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Fair Season!

Promise Corps CCAs from all four schools have had a very eventful fair season! To kick it off, West Philadelphia High School had a career fair held during the school day that all juniors and seniors attended on October 30th. Randal E. Toby, founder of the Magnificent Men Mentor Group, came to speak about resumes, careers, and internships. All types of employers came to meet our students. Places like Toyota, Philadelphia Fire Department, Grassroots Campaigns, Fresh Grocer, and some local gyms came by. Students had the opportunity to sign up for interviews and learn about different positions each place offered. Students were definitely prepared due to the Pizza Prep party held about a week prior where students got resumes reviewed and had practice speed-interviewing!

The next fair on the calendar was the HBCU College Fair held at the School District building on November 14th. Students from all over Philadelphia gathered to get help with their FAFSA, learn about schools, ask questions, and even gain access to on-site admissions! The fair was attended by historically black colleges and universities like: Lincoln University, Howard University, Spelman University, Delaware State University, and many others. West Philadelphia High School had students accepted to two schools at the event. Some students were even granted scholarships, but all of the students had a lot of fun!

 

The school district building held another fair on November 26th called the PASSHE Fair. Since PASSHE stands for Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the college fair was attended by Pennsylvania State schools such as: Cheney University, East Stroudsburg University, West Chester University, and many others. Students were able to learn about state schools while also having the opportunity to get on-site admissions!

The last fair on the calendar was the Meet the MAC (Multicultural Admissions Counselors) College Fair also held at the school district building on December 3rd! This fair was attended by different schools such as: Alvernia University, Delaware Valley University, Misericordia University, and a few others. The Meet the MAC fair also had a presentation from Ron Felder, Philadelphia’s PHEAA representative, about “How to Make a Small Private School Education Affordable.” Representatives from Wells Fargo also came to teach students about financial literacy and how to fund their education.

Our College and Career Ambassadors are definitely tired after fair season. However, one thing is for sure, they had a blast!! Seeing students getting accepted on-site at so many schools, making connections with different schools for future programs, and learning about how to afford education made everything worth it!

Girl Talk: Mentoring Group at School of the Future

The School of the Future CCAs have started a mentoring group targeted specifically for girls. Since three women make up the team of CCAs at Future, we saw it as an opportunity to act as role models to the girls in the high school. Every Wednesday after school, a group of students meets in the Promise Corps room to talk about issues that are relevant in their lives. The senior girls involved in Promise Corps were so excited when the idea was pitched to them that they decided to bring ninth and tenth grade girls to give them all a safe place to ask questions and talk about important topics. We decided to name the group “Girl Talk” to make it more appealing to the students. One student abbreviated the group to “GT” and was overheard telling all of her friends to come and attend the group each Wednesday.

 

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Each week, a different topic is rolled out to the girls and we have videos to show them and allow them to ask questions related to the topic. Some example topics include body image and healthy relationships. The girls are also able to anonymously ask questions by writing them down and putting them in our question box. We have been recruiting more girls to come and encourage them to seek us out not only on Wednesday afternoons, but anytime that they need guidance. We believe that it is important to give these students an opportunity to gather with their peers as well as CCAs to help them with things all girls struggle with and let them know they always have people they can talk to.

 

 

Our hope is to have girls talk about issues they have been dealing with in their lives, or that they will deal with in order to encourage them to manage their lives in a healthy manner to protect themselves and their friends.

 

Student Spotlight: My’Isah Savage

On Saturday, November 17th, two CCA’s and a student from Sayre High School participated in a community service event at South Philadelphia High School with the Philadelphia Orchard Project. The event’s primary goal was to plant flowers and herbs in the community garden before the season was over, and before the snow, ice and cold would prevent any access to the ground.

Throughout the course of the school week leading up to the event, Sayre’s CCAs consistently alerted students that they would be doing community service at South Philadelphia High School, and attempted to get them to join. Some students were interested, and others were discouraged by the cold and outdoor elements. After a week of promoting, convincing and gentle nudging, the day of the event finally came. When the two CCA’s arrived at South Philadelphia High, one student was there to meet them, ready to work: My’Isah Savage.

 

 

My’Isah is a senior at William L. Sayre High School. This is her first year at Sayre, as she studied at Freire Charter High School for the last three years. At Freire, she started a poetry club for students to be able to express themselves, and she hopes to start one here at Sayre as well. After Sayre, she would like to go to CCP for the beginning of her career for Political Science and hopes to get her Master’s Degree at some point in the future.

When we arrived at South Philadelphia High, we immediately got to work and started picking up trash and placing rocks down around trees and big plants. Once we were done with that task, we moved on to planting. POP placed plants around in certain spots for us to begin. When it came down to it, we did not need any experience to plant the herbs and flowers. While the organizers originally anticipated all of the work taking 3 hours, with all the volunteers, everyone was able to get the job done in 2 hours!  My’ Isah and the CCAs said that it was an extremely fun experience, a great stress reliever, and they completed their goal of service for the day.

West Philly High Goes to College

‘Tis the season for college visits. It’s crunch time for seniors who want to decide which colleges they want to apply to. Therefore, Promise Corps at West Philly High School is doing its best to expose students to colleges as much as possible. Thus far we have gone on a trip of our own to St. Joe’s University, and we have supported the Netter Center in bringing students to the open house at Lincoln University.

