Dangers of Secondhand Smoking

Even if a person does not smoke, the act of breathing in someone else’s smoke can be deadly. Secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and tens of thousands of deaths from heart disease to nonsmoking adults in the United States each year. Secondhand smoke can be especially harmful to your children’s health because their lungs still…

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Meet Brenda!

Name: Brenda Dempsey

Grade: 11th Grade

Program: GTLT

Career aspiration: Regional (Level 4) NICU Nurse

Favorite Book: Finders Keepers by Stephan King or Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Why she’s awesome: Brenda is currently a member of Girls Today Leaders Tomorrow and is a junior in high school who enjoys playing the piano, reading, writing, and shopping. During the 2017-2018 GTLT Year, Brenda has been nominated by GTLT staff as someone who exemplifies leadership. She is very supportive of her peers and embodies responsibility and drive. As a result, Brenda was nominated and elected by her peers for GTLT’s Youth Advisory Council.  Last year, Brenda was nominated and selected to attend the CECAAL College Tour as a result of her academic success which she will attend this November. Brenda expresses that she enjoys GTLT as it is an outlet for her to be herself without judgment.

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New Year, New Experiences

GTLT girls at the Attire to Inspire Event As Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow (GTLT) kicked off another year of programming, we also welcomed 27 middle school students to the program. Thus far, GTLT has partnered with Outward Bound to host a week-long camping excursion for the seniors and two day-long retreats for the high school and middle school students….

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Helping Families Stay Warm This Winter

The autumn is a very busy time for United Communities’ Client Services Department. Half of the department, the Benefits Access Center, is gearing up for the annual launch of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding on November 1st. LIHEAP, for those who may be unaware, provides a grant to qualified low-income families who have fallen behind on…

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Meet Jaysson!

Name: Jaysson Taveras

Grade: 5th

Program Site: D. Newlin Fell OST

Favorite Book: Spy vs Spy by Antonio Prohias

Career Aspiration: Soccer Player

Why he's awesome: Jaysson Taveras has been a part of the D. Newlin Fell OST Program for about 2 years. Shy at first, JayJay, as he is affectionately called, shows that he is full of personality after developing a level of comfort with peers and teachers. In program, he is helpful, outgoing and very good at chess (he defeated an 8th grader at Sharswood!). Additionally, JayJay does an outstanding job with performing other duties in his OST program and serves as a role model to all OST youth.

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Underage Drinking

Early adolescence is a time when some youth begin feeling pressured to drink and experimenting with alcohol. Teenagers may use alcohol to cope with the stress of fitting in and during times of challenging transitions and life changes. In addition, teens often don’t realize the harmful effects that drinking can have on them. For example, did you know that…

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Meet Paris!

Name: Paris Veal

Grade: 7th

Program Site: Sharswood MS OST – GEMS Program

Favorite Book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Career Aspiration: Entrepreneur in the Beauty Supply Industry

Why she's awesome: Paris has been an active participant in the OST program since 2013.  Paris is a President’s Honors student who has maintained straight A’s and perfect attendance since Kindergarten.  Paris is outspoken, articulate and well mannered.  She is an active member of GEMS (Girls Empowered through Mentoring and Support) and has proven to be a vocal support system for her program sisters.

Paris worked this summer through our Career Exposure Program at United Communities and because of her outstanding personality and bravery, was the Culminating Events Emcee for the evening. She loves to read and is active in community service. Paris plans on attending Central High School after completing elementary school and then go on to attain her degree in Business from Harvard. Paris is a leader and excellent Role Model for her peers and younger!

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Summer ’17 Rewind!

This was another eventful summer for United Communities! Check out our program recap!

Career Exposure – Forty rising 8th-grade Middle School students worked hard to prepare for their futures this summer by participating in the Career Exposure Program at George Sharswood School. The youth explored a variety of post-secondary and career path options and shared their findings with their family and peers during their culminating event held at the Fleisher Memorial Art Museum. The youth also had the opportunity to meet with Mayor Kenney at City Hall this summer, where they had the chance to talk to the Mayor about his political career and toured City Hall.




Read by 4th – Once again our Elementary summer program sites participated in the Read by 4th Campaign, a summer literacy initiative that is part of the Free Library of Philadelphia. This program targets youth in grades K-3, with the goal of helping to make sure that will be reading at grade level by the 4th grade. Our summer camp staff and the literacy coaches provided by Read by 4th worked collaboratively in ensuring that program youth were engaged in fun and interactive literacy activities that would both assist in developing a love of reading and strengthen their literacy skills over the summer.



Work Ready High School Programming – Our Work Ready summer programming was very successful! Once each week, the youth took a break from their Work Ready job sites and Service Learning activities to meet as a group and engage in informative career and post-secondary themed workshops and to work on their culminating projects. At the end of the summer program, the youth and their instructors celebrated the diligent work, efforts, and achievements made by the youth at South Bowl. A great time was had by all!





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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Month

September is Fetal Alcohol Awareness Month! Did you know that alcohol exposure during pregnancy can interfere with a baby’s healthy development and is directly associated with brain damage and other birth defects? Brain damage can occur across a spectrum from mild to severe and may not be recognized until the child is an adolescent or older. For more information…

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South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition August Events!

South Philadelphia Prevention Coalition (SPPC) will be keeping busy as the Summer winds down by doing some amazing things to really inspire our youth and families in the South Philadelphia community. The month of August will be especially busy! On August 2nd, SPPC will be having a Clean-Up Day and working on developing an Urban Garden Cafe at 8th…

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