West Philadelphia

 

Mantua: After-School Programs Filling Void Left By Closure of University City High School

Mantua: After-School Programs Filling Void Left By Closure of University City High School

For 41 years, the 14-acre plot on Filbert Street between 37th and 38th streets was home to University City High School, Charles Drew Elementary School and The Walnut Center. Today, those buildings have been erased from existence, leaving behind a vast swath of unfinished terrain littered by rocks, dirt and controversy. University City High School closed […]

 

Education: Center For Literacy Classes Offer Adult Learners Help, Hope

Education: Center For Literacy Classes Offer Adult Learners Help, Hope

Adult illiteracy is a major issue in Philadelphia, with more than two-thirds of the adult population classified as low literate – meaning they do not have the basic skills necessary for the modern workplace, according to a report published by the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board. Center for Literacy (CFL) is a 50-year-old, longstanding institution that works to […]

 

Mantua: “I Just Want to Be That Image For Them.”

Mantua: “I Just Want to Be That Image For Them.”

After enduring a troubled childhood in West Philadelphia, near 56th Street and Lansdowne Avenue, 19-year-old Rodney Mobley began utilizing his past experiences to positively impact his community. He now serves as the community connector and engagement coordinator for People’s Emergency Center, which is based in the Mantua section of the city. Mobley is now a freshman on full-academic scholarship at Colby-Sawyer College in […]

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Haddington: Volunteer Wants Library to Serve as ‘Beacon in the Neighborhood’

Haddington: Volunteer Wants Library to Serve as ‘Beacon in the Neighborhood’

Sheila Washington is a 62-year-old Overbrook resident who is passionate about the area. She has been the president of Friends of Haddington Library since 2008. Despite being retired, she loves volunteering in the Haddington library. “I know this library like the back of my hand,” said Washington. “This is my library and I’m very proud of […]

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University City: Keeping The Printed Page Alive

University City: Keeping The Printed Page Alive

Among the bright blue walls and posters full of literary puns, Kathleen Volk Miller (below) sits in a sea of papers and books. It’s a scene some might find overwhelming, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. As a writer, professor and the director of Drexel’s new graduate program in publishing, Miller says of all […]

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Mantua: “They Help Me and They Say, ‘Don’t Be Afraid.'”

Mantua: “They Help Me and They Say, ‘Don’t Be Afraid.'”

When Saquan Dixon walks through the Mantua section of West Philadelphia, he feels a vibe much different from the Kensington neighborhood where he was raised. Neither Mantua, also known as “The Bottom,” nor his neighborhood in Kensington have sparkling reputations but the 20-year-old Dixon sees a bright spot in Philadelphia’s Promise Zone. “I’m not too familiar […]

 By Jane Babian and Caralyn Dienstman

West Philadelphia: Center For Autism Working Toward “Outcomes for Life”

West Philadelphia: Center For Autism Working Toward “Outcomes for Life”

Four boys were hard at play, combining baking soda and vinegar. They were creating miniature volcanoes, in awe as they erupted. It’s an amusing and common pastime for any 4-year-old, but for these young boys it was more than just a game. It was part of the pre-K program at The Center For Autism in West Philadelphia. As they […]

 

Education: Looking at What’s Next for Five Closed High Schools in Philadelphia

Education: Looking at What’s Next for Five Closed High Schools in Philadelphia

Education is one of the foundations of society, and yet schools in Philadelphia are hemorrhaging cash due to rising costs and stagnant revenues. Many have been forced to cut back on everything from school supplies and textbooks to programs and staff. Some have even closed their doors due to decisions by the School Reform Commission […]

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Mantua: “My Parents and Grandparents Trained Me to Survive.”

Mantua: “My Parents and Grandparents Trained Me to Survive.”

Nine years ago, De’Wayne Drummond nearly lost it all. A lifelong resident of the Mantua section of West Philadelphia, Drummond had unknowingly fallen asleep in nearly six pints of his own blood at his home on Haverford Avenue near 34th Street, only to be awoken by his infant daughter, Jadyn, who was desperately pleading for […]

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Cobbs Creek: Larissa Mogano Works to Maintain Network with Neighbors

Cobbs Creek: Larissa Mogano Works to Maintain Network with Neighbors

Larissa Mogano has lived in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood for close to 10 years. She is one of the founders of the Cobbs Creek Neighborhood Association and promotes it heavily on Facebook. While there are other organizations in West Philadelphia dedicated to community issues, Mogano feels like the key to reaching a larger amount of neighbors […]