Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

Numbers don't lie. Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country. Nearly 40-percent of the city’s students are not graduating high school and only 30-percent of eighth grade kids are reading and writing at grade level.

That’s why in 2009, Mighty Writers was launched with a five-word elevator pitch: To teach kids to write.

They do this through four-day-a-week writing academies at their six neighborhood locations in Philadelphia, at their Kennett site in West Grove, and at their site in Camden, New Jersey.

Over the course of a year—including summers—they take students through every genre of writing but always with the same goal: to get kids to think clearly and write with clarity.

Safi Organics and Joyce Kamande: Empowering African Farmers

Safi Organics and Joyce Kamande: Empowering African Farmers

Safi Organics uses technology to downsize and decentralize fertilizer production, making it feasible to implement on a village-level basis using locally available resources and labor. This reduces the logistical cost and produces a high-quality product that, at the same price as conventional fertilizers, can improve farmers’ yields by up to 30%.

Jeffrey Rosen and the National Constitution Center: Visit—Learn—Debate

Jeffrey Rosen and the National Constitution Center: Visit—Learn—Debate

Jeffrey Rosen is the president & CEO of the National Constitution Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the U.S. Constitution. Located steps from Independence Hall in historic Philadelphia, the Center engages millions of citizens as an interactive museum, national town hall and provider of nonpartisan resources for civic education.

Alicia Wallace of All Across Africa: Making & Selling Products That Strengthen Africa

Alicia Wallace of All Across Africa: Making & Selling Products That Strengthen Africa

Alicia Wallace is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of All Across Africa.  Known as, AAA the company is a social business working to create thousands of jobs by designing, training and exporting products from rural parts of Africa, thus using business as a change-agent for poverty in the developing world.

Ellen Hwang, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Reimagining Public Spaces

Ellen Hwang, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Reimagining Public Spaces

In Philadelphia, Knight Foundation focuses on the power of public spaces to unite and strengthen the city. In partnership with the city and other funders, they piloted Reimagining the Civic Commons, an initiative to connect and reinvigorate public spaces such as parks, trails, recreation centers and libraries. Their goal is to bring together people from all backgrounds, develop new local leaders and foster a more vibrant, engaged community.

Bren Smith of GreenWave: Farming the Ocean Differently

Bren Smith of GreenWave: Farming the Ocean Differently

GreenWave is training a new generation of ocean farmers feeding the planet and building a blue-green economy in the era of climate change. GreenWave is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 dedicated to climate resilience and equity. They work in two areas: farm replication and market innovation. Their goal is a blue green economy - built and led by restorative ocean farmers - that feeds local communities while protecting the planet.

Bill Valerio and the Woodmere Art Museum: Art for Philadelphians by Philadelphians

Bill Valerio and the Woodmere Art Museum: Art for Philadelphians by Philadelphians

Dr. William Valerio serves as the director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum. As a result of Dr. Valerio’s leadership, Woodmere has become an increasingly vital presence in the cultural life of the region with steady growth in attendance, membership, and community involvement. By organizing almost one hundred exhibitions and enlarging and digitizing the Museum’s collection, Dr. Valerio has elevated the visibility of Philadelphia’s artists.

Elena Timofeeva of Safe House Foundation: Fighting Worldwide Human Trafficking

Elena Timofeeva of Safe House Foundation: Fighting Worldwide Human Trafficking

For most of us, these victims are faceless as we struggle to understand who they are and how they came to be victims. Elena Timofeeva and the organization she cofounded, Safe House Foundation, have been on the front line fighting against human trafficking.

Madeline Bell and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Saving Kids Around the Globe

Madeline Bell and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Saving Kids Around the Globe

Madeline Bell is the president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the United States. A bold and visionary leader, she champions change with empathy and integrity, inspiring the nearly 20,000 employees in the hospital’s $3-billion-a-year health system and research institute to create breakthroughs that have worldwide impact.

Gopi Gopalakrishnan and World Health Partners:  Health Services Within  Walking Distance

Gopi Gopalakrishnan and World Health Partners: Health Services Within Walking Distance

Gopi Gopalakrishnan has over 30 years of experience in implementing large-scale service-delivery programs in low-resource settings. He has founded two large organizations so far—World Health Partners (WHP) which focuses on delivering primary health care to rural communities by innovatively harnessing existing resources and earlier Janani (an affiliate of DKT International) which delivers reproductive health services. WHP’s programs have largely been implemented in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, two of the largest and poorest states of India, and in Homa Bay County, western Kenya.