Signature Initiatives of the Institute
The Institute is currently engaging the community through our signature initiatives of working with youth and diversity and inclusion. Following are some examples of how the Institute and College have already begun to embark upon this work and are making a positive local impact:
Foster Care Youth Support & Training
In partnership with The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute is developing a campus based support program for students with experience in foster care. The program will involve using a “single points of contact” experience for students seeking support to engage with a College employee who is educated on and sensitive to the unique needs of foster care youth.
Homeless Youth Support & Engagement
In partnership with the city’s Office of Homeless Services and other local homeless youth service providers, the Institute provides volunteer opportunities for students at the College to gain valuable community and service-learning experience by addressing a pressing need in the city while simultaneously making a difference for some of the city’s most vulnerable youth. The College has also partnered with homeless youth service providers to refer students who are in need of immediate service, food and shelter with proper external program referrals.
Opportunity Youth Outreach & Engagement
The Institute along with other College offices, the City of Philadelphia, Project U-Turn, School District of Philadelphia and YouthBuild USA convened the first Opportunity Youth United Civic Engagement Summit on the College’s main campus. This summit attracted over 300 opportunity youth from across the state to discuss the political and educational landscape of today and initiate a call to action around impacting the social justice agenda. Responsible citizenship and involvement in local and national elections to effect social change was the theme of the day. The Institute will continue to connect youth with opportunities to further their education and employment.
Diversity and Inclusion
In partnership with the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, The Pathways to Success event held, addressed the needs of the city’s immigrant workforce through a program focused on helping immigrants build their careers through better use of their international education and experiences. The event covered the process for international credential evaluation and focused on how evaluations are utilized to help immigrants pursue further education, employment and/or professional licensing along with the US employment process and available resources to help improve job search skills; as well as educational resources at the College and throughout the city to further opportunities for education and training.
The College helped pilot a workshop called Protect Yourself PA, educating college students about AIDS/HIV and STD prevention in a comfortable and inclusive setting facilitated by experts in the Philadelphia LGBTQ Community. The College also promotes activities during AIDS Education month in June.