a first-generation college student.”
Following Weikert’s opening remarks, Parkway Center City high school senior Camellia and Community College of Philadelphia sophomore Armoni were invited to speak about their experiences in the College Possible program. Camellia and Armoni spoke about the close relationships they have formed with high school coach, Jacob, and college coach, Avere, respectively. Camellia also interviewed Armoni about her experiences in the College Possible program including:
- Earning acceptance into College Possible Philadelphia
- Transitioning into college
- Applying for scholarships during senior year
- Staying organized
- Being a first-generation college student
Joe Divis, College Possible Philadelphia’s Board Chair, closed the program by speaking about his passion for the organization. “When I first got involved with College Possible, I recognized immediately the importance of its work in helping to improve the city of Philadelphia. As I have watched it grow and produce incredible results, I am more committed than ever to supporting the organization and its mission.” Divis then asked all AmeriCorps members in attendance to step forward and be recognized by the audience. Divis also asked guests to consider becoming involved with the organization by making a donation, speaking with friends and family, and helping to foster connections and partnerships.
The event also provided the opportunity to shed light on the growing concern of food scarcity on college campuses across America. A recent study conducted by Temple University revealed that approximately 35 percent of its undergraduate students experience “low” or “very low” food security. Guests were asked to bring nonperishable goods to the event. Proposed by College Coach Sarah Barry, the food collected was donated to Temple University’s first on-campus food pantry.
By Ian Reitz