Penn Serves LA Beautifies Roof for The Skid Row Housing Trust

By Michelle Wattana, C’09, and Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering

On Saturday, April 21st, the Penn Serves LA crew partnered with The Skid Row Housing Trust, where our very own Anne Dobson, C’08, serves as the Vice President of Philanthropy! Spearheaded by Penn Serves board members Jane Gutman and Irene Park, we met at the ground level of The Six Apartments in the Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood. Our team gathered water, snacks, and tools and listened to Anne’s informative pep talk for the day’s activities before we headed up to beautify the building’s rooftop through re-planting drought-resistant succulents.

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust volunteering Los Angeles

The Six building where we planted on the rooftop.

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering

Our group of Penn Serves LA volunteers

The Skid Row Housing Trust provides permanent supportive housing so that people who have experienced homelessness, prolonged extreme poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction can lead safe, stable lives in wellness. Many of these tenants are formerly homeless veterans. The Trust develops, manages, and operates permanent and supportive housing for its residents, and while a number of its buildings such as The Six are not actually on Skid Row itself, these buildings are beautiful, light-filled, open structures that in their very essence, exude what The Trust aims to provide – not only a place to get a safe night’s sleep, but hope, calm, and positivity during one’s greatest time of need.

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering

Penn Serves LA volunteers plant succulents

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering

On the roof planting succulents

The Six houses 55 tenants. All units in the building were single tenant units, as the targeted tenant is the single adult, with the average age of a tenant being 52-53 years of age. The units in the Trust’s buildings are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). The accommodations are provided for as long as a tenant needs, allowing as much time as necessary to heal, and various support services are provided, depending on each tenant’s need. Such services include case management, medical care, substance abuse counseling, technology assistance, benefits support, and full support for relocating from the streets or emergency shelters, and into housing. It is paramount that those who have been homeless can receive all the support they need to make the transition from homelessness to independence.

With this in mind, our team eagerly headed up to the rooftop where we were met with gorgeous views of Los Angeles – from the downtown skyline to the Hollywood sign and everything in between. As hot as it was, we got down to business! Armed with gloves and shovels, the Penn Serves crew planted a vast array of succulents into squares of soil that spanned the entire length of the rooftop. Everyone was hard at work, and some residents even stopped by to chat and help!

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering

Beautiful views of downtown Los Angeles from the roof.

In-hand with our previous event, making mosaic art through Piece by Piece, some pieces were brought to further beautify the rooftop garden. A few pieces were made fresh by volunteers on-site at the rooftop, and it was really wonderful to be able to link our events for the same cause. The beads and tiles used to make the mosaics really glistened and sparkled in the sun, adding a really cheerful touch to the little garden we had just created!

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering Piece by Piece

Making mosaics for the garden with Piece by Piece

Our crew had a wonderful time working our hearts out, chatting with one another while planting those succulents and piecing mosaics together. Before we knew it, we finished our tasks with time to spare! As our work came to an end, we were able to enjoy a fantastic view and the fruits of our labor. The little plants and mosaics added just the right touch to spruce up the space! The succulents, in particular, were the perfect plant for the job, as they are symbols of resilience, perseverance, and hope, and possess the ability to thrive under tough conditions. We were all reminded that afternoon, that all of us have a right to live in peace and beauty, and that even just a little light in our day can brighten things up immensely. And it was our sincerest wish that the residents of The Six would be able to enjoy the serene rooftop whenever they needed.

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering Piece by Piece mosaics

Working on mosaics for the garden

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering Piece by Piece mosaics

Penn Serves LA The Skid Row Housing Trust Los Angeles volunteering Piece by Piece mosaics

The finished mosaic ball for the garden

Penn Serves LA logo volunteering with Penn Alumni in Los Angeles

Upcoming Events

About Penn Serves LA

 

Penn Serves LA impacts the Los Angeles community by engaging University of Pennsylvania alumni, parents and families in meaningful community service activities.

