The Skills Initiative Names First Round of “WPSI Scholars” in Partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia

WPSI participants in the classroom

Our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is pleased to name the inaugural group of “WPSI Scholars,” Skills Initiative alumni who will each receive financial assistance to help with continuing their professional education through a partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia. The Scholars each received $1,000 scholarships toward tuition to cover degree, certification, or credentialing programs.

 

WPSI is our nationally recognized program that provides best-in-class workforce development programs for Philadelphia’s major employers and residents. Recent employer partners have including SEPTA, Penn Medicine, the Philadelphia Fire Department, and a new partnership through PIDC and the Navy Yard. From March 2020 through March 2021, WPSI helped 99% of graduates land a job with starting salaries averaging $17.94 an hour. We also committed to building up resources and offerings for their list of program alumni during the pandemic to keep people engaged, informed, and focused on their careers.

 

“There’s no finish line when it comes to career goals,” says Skills Initiative Managing Director Cait Garozzo. “Through our alumni network, we promote ongoing professional development, networking with fellow alumni and other professional connections, and continued education, certifications, and credentialing. Through this new WPSI Scholars initiative and our partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia, we can offer a small but meaningful incentive to graduates to continue growing in their careers and open new professional opportunities.”

 

The partnership with Graduate! Philadelphia is an effort to provide additional resources and financial support opportunities to aid alumni in their continued careers. Graduate! Philadelphia’s offerings include financial aid support to adult learners and frontline workers, back balance negotiation with higher education institutions, analysis of credit for prior learning, transcript evaluation, pre-enrollment support, and more.

 

“For many adult learners and frontline workers, completion of a postsecondary credential is sometimes out of reach due to a lack of adequate financial resources,” says Malik Brown, President and CEO of Graduate Philadelphia, Inc. “Graduate Philadelphia is honored to play a small part in helping WPSI scholars continue their education and professional journey.”

The WPSI alumni selected as WPSI Scholars include:

Talia Boyd

Talia Boyd

2018, Studying Fashion Design at Made Institute

Vanessa Dicks

Vanessa Dicks

2020, Studying Biblical Studies at Carin University

Katrina Hayes

Katrina Hayes

2019, Studying Nursing at PA Health Science

Shanise Hicks

Shanise Hicks

2015, Studying Nursing – Oncology at Community College of Philadelphia

Allegra King

Allegra King

2019, Receiving her AEMT Certification at Tower Health

Marylinn Mach

Marylinn Mach

2020, Studying Medical Coding at Peirce College

Danielle Shank

Danielle Shank

2016, Studying Health Care Administration at Drexel University

Maria Urena

Maria Urena

2018, Studying Nursing at Delaware County Community College (DCCC)

Nathaniel Walcott

Nathanial Walcott

2019, Studying Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine

Sherry Williams

Sherry Williams

2017, Earning a Medical Assistant Certification through All-State Career

Zakkiyyah Parker

Zakkiyyah Kidd-Parker

2016, Studying Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University

 

Laura Bien Aime

Laura Bien-Aime

2017, Delaware County Community College

Rasheeda Jackson

2017, Earning a Medical Assistant Certification at Florida Atlantic University

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