R* Health Program

We are very excited to announce our brand new youth program in partnership with Drexel University’s Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Services. We are looking for Philadelphia High School Students who are interested in this unique 12 week program. Each participant gets an opportunity to learn about cooking, nutrition, fitness, mindfulness, and community service, all while earning ++incentives!

Please see flyer for more info and/or call 215-769-2156 +9

R* Health

FNC’s Emerging Partners Fiscal Partnership Initiative

It is hard to believe that we are in the 5th month of this 2015-2016 Fiscal Year!  There are so many things for us to be thankful for as we move toward this holiday season, and there are still many struggles and obstacles for us to find a way over.  We are most fortunate for all of you who continue to support us and are truly interested in the work FNC does in our communities and with our partners.

This month brought two new first-time funders to our table!  The Leo & Peggy Pierce Family Foundation, which generously funded our Teens 4 Good urban farms and the McLean Contributionship, which funded the purchase of 15 laptops and other IT supplies also to support our Teens 4 Good youth programming!  We welcome these two new partners and are very thankful for the trust and support they’ve shown us!

I would like to focus on FNC’s Emerging Partners Fiscal Partnership Initiative in this blog post!  Chances are, many of you do not know what Fiscal Partnership is – and you should know because it could be exactly what you or someone you know needs!

fiscal year

Many great projects and ideas never make it from concept to reality because of the difficulty of acquiring a 501(c)(3).  Most small start-ups do not have the infrastructure to handle grant management, fiscal management and other back-office chores.  With Fiscal Sponsorship, all of that falls to the Fiscal Sponsor!  You have more time to focus on your mission!  Think about it . . .

RISK IS MINIMIZED! FNC can take on full fiduciary and legal liability for your project under Fiscal Sponsorship!  FNC has years of experience about the rules and regulations that govern the non-profit and philanthropic world.  We have experience with foundation grants as well as city, state and federal grants.

OUR PROFESSIONALS ARE YOUR PROFESSIONALS! You get the benefit of our fiscal, HR, development and programming experience.  We handle all of your fiscal work, and your project is part of our annual audit.  We will process all grants and donations under our 501(c)(3) determination, so gifts to your project are tax deductible, just as if you had your own 501(c)(3)! We can even provide technical support for grant writing, IT and other services as needed!

STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR MISSION! We take over the burden of finance, administration and compliance.  You can spend your time and energy focusing on the people and programs that make our communities stronger.  And, we are always here to advise, brainstorm and help you vet programs and ideas!

FISCAL SPONSORSHIP IS A SUSTAINABLE MODEL! Our shared services around accounting, payroll, HR, insurance, compliance, IT and other areas is ideal for start-ups which do not have the resources or time to create and manage a complex infrastructure.  Established groups appreciate the cost savings as well as the added flexibility that Fiscal Sponsorship can provide in times of both growth and downsizing.

WE ARE A PART OF THE LARGEST NETWORK OF FISCAL SPONSORS! FNC is a member of the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors and subscribe to the guidelines and best practices of this collective.


Contact me directly at 215.989.3566 x11
or via email at jerryt@fncphilly.org.

Information Sessions For USLA Recruits

Please visit the various addresses listed on the flyer below to attend at least one of the information sessions, in order to get to know more about recruitment, essential requirements, and more about the USLA program.

Culinary Connections

Click here to apply

For more information, contact us on 267-350-8600 or culinaryconnections@jevs.org

USLA 2.0 11th Graders Recruit

USLA2.0 Northlight Flyer

For more information at North Light, please call 215-483-4800 ext 109 or email mmcafee@northlightcommunitycenter.org

USLA2.0 Triskeles Flyer

For more information at Triskeles, please call 267-788-4744 or email jspruill@triskeles.org

USLA2.0 FNC Flyer

For more information at FNC, please call 856-381-3233 or email seanm@fncphilly.org

Farm Volunteers needed!

We just concluded an eventful summer program on our farms, and I have to say it was pretty amazing. Lots of planting and harvesting got completed, and the dedicated summer interns always showed up excited and ready to work till the very end of the summer program.

We are moving into a busy and fun-filled couple of months on our farms with lots of work but fewer hands. In order to help with this we will be doing a weekly rotation at each site where all the farmers will gather to help each other and we are inviting any helping hands we can get.

Below is a schedule of where we will be each week:

Friday 8/28 9:30am – 12:00pm Light house
Planting at Light House

152 West Lehigh Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19133.

Friday 9/4 9:30am – 12:00pm SCEE
Harvesting at Schuylkill

8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128. Click here for directions

Friday 9/11 9:30am – 12:00pm Carousel House
Raking at Carousel

4300 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131. Click here for directions

Please contact Drew at drewg@FNCphilly.org or 914-257-2735 if you are interested in volunteering on any of the dates/farms.
PS: Volunteers are also always welcome at our 8th and Poplar Farm every Thursdays from 2:00pm – 5:00pm.