Since our founding in 2012, we have done everything from serving meals to the homeless to restoring the environment to fixing homes. Six times annually, we find another great opportunity to learn about interesting nonprofits, lend a hand and enjoy a fun experience with fellow alumni.

Join Us

We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents, and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!

If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.

Contact Us

Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at pennserves@gmail.com.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

The Penn Serves LA Team

Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Michal Clements, W’84 | Justin Gordon, W’05 | Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Jamie Kendall, W’04 | Irene Park, C’05 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Michelle Wattana, C’09 | Denise Winner, W’83, PAR’21

Read about our previous events:

 

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Penn Serves LA Makes Mosaics with Piece by Piece

By Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’ 14, PAR’16

Inspired by a 2006 visit to a micro-finance enterprise, training and employing women with HIV to make animals and dolls using seed beads in South Africa, Piece by Piece founder, artist Sophie Alpert, returned home with a desire to replicate this model as a mosaic workshop to empower people in underserved areas of Los Angeles.

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Detail of a mosaic piece the Penn Serves LA volunteers worked on during their visit.

People seeking new skills from South Central, Skid Row or other parts of LA can take training and certification classes in mosaic arts, free of charge, through Piece by Piece.  The artisans primarily use recycled materials (broken tiles, china, and glass) to create mirrors, trivets, wall décor, etc.  In March at our day to volunteer with Piece by Piece, the Penn Serves LA group received their own brief instruction in mosaic making: breaking up and chipping china, using thinset and other adherents, and basic design, before charging ahead with their own creations.

Our enthusiastic Quakers worked in groups on designs for decorating flower pots, and also took turns applying mosaic fragments on a large birdbath.  Reticent at the start, everyone found their rhythm and enthusiastically worked through lunch….but food ultimately beckoned, and fortunately, Piece by Piece has their showroom at Mercado La Paloma, an inviting space in the Figueroa Corridor which was once a garment factory.   This wonderful community revitalization project today provides affordable cultural, retail and culinary opportunities and serves as a vital hub for the area.

The Penn volunteers learned a new skill, made friends across the decades, enjoyed Vegan Ethiopian food (for example) and shopped for handmade copper bowls, embroidered blouses or woven satchels.  I came home with a magnificent mosaic wall hanging with a huge heart made up of white stones, surrounded pieces of blue and white pottery…this creation, made b a master mosaic artist,  will long remind me of the heart-filled joint venture between Penn Serves LA volunteers and the Piece by Piece community.

To learn more, shop or volunteer your time, please go to piecebypiece.org.

Penn Serves LA Piece by Piece

The Penn Serves LA volunteers pose with their mosaic pieces

Upcoming Events

About Penn Serves LA

Penn Serves LA logo volunteering with Penn Alumni in Los Angeles

Penn Serves LA impacts the Los Angeles community by engaging University of Pennsylvania alumni, parents and families in meaningful community service activities.

Since our founding in 2012, we have done everything from serving meals to the homeless to restoring the environment to fixing homes. Six times annually, we find another great opportunity to learn about interesting nonprofits, lend a hand and enjoy a fun experience with fellow alumni.

Join Us

We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents, and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!

If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.

Contact Us

Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at pennserves@gmail.com.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

The Penn Serves LA Team

Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Michal Clements, W’84 | Justin Gordon, W’05 | Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Jamie Kendall, W’04 | Irene Park, C’05 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Michelle Wattana, C’09 | Denise Winner, W’83, PAR’21

Read about our previous events:

 

 

 

 

 

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Penn Serves LA at Homeboy Industries, Homegirl Café, and the Guadalupe Homeless Shelter

By Michelle Wattana, C’09

Following our January social, the Penn Serves crew launched into 2018 with a full day of service! Planned by our very own Ellie Hidalgo, C’87,  and Michal Clements, W’84, we started the day by touring Homeboy Industries, having a delicious lunch at the Homegirl Café, and finishing off by preparing dinner for the Guadalupe Homeless Project at the Dolores Mission Parish.

