Our past and present merged this week as we honored several outstanding youth partners during the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership’s Job Closing Ceremony.
Nearly 200 people packed The View banquet hall located at 800 N. Broad Street in North Philadelphia to salute our young people who successfully completed the 8-week Winter/Spring job training program. Forty-seven of our youth partners participated in various training programs in preparation for full-time and part-time employment.
“We’ve worked very hard to make sure that you don’t just have a job but that you have a career,” PAAN Executive Director Robert Brown told participants.
New to the program this year is our partnership with HACE Management Company of Philadelphia. Twenty-two of our youth partners were trained in basic trades such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Six have already been hired full-time and Youth Partner Michael Wellington was hired as a supervisor. The experience also helped them position themselves to be hired for coveted union jobs.
“Many of them exhibited a willingness and attitude to do whatever it takes to support themselves and their families. These are the qualities we look for in any associate who has the desire to move into a career that will change their lives. Their can-do-attitude will only serve them well in whatever they do,” said HACE Management Company President David Gonzalez.
We also took the time to celebrate our 27th anniversary by honoring those who made significant contributions to the agency. The wives of PAAN pioneers, the late James Mills and Darryl Coates, were on hand to make special presentations. Jaclyn Mills and Mrs. Coates presented the Outstanding Street Worker and Outstanding Youth Partner Award to deserving members of our team. Mrs. Fink, the wife former PAAN Board Chairman the late Dr. Paul Fink, presented the Commitment to Excellence Award in his honor.
They were so many poignant moments throughout the ceremony including heartfelt and uplifting messages from our keynote speaker Bryant Greene, YVRP Deputy Managing Director Shondell Revell, and many of our youth partners including Stacey Rose.
“What makes this agency different is that YVRP actually cares about us. They meant a lot to us and I could tell our success meant a lot to them,” Rose told the audience.
Congratulations to all our youth partners. We would also like to thank ASPIRA, HACE Management Company, PowerCorps PHL, Connect Training Services – Mentoring Young Fathers, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, our YVRP partners, parents and friends of PAAN.
We look forward to the next cohort! Enjoy the photos!