Continuing the Fight | Project HOME

Continuing the Fight

  • Jovan Cosby, who interned with Project HOME last summer.
"Hearing residents' stories helped me realize that there are going to be tough times in life, but it’s the fight back that counts; it’s about how many times you fall down and get back up even stronger."

Jovan Cosby interned with Project HOME this past summer, between his freshman and sophomore years at Millersville University.

I was 15 years old when I first came to Project HOME.  I was a sophomore at Simon Gratz High School at the time, and I was required to do an internship during the school year to get some “real life” experience.  My placement was an internship at Project HOME’s Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs in north Philadelphia. That one-year internship turned into five.

When I first came to Project HOME, I had no idea about poverty and homelessness. My very first day entering the Learning Center, my life changed forever. I was admitted into the College Access Program (CAP), which provides college readiness support for high school students who seek to attend post-secondary education.

Growing up in one of the poorest parts of Philly and attending an inner-city school wasn’t the easiest. Throughout my whole life I thought you had to make it alone, and there was no such thing called support. Being raised and born in the City of supposed-to-be Brotherly Love, it’s easy to start thinking that there’s no hope for the youth. It’s a huge accomplishment for many Philadelphia youth when they get to see the age of 18 and graduate high school. Most teens my age were either killed due to gun violence or on their way to prison before graduating high school.

Being with Project HOME and enrolled in the College Access Program made me realize that there were actual people who cared about others in this world. My mindset immediate changed, my mentality became more positive. The CAP helped me tremendously. I was able to increase my math and writing skills, practice and do well on my ACT test, and become well informed on college information and the process of applying. I have a great appreciation for the College access program because I now have financial, academic and personal support during my semesters of college. 

Project HOME has taught me so many valuable life lessons. I’ve learned to become a more humble and grateful person. I’ve learned that my story isn’t as tough as many other persons.  I heard many stories from various residents. Those stories helped me realize that there are going to be tough times in life, but it’s the fight back that counts; it’s about how many times you fall down and get back up even stronger. Seeing how strong the residents are after all they have been through gives me so much courage and faith. I can never give up, because they never gave up through all of the trials and tribulations they faced.

I now attend Millersville University. I am a sophomore double majoring in criminology and theater. I’m also a motivational speaker and advocate on issues of domestic violence and social justice. Over this past summer, I spent my time interning at 1515 Fairmount in the Advocacy department, working under Jennine Miller. Jennine taught me tremendous skills that will be very beneficial in the future. The most efficient skill that I’ve learned is to never back down from a fight and it’s the power of the people that counts. I had several great opportunities such as doing voter registration, working with amazing staff, and empowering High School students, as well as educating many people about domestic violence. I look forward to continuing the fight along with Project HOME in my future years to come.