Please feel to call Drew with any questions.

Sign up for Community Vote Certification Training! Taking place July 15th, 2015

Hello All,

Please share this upcoming FREE certification training, coming up on July 15th, with your networks—and consider signing up yourself!  This half-day training is located in Center City and runs from 9am to 12pm, giving afterschool staff time to get to their sites.

Did you know that many of the people you serve may not be registered to vote? 
In Pennsylvania, only 40% of people making $20,000 or less per year are registered to vote. People of color and people with low-incomes face more barriers, and are registered to vote at a lower rate than other groups.

Community Vote Certification Training facilitated by Project Vote

This free, half-day training is a unique, hands-on and in-depth exploration of voter registration history and best practices. In lieu of a webinar, we believe in fun, interactive and in-person training. Training participants receive a certificate of completion.

The training explores:

  • The history and importance of voting rights in the United States
  • The context of voter registration in your state: your state’s voter registration laws and forms
  • How to discuss voter registration while remaining non-partisan
  • Best practices for easily integrating voter registration into your existing program
  • Best practices, suggestions, and role plays for effectively engaging anyone about voter registration

Half-day session:  July 15, 2015 9:00am-12:00pm

Center City Philadelphia location for all trainings. Space is limited, must register in advance! Following the link below to register:




USLA Youth Spotlight: Jay

We’re back with the second installment of our USLA Youth Spotlight. Earlier this week, we sat down with Jay, an extremely bright and inquisitive 18-year-old senior at Philadelphia School District’s Bodine High School. During our chat, we talked about the challenges he faced when he first immigrated to America from China five years ago, what life in Philadelphia’s public high schools are like, and his plans for the future. Here is what he had to say:

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
If you don’t know me, maybe you think I’m a quiet person. But, if you get to know me more, I’m really talkative. I am kind of funny, I mean I can take jokes. I am kinda a really outgoing person. I like to learn new things and I am really passionate about computers. I also really like to play pool.

Pool? Where do you play pool at usually?
Wherever I can find some competition. Anywhere.

How long have you been in America and where were you living before?
5 years. China.

OK. Why did you and your family come to America?
From my point of view, I believe my family wanted a better future for me. Because in China, the job opportunities are limited.

What was life like when you first came to America?
It was really, really tough. When I came here, I didn’t come straight to Philadelphia, we landed at Seattle and we spent, like, roughly 3 months there at my aunt’s house. My family couldn’t get a job. We couldn’t go to school. So we decided to leave my aunt’s house and come to Philadelphia. My parents hoped to find steady work here.
[Life in Philadelphia] was better immediately because I got into school a week after. This really helped me entertainment myself. Seattle had been boring.

I know you are interested in computers. Did you have a computer at this point?
I’ve been using a computer since age 6, but mostly for video games. I didn’t start programming yet or writing code because I didn’t know where to start.

Yeah I know what you mean. Programming can seem inaccessible when you’re young with no guidance. Does your high school have courses available that teach Java, Python or any other programming languages?
Not really. I wish they would but maybe they don’t have the resources or money available to afford it. The budget cut really affected our school.

The budget cut? When did that happen?
There was a budget cut at the beginning of the year. It was a huge difference. We used to get [a lot of] free stuff. We had more teachers, more classes. I heard of this because I transferred to Bodine when I was a junior but I heard that there was a Chinese language class, a French class and a Spanish class. I mean, they kept French and Spanish, but not Chinese.

The public school system in Philadelphia has proved to be very controversial over the past few years. Why did you transfer to Bodine?
Well I started at Kensington Urban High School, and I wanted a greater challenge. Kensington was extremely easy. I was a straight-A student. I mean, [at Kensington], you didn’t have to do anything.

What do you mean? Explain.
In my point of view, I think people just go to school for fun. They really didn’t care. They didn’t have a book bag, no pen, no books. They’re only going to school because its mandatory and they aren’t allowed in the street.

Wow. I’m sure that must have been extremely distracting to a good student, like yourself, Jay. When you first came to Philadelphia, did you find it difficult to make friends?
I think it’s my own problem because I’m really picky. I don’t like loud kids. I don’t like people who curse. Most people in my school curse out of nowhere and I hate it. Some kids argue out of nowhere and disrupt the class. I’m always the quietest one in the corner and paying attention to what the teacher says. But the one thing I don’t get, the teacher always pays attention to the noisy kids, but he never really pays attention to me.

Was this in Kensington or is this going on right now, at Bodine? Are they not answering your questions?
I mean, they just, they answered [my questions] but not in a serious way – just a random answer [that didn’t help me].

