Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the winner of the second Philadelphia Public Policy Case Competition, an opportunity for students to offer creative proposals responding to the question: What can the City of Philadelphia do to best improve outcomes for boys and young men of color?
Amber Bowie, Brittany Haltzman and Rachel Powell from Thomas Jefferson University were the winning team, selected by a panel of judges with representatives from the public, private and non-profit sectors today. Their winning submission, ‘Building a Resilient Future’, details a program of the same name that targets young men of color, ages 11-18, and educates participants on factors promoting resilience such as self-esteem, dealing with stress through humor, coping skills, safety and security, and effective communication. By focusing on the mental health status of youth and by promoting good mental health practices, ‘Building a Resilient Future’ aims to help young men cope with daily adversities in their lives.
“Thank you to all of the students who submitted innovative and creative solutions to the important challenge of improving outcomes for boys and young men of color,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “This competition is a way for young people to participate in the civic process and present ideas that can be implemented to address the complex issues that boys and young men of color face in Philadelphia. I would like to congratulate Amber, Brittany, Rachel for their winning presentation, and I look forward to meeting with them to discuss their proposal.”
The first place team will receive a meeting with Mayor Nutter to present their proposal and tickets to the Mayor’s Box for a Philadelphia Phillies game.
The judging panel was Ronnie L. Bloom, Executive Director of the Stoneleigh Foundation; Crystal Brown, Senior Director of the Office of Cabinet Affairs at the White House; John Chin, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation; Dr. Deborah Diamond, President of Campus Philly; Cynthia Figueroa, President and CEO of Congreso; and Russell Davis, youth advocate and participant in Philadelphia’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Youth Stakeholder Meeting.
The case competition was managed by the Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning and Coordination, the Philadelphia Youth Commission, and Mayor’s Office and was co-sponsored by Drexel University, Campus Philly, and the City of Philadelphia. The sponsors were not involved in the selection process for the four finalists.
Lori Doyle, Senior Vice President of Drexel University Communications, said, “Drexel University is thrilled to partner with the City of Philadelphia and Campus Philly to co-sponsor this event. The Case Competition is a wonderful opportunity for Philadelphia’s students to affect change in the city and engage directly with their government. We are proud to support efforts to connect our students more closely with their city.”
Deborah Diamond, President of Campus Philly, said, “The Public Policy Case Competition is a tremendous opportunity to engage Philadelphia’s students in improving their city. Campus Philly is delighted to continue as a partner in this project, which underscores the innovative character of our area’s students and their desire to improve the quality of life of Philadelphia’s residents.”
Maia Jachimowicz, Director of Policy for the City of Philadelphia, added, “The Case Competition provides a unique opportunity for students to influence policymakers through their proposals. I am pleased with the innovative approaches to improving outcomes for boys and young men of color presented in this semester’s competition.”