Adult education at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries has become a mainstay in the community.
Located at the corner of West Venango and 19th streets in the Tioga section of the city, the organization provides education services to adults who are unable to afford them elsewhere.
Sister Maureen Conklin (pictured below) is the coordinator of the adult education program at Mercy Ministries.
“We maintain about 30 learners per month, so depending on their needs and how we can help students move through their high school equivalency preparation, we will have 30 students,” Conklin said.
Mercy has multiple ways to benefit students in the adult program. The staff offers individual tutoring, high school equivalency testing preparation and basic literacy skills.
There are also computer classes that are taught in the computer lab which is open to the public. The computer classes teach basics on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Part of the basic curriculum is the basic reading, writing and science courses.
“I have 16 volunteer teachers who are teaching the varied subject areas and they are either here once a week or they are here twice a week,” Conklin said. “So preferably a learner takes a class twice a week for each subject so they could be here for a number of days.”
Sister Ann Provost is the executive director of Mercy Neighborhood Ministries and has been with the organization for more than 20 years. She is a longtime resident of the Nicetown-Tioga community and has an infinite love for her work.
“It’s a ministry where we invite many people to come and see it, anyone who is interested in doing any volunteer work and any kind of support,” Provost said. “This is a place where they can see that this is a great place where you can reach out and help in a variety of ways.”
Mercy Ministries is not exclusive only to those who live in the Nicetown-Tioga section of Philadelphia, but it opens its doors to anyone who wants to take part.
In addition to the education services, Steven M. Ziegler, director of philanthropy, said the organization looks to provide other needs such as clothing as well as various workshops.
“Anyone is welcome to join,” he said.
–Text, video and images by Rasheed Reynolds