Philadelphia, April 4, 2014 – A panel of judges with representatives from the public, private and non-profit sectors selected the winners of the first Philadelphia Public Policy Case Competition today. The winning submission, “Student Housing Cooperative Network: A Post-Graduate Retention Strategy,” recommended establishing affordable student-oriented housing cooperatives by using the recently created Land Bank to identify viable properties and implement a lease-to-own model with students and recent graduates. The objective of the competition was for students to offer creative, impactful and innovative proposals responding to the question: What can the City of Philadelphia do to further attract and retain millennials?


“The City received innovative and creative solutions to an important challenge currently facing our city,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “This competition is a starting point to better engage Philadelphia’s young leaders. I would like to congratulate the winners, and I look forward to meeting with them to discuss their proposal.”


The winning team included Eileen Divringi, Matt Steele and Ellie Devyatkin from the University of Pennsylvania and Maxwell Cohen from Temple University.  The team will receive a meeting with Mayor Nutter to discuss their submission and tickets to the Mayor’s Box for a Phillies game.


The judges panel, who selected the winning team, included Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez; Clarence Armbrister, President of Girard College; Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Commerce; Deborah Diamond, President of Campus Philly; Gloria Casarez, Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs; and Apu Gupta, CEO and Co-founder of Curalate.


The City received a total of 16 submissions representing 10 different regional colleges and universities. Students submitted proposals from the following schools: Arcadia University, Drexel University, Philadelphia University, Rutgers University, St. Joseph’s University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences, Ursinus University, and Widener University.


The case competition was managed by the Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning and Coordination and the Philadelphia Youth Commission and was co-sponsored by the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative and Campus Philly.




About Campus Philly

Campus Philly is a nonprofit organization that fuels economic growth by encouraging college students to study, explore, live and work in the Greater Philadelphia tri-state region.


About the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

The mission of the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative (PPI) is to foster better-informed policymaking on issues that affect business and the economy. To that end, Penn Wharton PPI aims to deliver nonpartisan, data-driven policy knowledge, authored by faculty from across the University, to policy makers in DC, and to expand opportunities for students and alumni to be involved in the complex landscape of business, economics and public policy.  For more information, visit


About the Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning and Coordination

The Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning and Coordination develops and implements the Mayor’s policy initiatives in coordination with other senior members of the Nutter Administration.


About the Philadelphia Youth Commission

The Philadelphia Youth Commission represents Philadelphia’s youth in public hearings and gives testimony that reflects the youth perspective. The Commission works with the City, non-profits, community organizations, and private entities to develop strategies to improve the lives of Philadelphia’s youth.


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