Local Youth in Penn’s Service Learning, Internship Programs Earn PYN Recognition

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Media Contact: Julie S. McWilliams | juliemcw@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422August 24, 2010

 PHILADELPHIA –- West Philadelphia teens who took part in summer programs sponsored by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania have been honored by the Philadelphia Youth Network, the agency that provided the funding.  Students working in a cooperative Netter Center/University City District internship program were also recognized.

Students from the Netter Center service-learning and college-access/career-readiness programs were invited to give presentations at the annual PYN end-of-summer awards competition:

  • West Philadelphia High School, a second place PYN award for a service-learning project in the category of education and mentoring.
  • Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, a second-place PYN award for their service-learning project in the category of health and wellness.

Kingia Phillips and Mailisa Crews, two of the teens taking part in the Netter Center’s operational partnership with UCD’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, were awarded the PYN’s Michael J. Walker Award for growth and potential.   They were selected for their hard work, positive attitude, dedication and passion. 

In this initiative, UCD served as a conduit to professional internships at local employers.  Twenty-five students had internships at UCD employer-partner sites with the Netter Center providing the college access/career readiness instruction.  

Plans call for growing this program substantially to support school-year and summer internships, many of which could become multi-year pipeline programs with direct connections to jobs and post-secondary education.

In a separate program this summer, UCD employed 63 youths at seven University City worksites in jobs ranging from administrative associate and research intern to animal-care assistant and medical-records associate.  All were students at West Philadelphia, Sayre or University City High schools.  Salaries and overhead were paid through a city grant.

Another program at University City High School, the Student Success Center, overseen by Penn’s Netter Center, has been recognized as an innovative model other centers elsewhere in the City could replicate.  College-access and career-building programs are a vital component of the SSCs.

Each summer, the PYN funds both service-learning and internship programs for about 11,000 high school students across the city.  As the summer winds down, about 500 youth representing their programs are invited to present their work and compete for awards.

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