Penn VIPS Scholarships, Renamed to Honor Inspirational Teacher, Are Awarded to Six Local High School Graduates

Six local high school students were recognized on Tuesday, June 6, at the University City Sheraton during the inaugural reception of the Marie K. Bogle Scholarship sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Volunteers in Public Service and Business Services Division.

After 26 years, the Penn VIPS and Business Services Division scholarship program has expanded and been renamed to honor Bogle, a teacher who dedicated her life to improving education in West Philadelphia.

Annually Penn VIPS, Business Services, several long-time supporters and now the Marie K. Bogle Memorial Fund, have made possible the supplemental, non-tuition scholarships to help college-bound students with financial support for books and other expenses. The awardees also receive appliances through the Penn MOVES program, including computers, microwaves, mini-refrigerators, TVs, flash drives and other items, as well as a one-year membership to the Penn Museum.

“This program provides deserving local students with college essentials that are not traditionally included with financial aid,” Isabel Sampson-Mapp, the associate director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships and director of Penn VIPS, said. “We are grateful to our supporters and proud of the awardees for understanding the importance of service.”

The six award recipients each have a 2.5 grade point average or higher, a history of community involvement in West Philadelphia and have been accepted into an accredited college or university.

As a volunteer at the Older Adult Sunshine Center, Sayre High School’s Jamil Bai Koroma helps to prepare and serve food to seniors. In the fall, he will attend the Community College of Philadelphia and pursue a major in criminology or law.

Diamond Collinster Kannah from Overbrook High School is another scholarship recipient who works with seniors – she volunteers in a hospice facility and will head to Cheyney University this fall. Kannah hopes to earn a graduate degree in nursing.

West Philadelphia High School’s Brittni Collins serves meals to those in need through a local food pantry. She will major in criminal justice at Temple University.

Jaylin Aleen Muse is a peer tutor who teaches others about pollution at Parkway West High School, where she’s testing its drinking fountain water. After majoring in physics and engineering at West Chester University, Muse plans to earn an advanced degree in environmental engineering.

Another recipient on the way to West Chester University is Tiana Douglas-Brown from the School of the Future. Formerly a volunteer conservation steward at the Philadelphia Zoo, she recently began tutoring at the Southwest Police Athletic League. She plans to major in psychology and become a clinical psychologist.

Originally from the West African nation of Guinea, Fatim Doumbouya is active in Bartram High School’s Air Force JROTC and volunteers at a local Mosque’s food bank. Doumbouya will begin at Valley Forge Military College in the fall and ultimately plans to earn a graduate degree in social work.

The scholarship program is a collaborative effort between Penn’s Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Business Services Division and the Marie K. Bogle Memorial Fund, housed at the Netter Center.

Marie K. Bogle began teaching in Philadelphia’s schools in 1971. She worked with Ira Harkavy, the associate vice president and founding director of the Netter Center, other Penn employees and members of the West Philadelphia community, serving as the lead teacher in developing the University-assisted community school model.

The model focuses on academically-based community problem-solving linked to the curriculum of the school and the university. It created after-school and extended-day programs for children, their families and members of the community. In West Philadelphia, the model has been in place for about 30 years and is increasingly replicated elsewhere.

Last year, Robert W. Bogle, Marie’s husband and the president and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune, established the Marie K. Bogle Memorial Fund to honor her deep commitment to education and the community. The Fund supports the Netter Center’s work by providing assistance to graduating high school students who are interested in accessing higher education opportunities.

Robert W. Bogle said the Netter Center and the Penn VIPS and Business Services Division scholarship program upholds his family’s shared belief in the importance of education and that today’s students need support for a variety of reasons.

“‘Support,’” said Bogle, “doesn’t necessarily mean money: it could also mean kind words of encouragement.”

Each of us has been the beneficiary of someone else’s kindness; someone else who supported us in our ideas or notions of what we thought we would like to be. Rarely are we successful without the help of others. Every one of us, in the end, needs someone.”

Photos: Rita Hodges, Netter Center





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