PowerCorpsPHL Newsletter
May 2015

Hello, friends of the PowerCorpsPHL Monthly Newsletter, and a very Happy European Maritime Day to you all! (A holiday that we totally did not make up!)

With the April showers behind us and the May flowers in full bloom, we're excited to report that we have a very special edition of the newsletter for youse. This month, we come to you with news of White House honorees, large-scale waste diversion, and even the arrival of Philly's newest public transportation option! (Hint, it rhymes with "Like/Share" which, coincidentally, is what you should do with this newsletter!)

Read on and follow the links to see our tweets, 'grams, and photo albums from these recent events!
White House Champions of Change


Some of you may have already heard that our superstar Deputy Service Officer, Julia Hillengas, was recently honored in Washington D.C. as a White House Champion of Change for her continued, invaluable work on national service initiatives for the City of Philadelphia. Specifically, Julia was selected in recognition of her work with PowerCorpsPHL, as well as the role she played in securing the City of Philadelphia as the very first employer in the nation to award civil service points to alumni of national service. [Pause for applause...3...2...1...]

For those of you keeping track, this honor from the President of the United States comes hot on the heels of Julia's award for Distinguished National Service, awarded by Mayor Michael Nutter in early April. 

Thanks to the efforts of Julia and others in connection with the Employers of National Service program, veterans of programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps will now receive up to 5 points on civil service exams for which they have passed all other sections. 

You can read more about Julia's extensive public and national service work here in Philadelphia over the last decade at the links above. She was characteristically taciturn about the whole thing, commenting:

"I'm proud to work for a city that recognizes the service that all of its residents provide and acknowledging that they would make great leaders." 

Indeed, we are all inspired by the young people of PowerCorpsPHL. Every day they demonstrate the same diligence, passion, and dedication to service for which Julia was recognized at the White House this month. We think it is fair to say that they are inspired by her as well.
A Very Philly Bike Share

Do you @RideIndego

Up until about a month ago, that question might have sounded like some bizarre gibberish from a Jim Morrison song. But for anyone familiar with Philadelphia's newest mode of public transportation, it ought to make a lot more sense.

That's because "Indego" is the handle selected for the Philadelphia Bike Share program, which exploded onto the scene late last month. Some of our current members and staff turned out to show support for the program and assist in its launch from Eakins Oval--a "ride-away" in which local volunteers took the Indego vessels on their maiden voyages to stations all across the city. 

Also present were two of our Cohort 3 alumni, Jaleel and Chilon, who have transitioned from our program into positions with the Bike Share! They are working as Bike Share Ambassadors for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, promoting Indego in neighborhoods around Philadelphia as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership!

For more information on how to become a member of this amazing program, visit www.rideindego.com!
A Broad Street Run to Remember

Early this month, returning with the rest of the perennials, the  Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run took place on a hazy Sunday morning that saw tens of thousands of fitness enthusiasts shuffling around North Broad St.

Runners from all over the country made the pilgrimage to Broad and Olney to join their fleet-footed comrades in a jaunt (jawnt?) that stretches from Einstein Medical Center in the north to our beloved Navy Yard in the south. This year's run saw clear blue skies awash with buttery sunlight, and runners buzzing with the electric energy of the undulating crowd. But perhaps the most critical element to the success of this year's Broad Street Run was the presence of a local group of superheroes and -heroines: The Waste Watchers.

For the uninitiated, Waste Watchers is a local initiative that, "...aims to divert as much waste as possible away from landfills and instead into recycling and compost!" They accomplish this by enlisting the services of volunteers like Mr. Juan Matos (pictured above), who collect and sort errant waste while educating people on effectively disposing of their trash, recyclables, and compostables. If you were at the starting line of this year's 10-miler, you likely saw one of their nifty trash-sorting stations, generously donated by SCA; the multi-colored, hexagonal design is recognizable both for its beauty and its ingenuity. 

This is not the first major event in Philadelphia that has benefited from the collaboration of the Waste Watchers and PowerCorpsPHL. Far from it! But the Broad Street Run is special simply for the scale at which our volunteers are diverting waste and educating citizens. Anyone who has seen the starting area after the runners have left knows that there is a mountain of work left for the volunteers. But with strength in numbers and enthusiasm, the cleanup proved to be no match for the mighty sword that is the Waste Watchers waste diversion system!

Special thanks to Hannah Tran, SERVE Philadelphia VISTA Leader in the Mayor's Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service, as well as Hannah Chatterjee and Rachel Passman from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. We are grateful that Waste Watchers included us in this effort and are looking forward to working with them again!

Here's our photo album from the race!

Love Your Park? So Do We!

On May 9th, our crews teamed up with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy to tackle beautification and revitalization projects at parks all over Philadelphia. Our members supported neighborhood-led cleanup efforts that were taking place at 100 parks in locations throughout the city. As a result of the community's efforts on the 9th and throughout Love Your Park Week, trail and park access was increased for hundreds of residents, and our public spaces were infused with positive, neighborly energy that will hopefully aid the decrease of crime and blight. 

Love Your Park Week is designed to educate the public about the importance of our green spaces, while simultaneously welcoming communities into their shared spaces to celebrate and beautify them. We were thrilled to be a part of it again and look forward to maintaining and expanding the city's thriving park system for years to come!
About PowerCorpsPHL

PowerCorpsPHL, launched in September 2013, is an AmeriCorps program designed to support Mayor Michael A. Nutter's environmental stewardship initiatives, as well as the City of Philadelphia's youth violence prevention and workforce development priorities.


Annually, PowerCorpsPHL enrolls 136 highly-at-risk 18 to 26-year-olds in a 6-month AmeriCorps program that provides participants the opportunity to develop the skills required to become environmental stewards, secure meaningful work, and become civically engaged members of society.


During their AmeriCorps terms of service, participants work with partner City departments to tackle pressing environmental challenges, including the need for improved stormwater management, increased tree coverage, and revitalized public land. Upon completion of their service terms, alumni receive intensive transition support designed to enhance their chances for success in career-track employment, post-secondary education, and/or national service.

Follow Us!

Hire Our Alumni!
Our talented and enthusiastic corps members have finished their service terms and are ready to help you expand your business. These alumni navigated a rigorous six months of full-time service, logging over 780 hours on professional projects with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Philadelphia Water Department. Additionally, our team members have completed 120 hours of professional development, and are now ready and eager to become productive, contributing members of our region's workforce.

If you are interested in hiring a PowerCorpsPHL alum, contact Carolyn Caton, our Workforce Partnerships Manager, at carolyn.caton@phila.gov to learn more about our employer services.

Our Partners

Founding Partners
Recruitment Partners
Service Partners