Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs | Project HOME

Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs

Shermeir Porter was a participant in the Teen HYPE program at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs for several years.  She currently attends Gwynedd Mercy University where she is majoring in Medical Laboratory Science and minoring in Psychology. For the past two summers she interned at the St. Elizabeth’s Wellness Center through the John and Sheila Conners Youth Employment Program.  This article is adapted from a talk she gave at the August 13 luncheon for this year’s interns in the program.

 

Steven Reed learned some hard lessons while living on the street for nearly 25 years.

But now Steven, a teacher by training and temperment, is working to convey those lessons to a new generation of Philadelphians as a tutor at our Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL).

 

Their faces hint of stories: A fragile dignity. An exuberance seeking greater outlets. An innocence preserved against the odds. A hard-won confidence. A defiant vibrancy. Shadows of lingering scars from a troubled environment. A determination to wrestle a future out of slender hopes.

Changing the World

On Wednesday, March 19 the Wilt Chamberlain Auditorium was the site of the official opening of the Mary Ellen Mark Portrait Gallery. The Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. As part of this celebration, the world renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark and her partner Martin Bell, a world class film maker, spent two weeks in April on site at the Learning Center. Portraits were taken of over 60 students and alumni. These beautiful portraits represent our past, our present, and our future.

 

On May 30, I attended the graduation ceremony of The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades in Media, PA.I was there with the family of Khalaf Dow, who was graduating.Khalaf lived at Project HOME’s Rowan Homes residence, and spent years participating in programs at our Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL).

 

The kids enter the classroom bursting with energy, loud and boisterous. Within a few moments, with her strong but gentle presence, Miss T has them focused, attentive, eager to learn, and open to another day of possibilities at the Honickman Learning and Center Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL).

 

Ten years later, and it still never fails to happen: Newcomers turn the corner onto the 1900 block of North Judson Street, and they are astonished to see the beautiful modern facility dominating the street. But what is even more astonishing is what is happening inside the building in the lives of the students of all ages.

 

Taisha Shaw is a case manager at Project HOME's Rowan Homes.

With over a decade of sobriety under her belt Ms. Taryn Perkins is a shining star in the Project HOME Rowan Homes’ community.  Having been born and raised in the biggest city in Delaware Ms. Taryn made a choice to seek assistance and support in Philadelphia and hasn’t looked back.  Committed to growth and change Ms. Taryn has taken the opportunities before her to excel and become an outstanding example for not only her daughters and son but her whole community.

 

Khalaf was a dropout from high school. His family had been through years of homelessness, and his experienceof failing schools left him with enormous educational deficits.

 

Helen Brown has called the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood home for 57 years.  She has lived through this lower North Philadelphia community’s slow and painful decline over decades – the loss of jobs, the deterioration of properties, the stresses of struggling families, the infusion of drugs, the increase in violence.  She has often watched with breaking heart as young persons, with decreasing educational resources and shrinking hopes for a future, take to the culture of the streets, angry and surly, hanging out, flirting with crime. 

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