People for People Institute officially celebrates a successful start

On April 16, invited guests will be celebrating the official beginning of the People for People Institute at the Partnership Signing Ceremony to be held in Philadelphia.

President Black has partnered with Reverend Dr. Herbert Lusk and People for People Institute to offer undergraduate level education to individuals in Philadelphia, specifically single mothers, through the People for People Institute.

“The PFP Institute is an idea that grew out of a conversation between Rev. Herbert Lusk, Leonard Jamison and me,” President Black said in an email interview. “Eventually, we agreed to partner in an institute that would advance the opportunities for these moms and their families.”

According to Eastern’s Web site, the Institute was founded by Black and Lusk on August 1, 2007, when the partnership agreement was signed. The goal of the institute is to give individuals the opportunity to earn an Eastern University undergraduate degree in hopes of improving their future and chances for employment.

According to Jamison, dean of People for People Institute, approximately two-thirds of the people enrolled in the program are single mothers or women who have been on public assistance.

“While benefiting to some extent from college studies now, the moms are likely to raise dramatically the expectations they hold for their children’s educations and lives,” Black said.

A $10,000 Herbert A. Lusk Grant is a standard scholarship provided to the students. The programs offered through the Institute are Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Bachelor of Arts in Elementary, Special and Early Childhood Education.

In March, People for People Institute welcomed its first cohort of 26 students into the Associate of Arts program. According to Jamison, the students will remain with the same group throughout the two-year program. At the end of April, the second Associate of Arts cohort and the first Bachelor of Arts cohort will be joining the program.

Before school begins for these students, they participate in a five-week orientation where they will learn study skills, time and stress management skills, prioritization and techniques for communicating effectively.

“We are particularly excited to serve them in a way that the students in the program can still work,” Jamison said. At the associate’s level, for example, the students meet two nights a week. The Institute also offers childcare for the students’ children.

People for People Institute was established in 1993. According to Jamison, it was the desire of Reverand Lusk and Greater Exodus Baptist Church to serve the community that led to the development of People for People. The organization’s headquarters are located on North Broad Street in Philadelphia, and it houses PFP’s charter school, childcare center, EARN center offices, classrooms, computer labs, a banquet hall and a cafeteria. All of the People for People Institute courses will eventually be held here. People for People Institute provides the academic site free of cost to Eastern.

According to Black, the celebration taking place on April 16 will commemorate the partnership as well as the hopes shared by everyone involved.

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