Mayor Michael Nutter visited Philadelphia University on Wednesday with students from YESPhilly as part of his back-to-school themed “Education Week”.
He traveled from downtown by trolley with students from YESPhilly, a program that helps high school drop outs prepare for the GED exam with the goal of being accepted into college.
Gathered in the Kanbar Campus Center in East Falls, Nutter spoke before the prospective college students.
“Thank you very much for caring enough about yourselves and your future to take this next step,” he said.
He reminded the audience that he has a 16-year-old daughter and that he’s no stranger to “the college tour.”
Slowly pronouncing each word, he stressed, “you need to finish your education.” But for now, he said, the students should enjoy the tour and be inspired to apply to colleges. “This is a great opportunity for you to see what your future can be.”
After the Mayor’s comments, Philadelphia student tour guides, (“Rambassadors”) led small groups of YESPhilly students through campus. For many, it was their first visit to a university.
The groups were noticeably impressed by the quiet atmosphere and greenery of the East Falls campus.
“It’s like the movies” they joked. “Where’s the party at?,” one student wondered out loud, half expecting a toga party to break out that Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s as quiet out here as in there,” said John Maybach Cooper of North Philadelphia as his group exited the library.
As the tour ended, the “Rambassadors” guided the YESPhilly students back to the Kanbar Campus Center where they talked to school administrators and Phila U. students about their goals.
Natasha Jones, used to work in the café at Kanbar, but now plans to return to Philadelphia University as a fashion design student.
Kayla Martin wants to study veterinary sciences, a goal she made sure to tell the Mayor during their trolley ride to campus. She was able to convince him to agree to write her a letter of recommendation.
Before leaving campus, student tour guide Chelsea Schnell made sure her group had their fill of free food. Trying to demonstrate to the YESPhilly students what it’s like to be in college, she pointed out “I never turn down free food. That would be un-college-like.”