Ase Academy Awarded with Service Honor at Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration

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The Ase Academy, an academic and cultural enrichment program based in West Philadelphia, has been honored with the Dr. Judith Rodin Award for service to the Philadelphia community.

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Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" A small Saturday school in Philadelphia has embarked on a near decade-long journey to answer that question.

The Ase (Ah-shay) Academy was founded on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania as an experimental African-centered educational enrichment program for area sixth and seventh graders. With only a handful of volunteers from Penn's student body, Ase worked diligently to fill the need for meaningful youth activities in the Philadelphia community.

On Wednesday January 23, 2008, Brian Peterson, Ase Executive Director, accepted the Dr. Judith Rodin Award on behalf of Ase at the University of Pennsylvania's twelfth annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium on Social Change. The award signifies not only Ase's strides to uplift the community, but also the continuation of Dr. King's vision of community service as an essential tool in the struggle for equality.

Ase has come a long way since opening its doors to the children of Philadelphia in 1999. Now in its ninth year, the Ase Academy currently serves grades six through nine, and is expanding to six through twelve by 2010. Hundreds of students from over a dozen public schools have participated. The earliest students are now in college.

The program continues to persevere primarily through the gifts of individuals and corporate donors. Those interested in learning more about how they can support the Ase Academy can visit

About the Ase Academy
Ase strives to nurture the intelligence, energy, creativity and thirst for knowledge with which children are born. Each aspect of the academy is designed to assist young people in the areas of self-confidence, self-awareness, motivation, and in the development and pursuit of goals. Please visit for more information.


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Markis Abraham
Ase Academy
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