So, are you saying that you feel like they aren’t giving you the respect that you deserve as a student?
Yes. I mean, he’s a really good teacher. But he did this to me and he made me feel uncomfortable. I asked him a question about homework and he just quickly said “we’ll talk about it tomorrow” – and then he forgot about it.

I’m sorry Jay. I completely understand. He pretty much “brushed you off” and made you feel like your question wasn’t important. You deserve much better than that! You are supposed to ask questions in school – so keep asking them! But maybe he was having a rough day. Do you think that was possible?
I think that he was probably having a tough day and dealing with a tough class.

Well, at least you’re doing what’s right Jay. You can only worry about yourself. You’re almost finished high school. That’s a tremendous accomplishment! When do you graduate and what are your plans for the Fall?
Haha thanks – I’m trying. My graduation is June 15th and then I start in the Fall at CCP [Community College of Philadelphia], I’m going for Computer Science and have started reading a textbook on the Java programming language to get a head start on the material.

That’s awesome Jay! So, when did you first start working with the Federation of Neighborhood Centers? How did you hear about us?
Well, FNC came to our school, Bodine, on 4th and Girard, and it seemed very interesting. So I signed up. That was in October of last year.

Do you think USLA/FNC have helped you?
Yeah it helped me a lot. Before, I was so scared to talk to people because of my accent and my English. They helped me develop my public speaking. They helped me a lot on my college applications. And I have grown a lot as a person.

So you’re becoming a more well-rounded person, ready to enter college and eventually the workforce. That’s great. You’re getting ready to start a paid internship with USLA too right? What are you going to be doing through the internship?
There are different categories. The one I picked is marketing. Although its not technology, its related because we have to make flyers, post on social media to get information about the farm stand out to the [general public].

Jay, thank you so much for talking with us today. I have one last question for you. What is your favorite part of USLA?
My favorite part is when we come together and work on a project. Not really a project, but when we open up and listen to each other’s history. I like learning about everyone else’s personal histories.

USLA Youth Spotlight: Shaqui

“Over the past few months, members of FNC’s youth programming staff have had the pleasure of witnessing a group of 10 young men and women accomplish amazing things through our Urban Sustainability Leadership Academy! Each member of our group has been active in resume writing, practice interviews, and workshops related to college and career skills and are currently in the beginning phase of their three-month internship. We are proud to announce that, as of the beginning of February, ALL of our participants have received college acceptance letters and are well on their way toward bright, successful futures.” – Luke McKetta, Director of Youth Programming 

current usla participants, march 2015

current usla participants, march 2015

Shaqui, one of FNC’s Urban Sustainability Leadership Academy participants, has an infectious smile that could brighten up anyone’s day. In the summer of 2014, he first became involved with FNC after hearing about Teens4Good through his cousin LaQuanda, who has been working with us for a few years now. Shaqui’s passion for getting things done and helping out caused us to offer him a Market Intern position for Teens4Good when the summer concluded. Through this paid internship, Shaqui was able to develop practical business skills as he coordinated T4G’s produce sales at local farmers markets. After the internship, he stayed involved by working closely with USLA.

Shaqui, a USLA participant, who has been working with FNC since summer 2014

Shaqui, a USLA participant, who has been working with FNC since summer 2014

Currently a senior at West Philadelphia High School, Shaqui took the time to tell us a little bit about himself during a recent USLA meeting.

Tell me a little about yourself.
I grew up in SW Philadelphia. I am the 2nd oldest of 4 children. I’m currently in 12th grade. I’m kinda taking care of my sisters right now because my mom died last year, and my dad can’t do it. My [older] brother has his own family so I’m making sure my sisters are OK.

Wow. How old are your sisters?
My little sister just turned 10 last year. My other sister just turned 16 and this year I’m turning 19.

Luke, our youth programming director, told me that everyone in USLA was accepted to college. Do you know where you are going to go next year?
Yes, I’m still deciding on Clarion College or Delaware County Community College. Most likely, I’ll end up going to Delaware County Community College.

Do you think the programs here at FNC have helped you out?
Yeah. It helped me out especially during the summertime…when I first started, I didn’t have communication skills. I didn’t know how to talk to people or say the right things. So during the summer I practiced my public speaking a lot and after that, my communication skills became very good. I was in my shell a lot before and now I don’t mind talking to anybody.

I know that you have a lot of responsibility currently with finishing up your final year of high school and helping to take care of your little sisters, but what do you do during your free time? Is there anything you are passionate about?
Right now, I’m working on a few projects for my high school to graduate. But my real passion is nursing. Back when I lived in Delaware County, I was in a program called Delaware County Technical Schools [DCTS] where I focused on health occupations. [Through the program] I got CPR certified, I went to nursing homes in the area, cooked for them…fed them…changed bedpans.

