June 8, 2015
THE WHITE HOUSE recently recognized Julia Hillengas as a "Champion for Change. " The 29-year-old go-getter runs a little-known city program called PowerCorpsPHL that enrolls at-risk young people from mostly poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods and puts them to work on environmental projects - either for the city Water Department or for Parks and Recreation. With a $3 million budget, it's a small program that strives to make big changes in the lives of 18-to-26-year-olds by giving them a career path.
April 14, 2015 |
Since his death in 1993, there's been no diminished awe where Frank Zappa is concerned. An absurd, sarcastic humorist and a genre-jumping composer whose output included avant-garde classicism, psychedelia, progressive jazz, doo-wop, musique concrète, and heavy metal, the thing that made him most magical - from a purely instrumental standpoint - was his dexterous, adventurous guitar playing. Tense, dissonant riffs with shifting time signatures or speedy, clearly plucked, note-bending solos - either way, Zappa stung and swung.
March 11, 2015 |
The money ran out, and Zach Meeink lost his anchor. Build On, a national nonprofit that aims to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, has abruptly ended the program it operated successfully in several city high schools for 13 years. Officials with the organization say they could not raise enough cash to sustain the Philadelphia after-school program, which they described as among their strongest in the country. Build On students identify problems they see in their communities, then volunteer to repair them, helping children, the elderly, and the homeless.
January 14, 2015 |
If you're an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps alumnus, the City of Philadelphia is looking to hire you. Starting this month, Philadelphia will award up to 5 points on its 100-point civil service exam for alumni of national service programs AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. Mayor Nutter made the announcement along with Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National & Community Service, a federal agency which oversees AmeriCorps. "These individuals, through their service, create critical thinking skills, demonstrate leadership qualities, responsibility and they become the kind of invaluable workers that any employer would want," Nutter said.
July 11, 2014 |
Tom Kessinger, 73, of Annapolis, Md., a former president of Haverford College who imbued campus life with his own Quaker roots and values, died Friday, July 4, at Anne Arundel Medical Center there. The college announced his death on its website, saying Dr. Kessinger had fallen two weeks ago and injured his head while playing tennis. Dr. Kessinger became the school's 11th president in 1988 and stayed until 1996. Under his tenure, Founders Hall and other buildings on the Main Line campus received renovation.
July 4, 2014 |
Jack Lutz, 92, of Mount Laurel, an educator in the Philadelphia area and abroad, died Sunday, June 29, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital of a subdural hematoma. Dr. Lutz taught in Philadelphia public schools, then joined the Plymouth Whitemarsh School District as principal of three elementary schools. When Plymouth Whitemarsh expanded to become the Colonial School District, he was named assistant superintendent for curriculum. As the Philadelphia suburbs grew, he oversaw the design and construction of new schools, and for 10 years, recruited and hired teachers.
July 12, 2013 |
HE WAS ONE awesome Santa! At 6-foot-6, Richard A. Binder obviously had the kind and loving demeanor that kept him from scaring the pants off the little ones who wanted to get in their bids for Christmas gifts. Richard assumed his Santa role for the Christmas party given annually by the Drexel University library, where he worked for more than 25 years. Taking care of children's wishes was typical of the spirit of this man, who spent his life caring for others, serving the poor, the spiritual needs of prisoners, the needy of Iran as a Peace Corps member, among others.
April 24, 2013 |
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Katherine Russell was a talented artist, a good student who grew up Christian, the daughter of a suburban doctor. Then she went off to college in Boston. A few years later, she had dropped out of school, converted to Islam and was Katherine Tsarnaeva, wife of a man who would become a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, two ethnic Chechen brothers from southern Russia, are accused of planting two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon finish line last week, killing three people and injuring more than 180. Tamerlan was killed in a getaway attempt after a gun battle with police.
March 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - At a lavish reception two weeks ago to honor the 2012 recipients of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation's top honor for civilian service, President Obama gave a shout-out to one of the 18 winners at the very start. "It would be easy for folks to just focus on themselves," Obama said. But in the United States, "we get each other's backs. ... That's why volunteering in America is at the highest level it has been in years. And I know that makes Harris proud to hear.
November 7, 2012
Jack Hood Vaughn, 92, who led the Peace Corps at the height of its volunteer enrollment in the late 1960s, died Oct. 29 at his home in Tucson, Ariz. The cause was cancer, his daughter Jane Constantineau said. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Mr. Vaughn as the second director of the Peace Corps in 1966, after the five-year tenure of R. Sargent Shriver, the driving force in the creation of the corps during the Kennedy administration. Under Mr. Vaughn, the number of volunteers rose from approximately 12,000 to more than 15,500 - the most in the corp's history - serving in more than 50 countries.