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Philadelphia Youth Network Announces New Leadership in Finance

Vice President contributes extensive experience in key PYN initiatives


PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) has announced  Jessica Kennedy has been promoted to Vice President of Finance. She joins PYN’s President and CEO Wendy-Anne Roberts-Johnson as part of the organization’s Leadership Team.

“One of my top priorities since becoming CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network has been addressing funding gaps for youth employment programming. Jessica positions us strongly to tackle this pressing challenge,” Roberts-Johnson said. “With her financial stewardship and sound fiscal judgment, PYN will ensure we meet our commitments and create a sustainable future.”


Kennedy previously served as controller for PYN since March of this year before being promoted to vice president of finance.

In this role, she will continue to lead PYN’s finance and contract teams, but her responsibilities will now expand to include providing financial governance and strategy for PYN. Prior to joining PYN, Kennedy most recently served as controller at Fairmount Park Conservancy. She has more than ten years of professional services accounting experience. Kennedy built her impressive nonprofit experience starting at the Free Library Foundation then moved to the Philadelphia Foundation for a number of years where she advanced to an accounting manager role. She then moved to Children’s Literacy Initiative before returning to the Philadelphia Foundation as controller. Kennedy has expertise in centralizing information, integrating data and improving operational efficiency for organizations.


“For my whole life, I have felt drawn to working with young people. I have personal connections to being a support system for children and my entire career has been in the nonprofit world, so it feels full circle to now be at PYN in this role where I can blend supporting young people and my knowledge of nonprofit financial stewardship,” Kennedy said. “I am acutely aware of the need that exists to help young people in our city and that motivates me every day to lead PYN’s financial strategy.”


Kennedy earned a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in finance, analytics and strategic management from Villanova University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Philadelphia University. Kennedy was born and raised in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Central High School.  


Since its founding in 1999, PYN has provided more than 240,000 opportunities for young people in Philadelphia. Its 2023 WorkReady initiative, in cooperation and partnership with the City of Philadelphia Office of Children and Families and Philadelphia Works, is slated to host 8,000 young people at more than 80 distinct providers and more than 600 individual worksites.

“The addition of Jessica to our new executive team under the leadership of Wendy-Anne solidifies a new era for PYN,” said Debra Friedman, PYN Board Chair. “I am confident in the direction of the organization and excited for its future --- and for the thousands of young Philadelphians whose lives will be positively impacted by PYN’s work.”


About the Philadelphia Youth Network

The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) is a solutions-builder forging together significant players to alleviate a root cause of poverty by preparing 12-24-year-olds to become productive working adults. Our work is grounded in the understanding that young people need access to both education and employment, proven factors in being prepared for a career. With a track record of increasing impact, PYN funds and brokers action with the right partners to collectively address barriers. PYN constructs systems to create change, while innovating to meet evolving needs. Together with our partners, PYN dramatically changes the trajectory of individuals’ lives by giving voice to underserved youth, and ultimately creating a pipeline for an educated, engaged workforce. For more information, visit www.pyninc.org.


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