Year Up Greater Philadelphia and Peirce College Host Town Hall with Philadelphia Police on “Police and Student Engagement: Changing Perception”

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Facilitated panel and discussion between Year Up students and law enforcement held at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

“Our decision to host this event was to create a perception change around what is going on in our country,” said Joseph Coyle, Executive Director of Year Up Greater Philadelphia.

On August 24, 2016, the workforce development nonprofit Year Up Greater Philadelphia and Peirce College held an event on “Police and Student Engagement: Changing Perception” at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Attendees included Year Up students, Peirce College staff, City of Philadelphia Police, and Year Up program officials.

“I am constantly reminded as an African American male and law enforcement officer of the divide that plagues our communities,” said Captain Derrick Wood, 35th District, Philadelphia Police Department. “Opportunities like this allow us to bridge that divide and come to common understanding.”

The event featured a facilitated panel and discussion for law enforcement officials to address student concerns and foster a respectful dialogue between the two parties. Year Up Greater Philadelphia serves low-income young adults in the metropolitan area, and the majority of its students are African-American and Hispanic.

“Our decision to host this event was to create a perception change around what is going on in our country,” said Joseph Coyle, Executive Director of Year Up Greater Philadelphia. “Our law enforcement do an outstanding job of protecting the community, and our young adults are bright and talented. However, there is a disconnect. Having these difficult conversations is the starting point to creating change and building trust.”

Year Up Greater Philadelphia is a yearlong workforce development program that provides low-income young adults (ages 18-24, without college degrees) with six months of technical and professional training, followed by a six-month internship at top companies. Students can then go on to complete an associate’s degree from Peirce College the following year.

Year Up Philadelphia launched in 2013 at Peirce College and has served more than 225 young adults to date. Nationwide, 85 percent of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college full-time within four months of completing the yearlong program, with an average starting salary of $37,000/year. Learn more about Year Up Greater Philadelphia by following us on Twitter @YearUpGP.

About Year Up Inc.
Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 3,000 students a year at sites in Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, the National Capital Region, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay Area, and South Florida. To learn more, visit or

About Peirce College
Peirce College offers bachelor’s and associate degree programs in the areas of Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, Leadership, and Legal Studies, and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Peirce is a non-profit institution that specializes in serving the unique needs of working adults, many of whom work full time and are raising families. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Penn., 19104 (phone: 267-284-5000). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accredits the College's Business Administration and Accounting programs; the Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association; and the Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

For more information about Peirce College, call 888.467.3472, or visit
Visit Peirce’s blog, Peirce Connections, at
Become a fan of Peirce College on Facebook.
Follow @PeirceCollege on Twitter.
View the Peirce College YouTube Channel.

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
+1 (857) 305-9995
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Tiffany Perez
Year Up
(646) 341-6837
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