On April 21, College Possible Philadelphia held its annual Champions for Success event. This year’s virtual event (watch now) celebrated our college students and the Class of 2021. Guests heard from College Possible students, college coaches, leadership team members and members of the advisory board.
Cherri Gregg, community affairs reporter for KYW Newsradio and the host and executive producer of Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg, served as moderator and kicked off the event. Introductory remarks were shared by Executive Director Dia Williams Adams who spoke about the resilience and determination of our College Possible students who persevered while navigating the challenges and complexities of virtual learning in the midst of a global pandemic.
Champions for Success featured an engaging and insightful conversation between Gregg and Nick Bayer, founder and CEO of Saxbys. Bayer shared Saxbys’ origin story and how it evolved to become a social impact company with the singular mission: Make Life Better. He also discussed how the pandemic affected the company and its recent certification as a B Corporation. Bayer reflected on the importance of College Possible’s program, “I am so personally touched by College Possible. I wished College Possible existed when I was the age of the young people that are overcoming so much, leveraging their hard work and the support of others to be able to change their lives through college.”
As a first-generation college student, Bayer emphasized the importance of a college degree,
I’ve been able to see what other people have talked about. Which is, when you get that diploma you not only learn so much about yourself, but it opens up the gates to opportunity.
During the program, two College Possible college students, Ixchele Ortiz and Marshae Batchelor, spoke about their experiences being part of the College Possible high school and college programs as well as their relationships with their coaches. As to why she joined the College Possible program, Batchelor said, “I am a first-generation college student and having someone else who’s been to college, be surrounded by other students who have aspirations to go to college that motivated me to be a part of that type of community.” Ortiz and Batchelor are graduating in 2021 from Cabrini University and Kutztown University, respectively.
After the student celebration, Precious Mines, program director, congratulated students and commended the AmeriCorps members in Philadelphia who served as high school and college coaches with the site during the 2020-21 academic year. The coaches dedicate at least one year of service to College Possible to help close the degree divide in the Philadelphia region.
Ms. Williams Adams also thanked the advisory board for their commitment to College Possible Philadelphia; the board pledged a $25,000 match toward Champions for Success.
Lastly, we heard from outgoing board chair, Joseph Divis of AT&T, and Tony Barrett of Raymond James who will begin serving as board chair July 1, 2021.
Thank you to College Possible Philadelphia’s 2021 corporate sponsors and our donors who helped us raise more than more than $50,000 in support of College Possible’s mission to get Philadelphia students to and through college. During the 2020-21 academic year, the Philadelphia site provided support and coaching to more than 900 high school and college students who are working toward their four-year degrees.
If you were unable to join the event or missed the opportunity to make a donation, you can still do so here!