The Zoeza Institute released its most recent Quarterly Update, highlighting the successful completion of strategic objectives, to the Board of Trustees and community of supporters.
Community Day at Franklin Field
Zoeza Institute mentors, mentees, and supporters gathered at Franklin Field to see the Penn vs. Bucknell football game. The weather was cool, sunny and crisp as the Penn Quakers, missing their top 3 quarterbacks, started sophomore John Hurley who led them to victory 21-3. For the mentees, this was their first college football game attended! They were surprised to see the slices of bread passed through the stands, and tossed out onto the field (when singing “toast”) during the Penn school song! They quickly joined in on the fun! One of our mentees made a professional mentor connection as a result of using the Zoeza Institute network!
See group photo...
Historical Society Initiative
Members of the Zoeza Institute recently attended the Saving the Still Journal exhibit at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. This event commemorates the meticulous and well preserved journal kept by William Still, the Father of the Underground Railroad during the 1850s in Philadelphia. Seeing the journal, as well as the in -character performances by William Still and Harriett Tubman was extraordinary! At the reception, mentees enjoyed the privilege of meeting the performers as well as special guest Dr. Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphial!
Save Our Youth Community Forum at Penn
Approximately 100 guests were on hand for the Save Our Youth Community Forum: Focus on Solutions! And the participation level was high, as evidenced by a plethora of poignant questions from the audience. Dr. Eli Anderson referenced his current book, "Against the Wall: Poor, Young, Black and Male" and also showed a video documentary of the same title that focused current issues affecting the Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown.
Tracey Matisak from WHYY (Philadelphia PBS affiliate), skillfully moderated the panelists, which included: Dr. Rich Roberts from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Dr. Juanita Blakney from the Hammond Group, and Mr. Chad Lassiter from Black Men at Penn. Each provided key insights from research and the field that challenged the audience to re-think their assumptions and focus on solutions.
We also established new relationships with several organizations that supported the event as sponsors. Thank you to all who supported this event!
The Zoeza Institute and White Williams Scholars have aligned to offer mentoring services to students in Philadelphia
The trademark for the Zoeza Institute's SMART™ program and service model has been recently approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Inaugural Pilot Sites
Negotiations are in process with several residential treatment centers for inaugural pilot sites.
The Zoeza Institute participates in Philadelphia's 2008 Re-Entry Summit sponsored by Mayor Michael Nutter.
Career Day Service
The Zoeza Institute recently supported Philadelphia high school students at Sayre High School by providing partnership connections, internship opportunities, and job training resources in conjunction with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mentors and mentees from the Zoeza Institute recently gathered in Center City Philadelphia for an afternoon of bowling, fellowship, and fun at Lucky Strike Lanes.
Students from the Zoeza Institute enjoyed a recent visit to the University of Pennsylvania where they participated in programs hosted by the Makuu Black Cultural Center, Forensics Laboratory, and Nursing Simulation Station. The trip was one of the many regional cultural immersion experiences sponsored by the Zoeza Institute.
Sovereign Bank Series
Mr. Jonas Tart, Assistant Vice President at Sovereign Bank, presented a talk for Zoeza Institute mentees on Sovereign Bank’s Financial Literacy series, Why Budget? In it, a number of key fundamentals were explored such as:
- Knowing and Tracking Monthly Income and Expenses
- Controlling Spending
- Asset Building: Implications for Quality of Life
- Fundamentals of Budgeting
Mentees were given the following tools to increase their financial understanding:
- Spending Diary
- Income and Expense Worksheet
- Financial Tips Sheet
The mentees engaged in a vibrant question and answer session and thanked Mr. Tart for the insightful financial lesson.
Booth & Tucker Law Career Day
The law firm of Booth & Tucker, LLP, recently hosted mentees from the Zoeza Institute for a career day focussed on civil litigation and the legal profession. Key highlights included interactive presentations from the following attorneys:
- Ms. Michon Crawford spoke about commercial litigation and how employers use Facebook and other social network tools to screen applicants for jobs. Mentees need to be careful about what they post on web sites! Ms. Michon’s advice to develop good study habits and time management skills was timely.
- Mr. Chris Booth spoke about corporate law, public finance, and bonds--which are used as loans to finance the building of our stadiums, bridges and other public facilities. Mr. Booth’s experience in entertainment law connected with one of our mentees who hosts parties. Mr. Booth said that one of the most important decisions to make in business is selecting a responsible partner.
- Mr. Doug Jenkins shared a deposition video that showed how expert testimony is used in litigation. The case was about a claim involving the fear of contracting an infectious disease from accidental contact with a hypodermic needle. Mr. Doug asked questions that point out the importance of paying attention to the details. A lively discussion followed.
- Ms. Kathleen Kirkpatrick, a member of the Zoeza Institute Advisory Board, showed a scene from the movie, My Cousin Vinny. The scene is a parody of the voir dire process where attorneys select or reject jurors. It was funny and a great learning tool! Ms. Kathy encouraged all of us to find our passion and work hard at it.
Student evaluations showed particular satisfaction in key learning areas including: 1) overview of the legal profession; 2) personal trajectory paths; and 3) recommendations for academic development.
Wissahickon Bird Watch
Friends and supporters of the Zoeza Institute joined staff, mentors, and mentees for an exciting morning adventure in the Wissahickon Park. Activities included a nature walk and a special bird watch sponsored by the Friends of the Wissahickon.
Bird sightings included the Downy Wood Pecker, a mother Gnat Catcher feeding two chicks in a brush, and a Baltimore Oriole building a nest. There were a host of other bird sightings and animal sightings such as chipmunks, turtles, and snakes. Our mentees especially enjoyed disucssions with Mike Clemmons who subsequently arranged for the mentees to see military helicopters made at a local Boeing facility.
After the bird walk, the mentees were also excited to meet and receive the support of a surprise guest, Philadealphia mayor Michael Nuter! See photo. The mentees took part in a reception and heard a presentation by Mayor Nutter. Lastly, our very own mentee, Marcus, made the 11 o'clock news that covered the event!