Our goal has been, and will continue to be, showing the students as intricate a picture of college life as possible. This means engaging them with aspects of the school they wouldn’t get from only a campus tour. At St. Joe’s we were able to have lunch provided to all students and chaperones; students were able to see how much better the food at colleges can be, and get a sense of the busy daily schedule of college students. On top of that, two professors and four current undergraduate students were kind enough to sit down and chat with the students about what they can expect from both the social and academic arenas of college life while we enjoyed lunch. This was arguably the most impactful portion of the trip, because students got the inside scoop on applying to college, staying on top of homework and extra-curricular activities, and of course the social elements of living on campus. Suffice to say, many myths were dispelled, and a lot of questions were answered appropriately and kindly.

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Promise Corps members from West (and Sayre) were also able to help the Netter Center chaperone a large group of students at the Lincoln University open house. This event was much louder, as the university hosted hundreds of students in one day. Promise Corps students heard all about life at Lincoln, got tours from current students, and got to witness a lively college pep rally.

We’re very proud to have been able to help students experience both of these campuses. We strive to view each and every student as an individual, and work with them to find the post-secondary option that is ideal for them. Different students had different responses to the two experiences, but the constant was that they all enjoyed it more than being in class!

Overbrook High School Visits Temple U

November 5th, 2018

On Tuesday, October 30th, CCA’s Jessie and Rodney accompanied 20 of their students on a college visit to Temple University in North Philadelphia. The day began with high levels OHS Temple 1of excitement and energy as students began trickling into the Promise Corps room around 8:15 a.m., where the OHS team took roll and prepped students on the eventful day ahead.

 

As 9 a.m. approached, OHS students and CCA’s headed to the bus stop and prepared to navigate SEPTA together. After riding a bus, the MFL and then a subway, the group arrived promptly at Temple’s Howard Gittis Student Center, ready to begin the tour! Students were greeted and led through the tour by an enthusiastic student from Temple, who provided detailed insight about the campus, specific programs and student life at the university.

After a brief introduction of the university and student center services, OHS students were guided through numerous buildings, including Samuel L. Paley Library and Alter Hall, Temple’s School of Business building, where students were given the opportunity to hear about the different resources available to business students. Additionally, the group was provided information on important landmarks and common hang-out spots around campus. After receiving ample information on academics, admissions, and student life at Temple University, the tour concluded at the famous Temple Owl Statue, where CCA’s debriefed with students & took a few pictures to celebrate the end of a successful tour.

 

To give you a sense of our students’ experience, we interviewed senior Destiny Burton about her time at the university:

 

Jessie (CCA): What did you go into the Temple Trip expecting and what did you get out of it?

Destiny: I was expecting to get more knowledge about Temple University and I got what I expected.

Jessie: Can you share some of the questions you asked? What did you like?

Destiny: I asked what the admission requirements were, how the cheerleading squad is, and what the tuition is. It was a beautiful, peaceful campus, and they gave us a lot of good food. The students around campus were friendly.

Jessie: What did you learn about this experience?

Destiny: I learned that schools in the city often have a lot more students than schools located outside of the city.

Jessie: What are the things that you liked about Temple that might push you to go? If you were to tell other students about how to prepare for college trips, what would you tell them to do?

Destiny: I liked the atmosphere of the campus and how you can make your own club if you have a good idea. Your voice matters to them. I would tell other students to wear their best smile, behave themselves, and ask many questions.

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Senior Destiny Burton

 

Over the next few weeks, the OHS team will be planning several more college trips for our students, including tours of Delaware State and East Stroudsburg University.

 

-Jessie Klein, College & Career Ambassador at Overbrook High School

Fun at the West Philly Fall Fest!

On Saturday October 20th, two of Sayre’s College and Career Ambassadors  participated in a community event called the West Philadelphia Fall Fest, held at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. The event took place outside on a beautiful fall morning, from 10am- 2pm, and started off with a performance from the jamming West Powelton/76ixers Drumline. As the day went on, kids engaged in a variety of fun activities, including a face-painting station inside the community center, multiple bouncy houses in which to jump around, and several booths that offered information about their community.

 

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Two College and Career Ambassadors from Sayre High School, Anna and Shakeira, staffed the Promise Corps table, where they engaged participants with exciting trivia questions related to college and career readiness. People came up to the table to find out about Promise Corps programming, win some prizes, learn more about college and career readiness, and inquire about local employment opportunities. The CCAs were also able to include themselves in the Fall Fest and win some prizes of their own.

 

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There was a variety of other tables at the fest as well. To the left of Promise Corps table was the Promise Zone table. At their table, they had a fun photo backdrop where you were asked to write what Promise Zone looks like to you and what it means as well. Promise Corps was able to get a few fun pictures taken by them. There was another table to the right of Promise Corps, where attendees of the fest were able to find out how much sugar is in their drink. They had samples of water, vitamin water, gatorade, Day’s soda, and Monster energy drink. As neighbors and kids came up, they distributed plastic cups that changed colors from the temperature and gift bags filled with goodies.

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West Philadelphia Fall Fest was an amazing turn out and Promise Corps hopes to participate again next year!