Drexel Side-by-Side

Drexel Side-by-Side – Fall Term Course

PHIL 105: Critical Reasoning
Tuesdays, 5:00 – 7:50 PM
September 26 – December 12, 2017
59 N. 60th St., Philadelphia, PA 19139

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!” –Bob Marley

Drexel University is hosting a free side-by-side course for residents of West Philadelphia at ACHIEVEability’s offices. This unique course format brings college students and community residents or organizations together in classes taught by distinguished Drexel faculty. We welcome members of our community to join these classes to learn and to share in this active learning model so we may work together to co-create solutions to social problems. There is no cost or education requirements for community students and all materials will be provided. The only requirements are registering for the course, making a commitment to attend every class, and being 18 years of age or older.

In order to register, please contact the Special Projects Manager, Griffith Ridgway at 215-557-8484 ext. 8826 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



60th Street Health & Wellness Community Summer Jam

The third annual 60th Street Health & Wellness Community Summer Jam was a great success. The event took place on Saturday, August 12, 2017 and more than 2,000 community members, local stakeholders, volunteers and supporters were in attendance. The festive event included talented dance and singing performances, resource tables, youth activities, treats for the kids, food and remarks from elected officials and other community organizations.


“It was a fun and successful event. As we transition from summer into the school year, we look forward to providing accessible resources and supports to our community, as they strive to create a better life for their families.” said Jamila Harris-Morrison, ACHIEVEability’s Executive Director.


During the event, ACHIEVEability distributed more than 750 backpacks that were generously donated by corporate and local business partners. “Providing opportunities for fellowship and safe fun activities for the family is so important, especially in a community where resources are stretched so thin. We look forward every year to our huge backpack giveaway, which we couldn’t do without our generous corporate partners.” said Harris-Morrison.


We thank all of the local businesses who suppoted the event with a donation of food and beverages. These donors include Brown's ShopRite, Cousins Markets, Dietz & Watson, Herrs Food, Inc., and Wawa. We would also like to thank the following local 60th Street businesses for making a contribution to the event: Ali's Barber Shop, Nam's Kiddie World and People's Discount. In addition, we thank Brothers of Nature and PECO for providing volutneers to help with event set-up, registration and food services. 


The 60th Street Health & Wellness Community Summer Jam was a partnership between ACHIEVEability, PA State Representatives Joanna McClinton and Morgan Cephas, Councilpersons Jannie Blackwell and Curtis Jones, Jr., as well as Home Health Care Plus.


Backpack Donation Drive

The 2017 annual Backpack Donation Drive was a great success thanks to the many donors who made contributions to the families and community we support. We thank Cardles to Crayons and organizations including Bank of America, Conduent, Cora Capital Advisors, DSM Biomedical, Grant Thornton LLP, Hamilton Lane, Intact Vascular, the Lawler Family, NeuroStar, the Stoudt Family, Tau Gamma Delta Sorority and various other individual donors.
More than 1,000 backpacks with school supplies were donated in support of school age children in our Family Self-Sufficiency Program and residents in our local West Philadelphia Community.


New Executive Director for ACHIEVEability

ACHIEVEability is pleased to announce the appointment of Jamila Harris-Morrison as its new Executive Director. Jamila has been part of the organization for more than 10 years. “We are thrilled to welcome Jamila into the role of Executive Director. She has been a tremendous leader at the organization for more than a decade,” says Tim Thornton, President of the Board of Directors for ACHIEVEability and Director at Philly 311. “Jamila is committed to deepening our commitment to West Philadelphia residents and her experience and focus on the work is a perfect fit as we continue to expand our self-sufficiency services.”

whosnextcommunity-march2017-jamillaharrismorrison-1024x683Jamila previously held roles as ACHIEVEability’s Deputy Director and Director of Self-Sufficiency. A lifelong Philadelphian and advocate for vulnerable families, Jamila has dedicated her career to helping vulnerable families to reach their full potential as contributors to a vibrant community. “This community means so much to me - I am excited to represent our work and advocate for the values of ACHIEVEability,” says Jamila. While the poverty level in Philadelphia is an astounding 26%, the community served by ACHIEVEability sits at 37%. “Our work is needed now more than ever – we have to do better for the families of Philadelphia. Let’s step up and work together to solve poverty – one family at a time.”

Jamila graduated with honors from Clark University with a degree in Psychology and is a Master of Social Work candidate May 2017 at University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. Ms. Harris-Morrison has over 15 years of experience in counseling, educational and evaluative services for children and adults. Billy Penn recently featured Ms. Harris-Morrison as one of Philadelphia’s Upcoming Community Leaders.

 “Our future is bright!” notes Jamila as she speaks of their strategic alliance with Mission First Housing Group, formed in 2015 to enhance ACHIEVEability’s operations and management of its 144 affordable housing units. In fact, Mission First and ACHIEVEability will be closing on a new housing project, Haddington III Preservation Initiative, in the coming months, which will preserve 48 housing units for program participants. 

Jamila also lends her expertise and compassion to other organizations outside of ACHIEVEability. She is a mentor for Philadelphia Futures, and is a member of Women’s Way – Young Women Initiative, as well as the National Association of Black Social Workers.


Faces of Philanthropy

PECO and ACHIEVEability are proud honorees of the 2017 Philadelphia Business Journal Faces of Philanthropy. This recognition honors the most philanthropic initiatives between for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that truly make a difference in the greater Philadelphia area.


For several years, PECO has served as a strategic partner for ACHIEVEability promoting successful organizational outcomes through the provision of in-kind contributions, sponsorship dollars and many volunteer hours. 

Within the last 18 months, PECO has provided the largest sponsorship for the 2016 annual fundraising gala, Food for Thought. PECO's sponsorship contributed to the success of our event and provided invaluable unrestricted funding to support our mission. PECO team member and ACHIEVEability board member, Mary Walker, served as the co-chair of the Food for Thought event committee. The event raised more than $254,000 in gross revenue and hosted over 500 guests. Over six consecutive years, PECO has provided $90,000 in event sponsorships, helping ACHIEVEability raise a grand total of more than $1.5 million in gross revenue. This relationship remains strong for this current year's event. Mary once again is serving as the event co-chair and PECO is committing to the same level of sponsorship. 

PECO has provided ACHIEVEability with in-kind support in many ways over the years including making contributions to the Welcome Home Kits, Holiday Gift Drive and Backpack Donation Drive. PECO has been a participant in the Backpack Donation Drive for the last three years, collecting more than 80 backpacks full of school supplies in 2016 alone. 


PECO's commitment to ACHIEVEability is not just financial, it's personal. PECO employees have volunteered to prepare two homes for families coming out of shelters. In addition, during the past two years, PECO participated in ACHIEVEability's annual neighborhood clean-up providing more than 40 employee volunteers. 

The partnership between ACHIEVEability and PECO has served to help vulnerable families in the Haddington and Cobbs Creek area realize their full potential. PECO believes in our mission to permanently break the cycle of poverty in Philadelphia and actively supports its successful implementation.



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