Homeboy Industries Tour

“Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” – Father Greg Boyle

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HomeBoy Industries in downtown Los Angeles

We first gathered at the Homeboy headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. As we walked in, there were smiling faces everywhere and the atmosphere was bustling with a sense of optimism, hope, and productivity! We split off into two groups, headed by our phenomenal tour guides Garry and Omar, who are both working on completing the Homeboy program themselves. Kind enough to share their personal stories with us, Garry and Omar are so well-spoken, they could’ve passed as professional motivational speakers!

Founded by Father Greg Boyle and members of the Dolores Mission Church in 1988, Homeboy Industries is now the largest and most successful gang intervention and re-entry program in the world. Thousands of men and women have since walked through its doors, and this wonderful organization offers several programs to assist them in rehabilitation – it’s a holistic approach, offering resources for the healing of the mind, soul, and body. Programs cover areas including education, workforce development, mental health, legal services, substance abuse, domestic violence, and tattoo removal. To give some idea of the incredible time, energy, and work provided by the organization, Homeboy Industries had 35 volunteer physicians, some of whom are based across the country, perform 11,834 tattoo removal treatments for free in the last year alone!

Homeboy Industries also offers several social enterprises to foster workforce development, including electronics recycling, silkscreen and embroidery, Homegirl Café, a bakery, an online market (homeboyfoods.com), catering, and groceries. At every turn, it was clear that the Homeboy and Homegirl programs were here to provide full care and support every step of the way, for its men and women looking to start a new chapter in life.

Lunch at Homegirl Cafe

Once we completed our tours, we headed into the Homegirl Café for a delicious lunch. We began with chips, salsa and guacamole, and our tables quickly filled with flavorful tacos, salads, and sandwiches.

Their website says it best – as one of Homeboy’s many social enterprises, Homegirl Café and Catering assists high-risk and formerly gang-involved young women, and a few young men, through an 18-month training program in restaurant service and culinary arts. Often times, this training serves as their first “real job”, as they learn to work alongside their former enemies and gain fundamental job skills in a supportive environment.

As you can see, our group enjoyed every bite! This fantastic café is a place where you can receive mouthwatering meals, baked goods, and support the empowerment of trainees and their families, all at the same time.

As we concluded our lunch, we reflected on how grateful we were for the chance to listen to Garry and Omar, feast on the delicious meals prepared at the café, and see for ourselves the incredible impact that the programs have on the community youth who need it most. Simply put, the Homeboy and Homegirl programs are a place to heal and find peace, offering the chance to begin again with open arms.

…and onto the Guadalupe Homeless Shelter!

Pumped up from the tour and well-fueled by lunch, the Penn Serves group then headed off to the Dolores Mission Parish to prepare dinner for the homeless community in Boyle Heights. The Dolores Mission Parish, established in 1925 for the underserved Spanish-speaking immigrants of the community, saw Jesuit priests arrive in 1980 to serve a neighborhood wrought by poverty and the effects of 7-9 gangs in the two-square-mile parish. Today, there are now only three gangs, some of which are inactive – a testament to the strength and perseverance of the parish and the surrounding community. And a fun Penn fact? Our very own Ellie Hidalgo, C’87, serves as Pastoral Associate for the parish’s church and school!

The Guadalupe Homeless Project (“GHP”) provides breakfast and dinner, as well as nightly shelter, to 45 men and 15 senior-aged women. Founded partly in response to those fleeing the Salvadoran Crisis, the men’s shelter first opened its doors in 1989, with the women’s shelter starting in 2015.  GHP and its volunteers also provide assistance through coordinating workshops, providing gently-used clothing, and helping with transitioning into emergency, transitional, or permanent housing.

On our tour of the grounds, we saw the communal gathering area, sleeping quarters (the light beds are stacked neatly every morning!), clothing center, nearby affiliated school, and of course, the church where members come for services and prayer. Beautifully decorated with Christian and Salvadoran motifs, we were reminded that the church has served as a healing ground for a community riddled with violence over the past decades. Sadly, many have lost at least one family member to incarceration or violence, and the church provides a place where families can receive hope, healing, and a sense of community together, in the face of hardship.

