As many of you know, after our 30th Reunion in 2010, we initiated an ongoing class community service project. Our goals were to keep our classmates together in between reunions and to make a difference in the neighborhood surrounding Penn. We are the only class to take on such an ambitious endeavor.
Through Penn's Netter Center for Community Partnerships, we have established a very rewarding relationship with the Sayre High School at 58th and Walnut in West Philadelphia. In the past few years we have partnered with Sayre for MLK days of service, arts and culture trips, career panels, one-on-one and group mentoring and college counseling. We were directed to help Sayre because the students there have tested at among the worst skill levels in the city, and outside role models and inspiration is urgently needed.
With the support of a new Sayre principal and on-site Netter coordinator, we have set a plan for this year's programming. We kicked off with a successful MLK day (see photos below) and are looking forward to a field trip this month to the Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia with a group of Sayre 9th graders. Here the students will learn about becoming entrepreneurs and the resources available to them for both personal and professional development.
We are planning additional Philadelphia area field trips on the following dates: March 13 (THE BARNES MUSEUM!), April 10, May 8 and June 12. These trips will enable the students to expand their horizons, and allow our classmates to serve as much needed role models and mentors. Each trip will consist of a tour, an inspirational presentation that will expose the students to opportunities after graduation and one-on-one interactions where we can share our own experiences and advice.
We will need at least 6-7 Class of 80 members to participate on each date from approximately 3:30-5:00pm. No experience is required and even if you attend just one session, you can make a difference (and feel great about doing so).
We have developed THE CLASS OF 80 COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMITTEE email distribution list for classmates to receive details about the program and to sign up. If you would like to join the committee and be added to this list, please let me know at email@example.com. You can also visit our Facebook page, Penn Class of 1980, for details.
For those of you located in a geographic area that is not conducive to participating in this program, we are exploring electronic mentoring and other ways you can help from afar. Also It is not too early to express your desire to get involved on the reunion committee. Please send me an email to add your name to the list and any specific area of interest (planning events, communications, outreach, fundraising) you have.
We all should be proud - the Class of 80 continues to make its mark on Penn!
Red and Blue Forever,
Class of 80 President