Left to right: Candace LaCrosse, Harrison Haas, Prarthana Jayaram, Mara Miller, and Avi Wolfman-Arent from Haverford's Class of '10 are all serving as Philly Fellows this year.
Service in the City
The fellows, all recent graduates from area colleges, are working for a variety of local nonprofit organizations while living together in one of several Philadelphia neighborhoods. Philly Fellows was founded in 2006 by Tim Ifill and Matt Joyce, both from the class of ’03; they want to generate nonprofit employment opportunities and encourage young people to make their homes in Philadelphia.
Harrison Haas works for Community Design Collaborative, which provides pro-bono design services to nonprofits. Prarthana Jayaram has joined the Philadelphia Education Fund, dedicated to improving the quality of public education for underserved youth. Candace LaCrosse has been placed with Students Run Philly Style, which offers marathon training for young people and pairs them with adult mentors. Mara Miller is part of Philadelphia Youth Network, preparing students to become workforce leaders and entrepreneurs. And Avi Wolfman-Arent is assisting ASAP (After-School Activities Partnerships), which provides after-school activities to students in troubled neighborhoods.
These are the most Haverfordians ever to be chosen as Philly Fellows in one year, notes Tim Ifill. “Our ideal candidate has a strong liberal arts education, a commitment to social justice, and a strong desire to live in the community,” he says. “These attributes certainly ring a bell for anyone who has experienced life at Haverford, so it’s no surprise to me that we’ve always had success recruiting here.”
“I’ve enjoyed my four years in the Philadelphia area, and I hope to become more familiar with the city during my fellowship year,” says Prarthana Jayaram, who, as a Research and Development Fellow with the Philadelphia Education Fund, assists with communications and data collection. “I look forward to finding practical applications for my academic skills.”
Mara Miller is participating in the Student Success Center Program at Philadelphia Youth Network; she helps public school students prepare for college and future employment. “I think [Philly Fellows] is a great transition out of college, plus the organizations we work with are really fantastic,” she says. “I hope to gain all sorts of new experiences, try things I’ve never tried, learn about Philly and help improve it, and have an impact on people’s lives.”