Following the tour, it was time for us to roll up our sleeves and prepare dinner. Our board members and volunteers alike spent the previous days preparing delicious foods in bulk for the evening meal. As diners came lining up, many of whom were fresh off a long day’s work and still in their uniforms, we served roasted chicken, salad, roasted potatoes, fresh fruit, desserts, and ice-cold beverages.

 

Once everybody had enough food, a few of us were able to sit down and chat with diners. To get to know who they are, hear their stories, and even listen to some songs from their homeland. All in all, it was a wonderful day of service for the Penn Serves community. We are so thankful to everyone who joined – onto the next!

 

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Penn Serves LA volunteers at the Guadalupe Shelter

**

Click on these links for more information on Homeboy Industries and Father Greg Boyle’s bestselling books Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir.

Click for more information on the Dolores Mission Parish and the Guadalupe Homeless Project.

Listen to NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross interview Father Boyle here.

IMG_5466

Upcoming Events

About Penn Serves LA

Penn Serves LA logo volunteering with Penn Alumni in Los Angeles

Penn Serves LA impacts the Los Angeles community by engaging University of Pennsylvania alumni, parents and families in meaningful community service activities.

Since our founding in 2012, we have done everything from serving meals to the homeless to restoring the environment to fixing homes. Six times annually, we find another great opportunity to learn about interesting nonprofits, lend a hand and enjoy a fun experience with fellow alumni.

Join Us

We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents, and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!

If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.

Contact Us

Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at pennserves@gmail.com.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

The Penn Serves LA Team

Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Michal Clements, W’84 | Justin Gordon, W’05 | Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Jamie Kendall, W’04 | Irene Park, C’05 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Michelle Wattana, C’09 | Denise Winner, W’83, PAR’21

Read about our previous events:

 

 

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Dig Where You Are: Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) Chicago Career Women’s Networking Event 2018

By Ali Cudby C’91 WG’97

 

FP 1

The Trustees Council of Penn Women (TCPW) held the Chicago summer women’s career networking event on June 14th. Approximately twenty-five Penn alumnae and guests gathered at the Morgan Lewis offices downtown to hear speaker Nan Alexander Doyle discuss her award-winning book, Dig Where You Are. Event sponsorship by consulting firm BCG enabled all attendees to receive signed copies of the book.

In 2008 Nan Doyal left her corporate career to spend time with ordinary men and women who have solved some of the biggest challenges facing our societies today. She wanted to understand how they had succeeded where so many more qualified than they had failed.  What she learned surprised her, and was the inspiration for her award-winning book.

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One story that hit close to home was that of Lily Yeh, is an American artist who was born in China and raised in Taiwan. Lily helped to heal residents in the inner city of Philadelphia through her art. She worked with children and adults to create meaningful urban art that helped rebuild a formerly blighted community.

From the slums of Mumbai, the villages of Tibet and northeast Thailand, the inner cities of Philadelphia and San Francisco, and a ghetto outside Stockholm Nan shared how a psychologist, a heart surgeon, a school teacher, an artist, and an economist applied what they knew how to do in order to help make a meaningful and sustainable change for good in the world.

In our conversation, attendees learned how believing in the potential of others, a passion to change things for the better; and a healthy dose of grit and commitment can help turn what you already how to do into an opportunity to make things better. The group also discussed the importance of listening to the people you’re trying to help, instead of coming into a situation with a preconceived notion of what will be valuable.

Nan was introduced by Ali Cudby, TCPW Executive Committee member and President of the Indiana Penn Club. Additional TCPW members attending included event co-chair Tonia Arrington, Penn Trustee Lynn Jerath, Margie Schaye, and Robin Simon.

