'Change Drive' assists college-bound West Philly students

Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters that are accumulating in containers in the office, at home, or in the car can be used to do good in the community around Penn.

Penn Volunteers in Public Service (Penn VIPS) is holding a “Change Drive” for its annual scholarship fund for graduating seniors from high schools in West Philadelphia who are headed to accredited colleges and universities. 

Established in 1992, the scholarships provide up to $1,000 to ease the burden of the cost of higher education by covering non-tuition related expenses, such as books, other school necessities, and toiletries.

At least five students from Bartram, Overbrook, Sayre, Parkway, and West Philadelphia high schools will be chosen to receive a scholarship. The awardees will be chosen based on their history of community service work. 

Penn VIPS volunteers have set up collection jars in offices across campus to collect donations of coins, bills, or checks.

“The Penn community’s generosity allows us to be good neighbors to make a difference in the lives of others,” says Isabel Sampson Mapp, associate director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Penn VIPS, along with the Business Services Division (BSD), works to conduct fundraising and select the scholarship recipients.

Awardees will be announced in May, and a reception for the winners will be held on campus in June.

In addition to the scholarship, the awardees will receive furnishings such as mini-refrigerators, televisions, and microwave ovens through BSD’s PennMOVES program, which collects dorm room supplies that Penn students leave behind when they move out for the summer.

The Change Drive runs through Friday, March 18. Donations can be made at more than a dozen offices across campus, including the President’s Office, the Penn Museum, and the Abramson Cancer Center.

Change Drive