topJune 2016

From our President and CEO
 
The 2014-2015 programmatic year was a success for the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) and our stakeholders: we grew our partnerships locally and nationally, increased funding to expand our work and advanced our key strategic initiatives. Led by our long-term vision of young people taking their rightful place as full and contributing members of a global economy, and guided by our core values, we worked to provide access to opportunity for youth all across Philadelphia. But we know more must be done.

In our city, youth unemployment rates remain alarmingly high, while access to sustainable career pathways and post-secondary education are still out of reach for far too many youth. Currently there are 297,000 young people ages 12-24 living in Philadelphia. Of those 297,000 youth, more than 25 percent live in poverty, and less than 20 percent have access to early employment opportunities.

Moreover, our young people demonstrate resilience and tenacity in the face of challenges every day including over exposure to trauma, unstable housing, hunger, and insufficient social networks. Our goal is to address structural poverty and systemic inequity, so that every young person acquires 21st century skills, attains a secondary credential and has access to post-secondary options that will allow them to create greater life outcomes and a brighter future. We are equipping youth every day with the skills and experiences needed to increase people's lifetime earning potential, contribute to their community and promote economic growth.
We know it takes a collective effort to combat these obstacles. Challenges will persist in our work, but without challenge there is no change, and with change comes opportunity. And although there will never be a shortage of challenges, I come to work every day because I believe in this work. I feel extraordinarily hopeful and determined because I get to face challenges with some of the most talented people. The way in which the City of Philadelphia comes together to support our young people, even as one of the most economically challenged cities in the country, fills me with pride.

Please accept this annual report as a token of my personal thanks for your support of this work. Whether you are a long-time partner of PYN, or just getting to know us, I hope our paths cross soon. Partnership is the cornerstone of how PYN operates, and without strong partners we could not succeed.
 
In service,
 
 
 
 
 
Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO
news News

Philadelphia Youth Network releases 2014-2015 annual report, Connections
PYN has officially released its 2014-2015 Annual Report, Connections. This report highlights the many external connections that are in place to ensure more youth in Philadelphia have access to workforce and educational opportunities. Without these many valued connections, PYNs work as a citywide effort would not be possible.
City of Philadelphia receives federal grant for 250 summer and year round jobs for youth
In May, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the City of Philadelphia a $2 million Summer Jobs and Beyond Grant, which will provide summer and year-round part-time job opportunities for in-school youth as well as year-round employment and work experience for young people who are out of school. The City was selected as one of 11 communities nationwide that will receive a total of $21 million in Summer Jobs and Beyond grants.
industry Industry Highlights
2016 Building a GradNation Report released
Written annually by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and released in partnership with America's Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, this report examines the progress and challenges the nation faces in reaching the GradNation goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent by the Class of 2020.
Reconnecting to the classroom
PYN President and CEO, and steering committee member of Project U-Turn, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, spoke to the Philadelphia Public School Notebook last month about reconnecting youth to the classroom.
A bridge to college
The Philadelphia Public School Notebook recently published an article highlighting the launch of PYNs post-secondary bridging pilot. Launched in 2015, the program's goal is to develop a rigorously researched approach to helping educationally and professionally disengaged young people enroll in and complete college. The pilot is expected to be refined over three years, then serve as the model for a scaled-up effort to create a pathway to college for those who want to go beyond a GED.
The connection between trauma and the dropout crisis
Talk to students who have dropped out and each of them has a back story. They describe overwhelming troubles at home, pregnancy, running with the wrong crowd, the death of a loved one, conflict with teachers and staff. But rarely if ever do they mention living in poverty or exposure to trauma-two distinct yet intertwined conditions in children's lives that experts say can go far in explaining the root cause of the dropout crisis.
campaign Campaign Work
Philadelphia private sector rallies around WorkReady summer jobs
Earlier this month, members of the private sector rallied together in support of summer jobs at a press conference co-hosted by Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and PYN, managing partner of WorkReady Philadelphia.
 
PYN announced a gap of $5.4 million in funding needed to reach the city's goal of supporting 10,000 summer work experiences, which was the number of opportunities that were provided last summer. Thus far, the investments from the private sector is projected to reach $2 million towards summer jobs; at the press event, the private sector was charged with committing an additional $1 million.
Project U-Turn to launch a fellowship program this fall
PYN is excited to announce a Project U-Turn Fellowship! Fellows will support changes in systems, policies and practices to better serve Philadelphia youth and their educational needs. Fellowships will be either two-year or 18-month projects. Selected host sites and projects will be announced in late June, upon which Fellow applications will go live. Fellowships begin September 2016. Stay tuned for more information regarding this opportunity.
Get HYPEPhilly! celebrates success in year one
Bolstered by a $5 million, three-year grant, Get HYPE Philly! is mounting an effort to reach out to 50,000 young people, to promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, and train 1,000 youth leaders who will embrace the mission and spread the message. The coalition of Philadelphia students and community organizations celebrated that work May 6 at its first year-end celebration.
PYN at City Hall - testifying on behalf of criminal justice reform
PYNs President and CEO, Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, was recently asked to provide testimony at City Hall for a City Council Criminal Justice Reform Committee Hearing. Chekemma testified to the Committee on a panel alongside:
  • Dr. Stephanie Bradley
    • Managing Director, Evidence-based Prevention & Intervention Support Center
    • Research Associate, Prevention Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University
  • Michael D. Pennington
    • Director, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency
Chekemma used her testimony to highlight PYN, WorkReady Philadelphia and WorkReady summer programming. Chekemma also spoke about research informing PYN's work, including studies on the impact of trauma and poverty. She also highlighted PYN's collaboration with Dr. Sarah Heller at the University of Pennsylvania to study the short- and long-term effects summer jobs has for young people in Philadelphia, including impact on incarceration and mortality rates.
pilot College Success Program: Post-secondary bridging
Currently, the second cohort of the College Success Program has 22 students enrolled in the college prep phase of the program. At the end of March, students began college prep classes four days a week at their respective centers. In these classes, students have learned such things as: effective note taking and study strategies; college communication skills; essay writing; self-advocacy and critical thinking. Perhaps most importantly, however, the students have been tremendously dedicated and self-directed in their pursuit of their post-secondary future. They have worked exceptionally hard and have persevered through many academic as well as personal challenges. Because of their hard work and commitment to their education, the students will be enrolling in summer courses at CCP in June. With only four weeks left in the college prep phase, students are anxiously awaiting the beginning of the post-secondary path they have so diligently worked for.
spotlights Spotlights
Philadelphia Youth Network and Bank of America celebrate partnership through Brotherly Love, Sisterly Affection award
Last month , PYN and Bank of America accepted the Brotherly Love, Sisterly Affection award through their partnership of WorkReady Philadelphia summer jobs program. This award celebrates local partnerships between profit and non-profit companies citywide, and is awarded by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
A Cinderella night for students who got their GEDs
On May 11, 2016 the students at E3 Center-JEVS got all dressed up and attended the E3 Center's first ever prom. All week leading up to the special event, the students excitedly tried on dresses and suits provided by various organizations throughout the city. The event was held at the Ethical Society in Rittenhouse Square and professional pictures were snapped in the park beforehand. As the students eagerly entered the building, dressed in Hollywood red carpet attire, joy and excitement filled the room. After taking pictures in the park and eating a lovely meal, the tables and chairs were pushed back to make room for what is most important at prom-dancing! For four thrilling hours on a beautiful spring evening the JEVS students got to have the special night that most of them never dreamed they would actually have. It was a historical night for the center, a magical night for the students, and a moment that everyone will truly cherish for a long, long time.