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LA Penn Women in Tech Panel Highlights Importance of Women and Other Underrepresented Groups in Growing Field and Shares Career Insights 

By Joanna Popper WG’00Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment at HP

 

Thanks to the Trustees’ Council Women of University of Pennsylvania and Headspace Inc. for hosting a great conversation on Working in Tech in Los Angeles on June 12, 2018. What a great group with HPSpaceXHyperloop OneFandango and AutoGravity represented. It was fun with fellow panelists, moderator and hosts Meesh Pierce W93 WG98Shari Wakiyama WG’04Stella Latscha ENG13 GEN13Diana Zhou WG’16,Michal Clements W’84WG’89 and Sean Brecker WG’03.

 

What did we learn: 

  • It is important to create an inclusive environment in this fast-growing field as data shows that women and other underrepresented groups in leadership lead to better products, financials, stock prices, decision-making, and leadership 
  • Careers are often a winding path and it is about learning along the way.
  • There are lots of ways to work in tech. Cutting edge VR, space, media/film, transportation, finance, and meditation industries were all represented at this event as well as engineering, strategy, marketing, business development, operations and more.
  • Always negotiate for a job/ raise/ promotion. Then negotiate more. 
  • Not every culture and company fits every person. That’s OK. Find what works for you. 
  • We also contribute to the culture of a company. Draw your lines in the sand. 
  • Meditation is good for us. 

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’93 to the 25th

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

Despite the rain forcing a relocation of our 20th Reunion Saturday night party from the Junior Balcony indoors to McLelland Hall below, the Class of 1993 had an awesome time at our reunion in May, 2013. After the party ended in the Quad, we all moved downtown to the lobby of the Marriott for our after party in the hotel bar until it closed.

Given the excitement and enthusiasm for our 20th reunion, we knew as the party winded down that our 25th Reunion would be one that no one should miss, and planning for May 2018 started immediately after our 20th ended.

What better way to make sure our class knew the dates of our 25th reunion in 2018 than to count down the weeks until we would reunite on campus again? With that thought, #93tothe25th was born – blog posts every week leading up to our reunion starting with July 29 – 30, 2016, which marked 93 weeks to go until big weekend. Classmates wrote posts, sent us old photos, shared memories of classes, clubs and experiences, and dug through boxes to find course schedules, performing arts and athletic programs, calendars, and old t-shirts from our time at Penn.

And with that, we created 93 posts to mark the 93 weeks leading to the Class of 1993’s 25th Reunion. Thank you to the 189 classmates that contributed to these posts and shared their  memories of Penn.

Here is a list of all 93 posts that led up to one epic 25th reunion for Penn’s Class of 1993, May 11 – 14, 2018.

Penn 1993 class flag on Alumni Day at Penn, May 15, 1993.

Penn 1993 class flag on Alumni Day at Penn, May 15, 1993.

