My Voice My Community
Real-life stories ignite learning

Community partners offer meaningful life lessons

Joe Davis, from Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, knows the impact of gun violence, viscerally. He is paralyzed, the victim of a drug-related retaliation that happened when he was in his 20’s. As he describes the peer pressure that lured him to a life of crime, students sit mesmerized. One or two to begin to cry. Several Need in Deed classes have benefited from hearing Joe Davis’ story in connection with their projects.

Students in Wendy Baldwin’s 8th grade class are interested in the effects of crime – specifically incarceration. So when former Graterford inmate James Adkins showed up in their classroom, they were amazed. Mr. Adkins described how many of his former fellow inmates are illiterate, having dropped out of school when they were young. This fact generated much conversation among the students afterwards and now appears to be driving the direction of their project.

Rasheedah Phillips was a teen mother at age 14. This winter she spoke with three Need in Deed classes that are focusing on teen pregnancy for their year-long projects. They were inspired to learn that she overcame the odds by graduating from both college and law school. She is now a practicing attorney at Community Legal Services.

Community partners, adults who shed light on problems students are researching, share powerful life lessons when they visit NID classes.