Millennials Are Mobilizing and Changing Philly

“We’re not at the table when the city plans for the future,” said panelist Mjumbe Poe. And he is right about that; we usually aren’t at that table. So how do we make changes in this city we love? As a true millennial, you may find yourself often thinking, “I want to help and make a positive impact on today’s society. But how?!”

Last weekend, Campus Philly attended the reGenerate Philly Summit presented by Mobilize.org. It became a weekend filled to the brim with identifying priority actions, responses, and solutions to the following issues:

  • Transforming education in Philadelphia
  • Attracting / retaining millennials
  • Building a vibrant and inspiring Philadelphia
  • Supporting millennial social entrepreneurs

The summit was attended by local high school students, college students, post graduates, and entrepreneurs who were then asked to join forces (very similar to Captain Planet and the Planeteers combining powers to save the world but with less of a light show).

Simultaneously there was a showcase of independent projects that confronted the same topics. Students & entrepreneurs presented their ideas (and in some cases, existing projects) to compete for funding to support their ventures. By Sunday afternoon five winners were awarded a share of the $25,000 prize:

1. Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC)

A movement of young people who are changing the landscapes of this city. By building relationships with communities to make neighborhoods more sustainable, they have actively transformed empty lots into green-space havens. Many products that are grown from these gardens have been sold to local restaurants where the money is then invested back into the community.

2. The Monkey and the Elephant

While the story of how this coffee shop started is amazing, Lisa Miccolis has found a way to combine her love for coffee and helping youth. This coffee shop will support the community and help youth who “age-out” of foster care by teaching them skills and offering services that will help each person thrive. They will also be starting a crowd-funding campaign on Rally.org on Monday the 9/16.

3. Philly Give and Get

Combining networking and community engagement, Philly Give and Get hosts charity “date” auctions. This isn’t a regular “date”: you make bids on the person you want to learn more from, or maybe a person who can help you with your ideas. Highest bid wins a “date.” If you want to know more, the next auction is in October, but tickets sell out fast so get yours now!

4. #Phillyeducation Rising Leaders

The plan is to give teachers and parent leaders a voice. Supported by Teachers Lead Philly, Philly Core Leaders, Young Involved Philadelphia, and teachers, this project was awarded funding to help launch a program that will build the next generation of teacher and parent leaders!

5. PhilaSoup: Teacher Amabassador Program 

Bringing the Philadelphia education community together is the mission of this successful initiative. And getting people together to eat has started as an opportunity for teachers to brainstorm ideas.   With participants each bringing $10, half of the money collected becomes the micro-grant for the idea with the highest vote at the end of the night.

Are you inspired yet? If you’re still thinking, “I want to help and make a positive impact in Philly.” Join the movement. That’s right… these initiatives listed above have great ideas and they’re all looking for support in so many areas. Reach out to them! “There’s nothing wrong with being an idealist; just GO for it!” said Sonja Claxton of Common Market, a panelist on Access to Impact.

Go for it and Campus Philly will help. We are introducing our Social Innovation Series that will include 3 events from our partners centered around civic engagement, economic development and community impact. Read more about these events here, and get involved now.

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