93.   93 Reasons Why We Love Penn

92.   Memories of Penn Reunions

91.   Remembering Campus with Photo Prints

90.   Before There Was Facebook There was the Freshman Record

89.   The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same: The Real Le Anh and Beijing

88.   We Were Merely Freshmen…

87.   Scenes From Freshman Move-In

86.   New Student Week

85.   Tuition Then and Now

84.   Freshman Move-In 2016

83.   Freshman Move-In 1989

82.   The 1992 Election

81.   The Class Schedule and Drop/Add

80.   Mid-Terms, Finals and Blue Books

79.   Homecoming Freshman Year and Missing Tiger Heads

78.   Giving Tuesday and the Class of 1993 Giving to Penn

77.   Freshman Dorms in 1989

76.   Thankful for the Red and the Blue

75.   Penn Planners

74.   Last 250th Anniversary Event – Winter Festival on the Green

73.   Snow at Penn

72.   Day Trippin’ to NYC

71.   Gov. Mario Cuomo Speaks at Penn

70.   Grades in the Mail

69.   A “Billion for Ben” Bag Survives

68.   A Plethora of Performing Arts

67.   Course Registration

66.   Happy 90th Birthday Palestra

65.   The Class of 1993’s Annual Community Service Day at the Netter Center

64.   The Class of 1993’s Community Service Project in NYC

63.   Party at Penn

62.   Welcome to PARIS!

61.   Reflections on “Protesting”

60.   Spring Fling Concerts

59.   Student Bands at Fling

58.   The DP Joke Issue

57.   Hey Deja Vu

56.   Friendships Formed in the Quad

55.   A Huge Penn Banner

54.   Tickets From Penn

53.   Penn 1993 Celebrates Hey Day

52.   Class of 1993 – One Year Until We Celebrate

51.   Where Have We Been?

50.  Our Ivy Stone

49.  What Happens at Alumni Weekend?

48.  Commencement 1993

47. Summer Re-Boot for Penn 1993

46. Hey Now, Highball!

45. The Daily Pennsylvanian Welcomes the Class of 1993 to Penn

44.  CUPID Be Still My Heart

43.  Remembering the Underground Cafe

42.  Jump Around! Jump Up! Jump Up and Get Down!

41.  Penn 1-9-9-3

40.  We Shall Find a Way in 1893

39.  Remembering Arthur Ashe Speaking at Penn

38.  Penn T-Shirts Survive

37.  More Dorm Rooms and T-Shirts

36.  She’s a Survivor!

35.  Who You Gonna Call?

34.  Planning for the Return of 1993!

33.  Pizza! Pizza!

32.  Into the Void

31.  Paper Memories from M&T

30.  Mark it on the Calendar

29.  Letters from Penn

28.  Penn Sweatshirts Survive a Quarter Century

27. Script Penn – A Penn Band Homecoming Tradition

26.  Photo Memories of Penn

25.  Penn vs. Cornell Football 1992

24.  Why We Give – Giving Tuesday with Penn 1993

23.  Class of 1993 – Photos from Yesterday

22.  Bulkpacks and History Classes

21.  Applying to Penn Nursing? Read This First

20.  Smoke’s – The Pennstitution

19. Philadelphia – The Living Breathing Heart of a Penn Education

18.  See You in Church!

17.  1993 Fondly Remembers OSL’s Albert Moore

16.  Remembering Tough Seasons with Penn Football

15.  Photos, Videos and Songs of Penn 1993

14.  Penn Class of 1993 Remembers Penn vs. Princeton Basketball

13.  Penn Love Connections

Penn Love Connections – Part 1

Penn Love Connections – Part 2

Penn Love Connections – Part 3

Penn Love Connections – Part 4

Penn Love Connections – Part 5

12.  Trying to Remember Feb Club

11. Commencement Again – 25 Years Later

10.  College of Arts & Sciences Graduation Ceremonies in 1993 Preserved on Video

9.  Caught Up in March Madness in 1993

8.  Penn 1993 Continues Tradition of Community Service

7.  Getting a Start in Political Polling Thanks to Frank Luntz

6.  Ivy Day in 1993

5.  The ’93 Second Survey Results

4. Fling was Flung

3. Sharing Memories with Classmates

2. Senior Week 1993

1. Penn Commencement 1993

#93tothe25th #PRLC18 Penn Alumni

Kiera Reilly, Lisa Bardfeld Shapiro, Kysha Harris, Jon Treitler, Kristin Haskel Simms, Leila Graham-Willis, Lisa Nass Grabelle, Jennifer Rizzi, Jennifer Eisenberg Bernstein, Valerie Broadwin Mutterperl, Rachel Greenberg and Jason Pantzer

Thank you to our 1993 classmates who contributed to our #93tothe25th posts:

