Department of Human Services| Department of Human Services

In 2023 Mayor Kenney showed his commitment to support adult learners by honoring them at a citywide graduation event organized by the Department of Human Services. Mayor Kenney, who recognized the enormous challenges faced by adult learners in juggling family and work responsibilities while pursuing an education, celebrated their perseverance. This event served not only to highlight the remarkable achievements of these individuals but also as a reminder about the importance of education and lifelong learning.

Mayor Kenney’s recognition for adult learners underscored the commitment of his administration to provide equal opportunities for residents of the City. He reinforced the idea that education doesn’t have to be restricted by age, and that one can pursue their dreams at any time. Mayor Kenney’s gesture of appreciation not only motivated the adult learners in attendance, but also sent an important message to the community about education and its potential to improve individuals and communities.

Adult Graduates
Photo Credit: Kelly & Massa Photography

PHILADELPHIA – Nearly 70 adult learners who accomplished personal milestones by completing The their high school equivalency certifications were recently honored at a graduation ceremony at the Bonnell Auditorium on the campus of Community College of Philadelphia at 17th & Spring Garden streets.

The new graduates were inspired by Mayor Jim Kenney and Dr. David Thomas of Community College of Philadelphia. They also heard from Amira Sloane, another graduate and Urban One Philadelphia Community Relations Director Solomon Jones.

Mayor Kenney praised graduates for their determination to complete their degrees despite obstacles in life.

“All of you who are graduating today – and receiving the Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma – made the important and life-changing choice to continue your education and pursue a new career path,” The Mayor said. “You chose to invest in yourself, and that deserves to be recognized and celebrated. I know it’s not always easy to go back to school–some of you may have kids or work full time. But your motivation and desire to succeed, whether that meant passing an exam or earning 30 college credits, is exactly why you’re here today.  You are all examples of academic success and are living proof that it’s never too late to ‘go back to school.'”

Solomon Jones
Solomon Jones, Photo Credit

Jones, the host of weekday mornings “Wake Up With WURD” Who has written such bestsellers as Pipe Dreams You can also find out more about the following: Ten Lives. Ten Demands, who captivated the audience with his poetic speech on hustling.

“A hustler has a vision,” Jones said “He up all night / out-thinking the competition / He willing to step out on a ledge / to get an edge / He willing to do it right / ‘cause his daughter need him home at night/ not laying on the board / at the morgue.”

“Graduates, y’all the real hustlers,” He said.

“You’re adults who have gone back to grab something that you missed the first time….Today is major, and don’t let anybody tell you it’s not,” Jones said

The following organizations had graduates participating in the ceremony: JEVS Human Service, Congreso de Latinos Unidos (Temple WELL), Northeast Learning Center (Beyond Literacy), and Temple’s Workforce Education and Lifelong Learning Program.

Amira Sloan (the adult learner who delivered the commencement address this year) shared insights into her future plans and how this program helped her.

“This program helped me in so many ways and I will forever be grateful,” She said “I learned that I am not as alone as I thought I was…I can now say with clarity, I have plans for my future that seem within my  grasp. Before, it seemed I was just working and working at no end. I thought I would be at the same job for the rest of my life, but getting my GED has opened up so many doors for me.”

Watch the ceremony on YouTube

Adult Education, under the Office of Children and Families, is devoted to building a coherence, equity, and quality adult education that can last for generations. Philadelphians must have access to adult education in order to realize their potential. This will lead them towards economic growth and reduce inequality.

Direct service agencies for Adult Education offer a variety of programs, including Adult Basic Education, English For Speakers Of Other Languages (ESOL), High School Equivalency preparation, Digital Literacy via Northstar and Civic Education. Adult Education, a division of the Office of Children and Families, helps learners find classes that will help them achieve their goals. These include learning English and improving job readiness. Call 1-833 750 5627 to connect with adult education and workforce resource.

Commonwealth Secondary School Diplomas (CSSD) is a high-school equivalency credential that can be obtained by Pennsylvania residents who don’t have a high-school diploma but who meet certain criteria set forth in the Pennsylvania Code. The CSSD may be achieved by passing the GED® or HiSET® tests, or by completing the 30 College Credit Option.