Onyango “Yang” Adija, Aimee Alexander, Marnie Goldman Altman, Paul Altman, Cindy Dauber Anapolsky, Jeff Anapolsky, James Asali, Jackie Einstein Astrof, Josh Astrof, Amy Chen Aubrecht, Brett Barth, Julie Berliner Bell, Steve Bell, Melanie Hirschfelder Berkowitz, Jennifer Bernstein, Karen Grimm Berry, Laurie Bieber, Sonia Biswas, Howard Blecher, Danny Boockvar, Allison Weiss Brady, Derek Braslow, Allison Brody, Marianne Alves Brogdale, Deb Brown, Frank Caccuro, Marty Chazin, Herald Chen, Matthew Cohen, Stephanie Newman Cohen, Zach Conen, Liz Rabii Cribbs, Derek Cribbs, Emily Culbertson, Helen (Punwaney) Currie, Neil Currie, Vvayjayanti Tharmaratnam Desai, Sanjay Desai, Niko Phillips Dias, Martin Dias, Eric Dichter, Elaine Divelbliss, Tanya Dooley-Adija, Alex Dunne, Amy Korn Duque, Brian Eck, Oren Efrati, Eli Faskha, Cicely Fegley, Alan Felder, Mara Turbiner Felder, Brandon Fitzgerald, Allison Feder Fliegler, Brett Fliegler, Darren Fogel, Christine Lutton Foster, David Foster, Carolyn Friedman Frank, Debbie Frank, Josh Frank, Amy Frary, Ed Gold , Brad Goldberg, Stephen Golden, Fred Goltz, Michael Gordon, Jason Gorevic, Lisa Nass Grabelle, Leila Graham-Willis, Maceo Grant, Mike Hardy, Kysha Harris, Hilary Marion Hayes, Ben Hayes, Brooke Hayes, Chrissy Bass Hofbeck, John Hogue, Lisa Luther Housel, Debbie Jaffe, Jennifer Jarrett, Carol Jee, Meredith Grabois Josef, Brian Josef, Stephen Jung, Jeff Kelly, Kerry Kennedy, Peggy Hamm Kingsley, Joe Kopcha, Tom Kopczynski, Mitchell Kraus, Minal Damani Kundra, Joanna Kwa, Elissa Laitin, Chris Lehmann, Stacey Bucholtz Leibowitz, David Leibowitz, Jaci Israel Leit, Howard Levene, Samantha Helman Lichtman, Jeff Lichtman, Jeff Liebert, Ellen Liebman, Caren Lissner, Davis Liu, Steve Livenson, Stephanie Bell Loller, Bill Loller, Paul Luongo, Ken MacFarlane, Betty Magome, Leigh-Ann Maltz-Dichter, Barry Mark, Nicole Weaver Marshall, Steve Marshall, Patrick Matthews, Ruth McIlhenny, Allison Bieber McKibben, Michele Stein Mendoza, Dennis Mendoza, Erica Mobasser, Jean-Pierre Mobasser, Michelle Cousins Mott, Ako Mott, Valerie Broadwin Mutterperl, Monica Muzzi, Dominic Napolitano, Brian C. Newberry, Lisa Noguchi, Jason Pantzer, Kathleen Paralusz, Gene Park, Michelle Peluso, Meesh Joslyn Pierce, Alice Lai Platt, Jefrey Pollock, Bardo Ramirez, Amy Raslevich, Matthew Reeves, Allison Lainey Richards, Mike Rosenband, Andy Roth, James Saint, Eliza Schleifstein, Dorothea Schlosser, Margaret Kane Schoen, Larry Schoen, Dan Schoenholz, Sapna Shah, Lauren Siegel Shannon, Lisa Bardfeld Shapiro, Ari David Sherwood, Lincoln Singleton, Sharon Toback Slotkin, Diana Solash, Allyson Wagner Sonenshine, Michelle Allen Souder, David Souder, Justin Sowers, Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro, Wendy Spander, Sejal Tailor Srinivasan, Naren Srinivasan, Sukanya Srinivasan, Michelle Ducellier Steinbacher, JodiLynne Bayrd Steiner, Debbi Stoll Stern, Brian Stern, Janet Miller Stier, Byron Stier, Julie Avila Stuckman, Mark Sullivan, Allison Davis Talibi, Diana Tapper, Natalie Cutler Taub, Jon Tretler, Ebru Ural, Rachel Wagman, Jennifer Warren, Caroline Waxler, Katrina Cooley Weller, Michelle Pohusky Wellman, Parris Wellman, Christie Shaw Whidden, Michael Whidden, Rob Williams, Henry Willis, Beth Winkelstein, Joel Yarbrough, Jessica Zirkel-Rubin

Penn Class of 1993 Ivy Stone on the Palestra

Penn Class of 1993 Ivy Stone

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Alumni Weekend, Class of 1993, Kiera R.

Going Abroad at Home: Penn in Washington

By Jake Ebright, C’19

I stood around waiting and watching as the numbers on the elevator display clicked one by one closer to my floor. There were rules on Capitol Hill—you stood on the right side of escalators and walked on the left.

As for elevators, you didn’t ride the ones that were marked for members of Congress only. Or did you? Being that it was only my first day of work, I still wasn’t really sure. After all, I had seen another intern take the Members Only car earlier that morning.

I figured I’d give it a try since it didn’t seem like anyone was around—I was pondering the question of to ride or not to ride during a momentary lull between the frantic maneuvering of Congressmen and Congresswomen attempting to avoid the impending government shutdown. You see, this was back in January of 2018.

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Jake in front of the White House

Anyhow, the Members Only elevator was nearing closer and closer to my floor when, *DING*, the elevator stopped and the doors slid open. Waiting in that elevator were two individuals. The first seemed to be a staffer or personal aide; the second, much to my surprise, was none other than Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  Funny enough, the only thing going through my mind at that moment was a rather deliberate calculation of whether or not to enter the elevator. If I remember correctly, my thoughts went something like this, “Huh, Bernie Sanders…member? Yes, definitely a member, better not get on that car.” But right then, all within a second or two, Senator Sanders’ aide motioned me a welcome onto the car. That was all the invitation I needed.

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Jefferson memorial during the blooming of the cherry blossoms

But this wouldn’t be a very good story if all went smoothly, now would it? Well, fortunately for story-telling purposes, it sure did not. As my left foot crossed the threshold into the elevator car, the doors began to shut. Evidently, the time I took making my decision fooled the elevator into thinking nobody was coming aboard. Perhaps the elevator was fed up with my indecision, because, when the doors began to close, they didn’t stop.

So there I am, half my body in the elevator and half my body out of it, with the doors still stubbornly trying to close around me. It was right then that I heard a familiar and gruff Brooklyn accent, evidently fed up with my indecision as well, let out in a startling grumble, “Aw cuhmon!”

After finally making it through the doors and into the car, I stood in silence, grinning. That was my first interaction with Bernie Sanders—and a memorable one at that.

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Jake with Joe Biden

In all seriousness though, this past semester that I spent in D.C. through the Penn in Washington exchange program was one of the most exciting and fun experiences that I’ve ever had. One of our weekday classes was taught by the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Senate Affairs and the other was taught by the former Editor of the Washington Bureau for the New York Times. Every week different speakers sat in on our classes and talked with us. Such speakers included journalists like Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, and Michael Schmidt, and former government officials, like Bill Burns and Jake Sullivan.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to work in the congressional office of Maryland Congressman John Delaney. As an intern there, I got to talk to constituents and go to briefings on various policy arenas including refugee policy and health care. I got to lead tours of the Capitol, too.

Words can’t describe the depth or degree of gratitude that I have for Penn and for our program director, Dr. Martinez, for affording our exchange group each and every tremendous experience that we had there. It was truly a once in a life time experience.

In closing, I’ll leave you with a small piece of advice. If you’re ever on Capitol Hill, you’d better decide quickly whether you are going to get on or stay off the elevator. And should the doors open and find you face to face with Bernie Sanders—it’d probably be better to stay off.

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The women’s march from the steps of the Lincoln memorial

Jake is entering his senior year in the College where he is majoring in Economics and Public Policy. In addition to previously serving as co-chair for the Penn Traditions Committee, Jake is also a brother of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.

 

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