Through the hands-on training provided by DCTS and his daily experience in helping out his younger sisters, he has been steadily developing the skills needed to have a successful career in the medical field. Shaqui is just one of the many extraordinary and talented individuals voluntarily bettering themselves and their local communities through our USLA program. With his go-getter attitude and initiative for excellence, Shaqui has many options available to him to realize and eventually accomplish his dreams. With the world in his hands, it will surely prove to be very exciting to see what this gifted, young mind can accomplish in his future.

Partnership Spotlight: ARAMARK

Since 2008 ARAMARK has, in partnership with FNC, supported the amazing work our neighborhood center partners are doing in their communities, mainly in the areas of much needed facilities improvements, health & wellness, and basic human needs. Just last year ARAMARK’s Star Team with the help of FNC accomplished the following:

ARAMARK selected The Lighthouse for their yearly ABC Center Enhancement Day which was successfully executed through ARAMARK’s Star Team, City Year’s Care Force Division, and FNC staff in March 2014. Collectively, we painted hallways, bathrooms and classrooms with a bright blue coat of fresh paint at The Lighthouse school building.

The ARAMARK Star Team also led a service project at the Lighthouse’s Head Start location where they built a rooftop garden for 260 Head Start children that included painting garden planters and planting a variety of vegetables and fruits. This garden currently provides hands-on nutrition and environmental science educational programs for the Head Start children at The Lighthouse. In addition, 20 Teens 4 Good youth utilized the garden to mentor and instruct the Head Start children on nutrition and healthy eating.

The roof, once a vacant space, is now a vibrant garden where the children joyfully learn about food, nutrition and health. “The Head Start children love working with the plants in the garden and are eating many new vegetables because of their exposure to the different vegetables that grow in the garden.” – James Whitaker, Co-Founder of Teens 4 Good & FNC Urban Farmer and Educator

Aramark Team volunteer on farm
Aramark Team volunteer on farm With Produce
Aramark Team volunteer Leaders on farm

ARAMARK volunteers were so inspired by the improvements that they were able to achieve together, that many returned in August 2014 to The Lighthouse for a Mini Makeover Day constructing a much needed new pantry shelf for Lighthouse’s food pantry as well as filling it with soup mix kits for the community. The new pantry shelf now allows for a much more organized storing and distribution of food to the community.

“Once again, Aramark and City Year came together to mobilize and organize volunteers that resulted in long lasting improvements to our community center.” – John Lavery, Executive Director, The Lighthouse

In September of 2014, the ARAMARK Star Team led a service day project with Accelerate to Leadership (A2L) employees. This new program hires recent college graduates and they learn leadership and business skills throughout the year. 350 new employees attended a conference in Philadelphia at the Loews Hotel from Sept 9-11, the 11th being the service day. ARAMARK, FNC and City Year Philadelphia and Care Force came together to lead 315 people to create approximately 1900 soup mix kits. Staff from our partnering neighborhood center, Nicetown CDC, attended the conference and thanked the volunteers by providing information on how these soup kits will make a big impact on their ability to provide food during the winter months. In addition to the 1900 soup mix kits, Nicetown CDC also received more than 35 boxes of leftover supplies, spices, and ingredients and with help of Feed Philly, were able to distribute soup mix kits and supplies to 18 community-based organizations throughout the city during the months of September and October. Much needed healthy food was offered to these organizations, impacting more than 2000 community members.

“This was a great community service effort (unprecedented) and the Nicetown CDC is grateful to have been included” – Majeedah Rashid, Executive Director, Nicetown CDC

The Holidays were made joyful for community members of our neighborhood partner organizations, Providence Center, North Light Community Center, Nicetown CDC, and Lutheran Settlement House/Jane Addams Place, through ARAMARK Star Team’s generosity and attention directed at providing families with a Holiday Gift Drive & Holiday Gift Party, Winter Clothing & Accessories Drive, and Blanket Drive. 500+ kids, youth and adults received much needed clothing, blankets and holiday gifts. For some children, the gifts received through ARAMARK were the only gifts they received that year. The impact of these gifts was made real when, in front of the entire team, one young girl broke down in tears, confiding that she had never before received a Christmas gift.

“There are not enough words to thank each of you, and all of those who were a part of bringing such a beautiful Christmas celebration to Providence Center yesterday. It was so moving to watch the joyful expressions on the kids’ faces as they opened such unique, thoughtful, and generous gifts! As a few of you witnessed, some of our students and teens were brought to tears by this generosity, others saved their gifts to place under the tree–knowing it would make their Christmas morning more special. Our seven year old Luis said “Miss, Is this a dream? I don’t want to wake up!” One of our teen leaders didn’t want to open his gifts at first because he was so overjoyed just watching the younger students open theirs. I wish I could personally thank each of the members of your community who made this special day happen for us. Please pass on my message with a heartful thank you to all those who purchased the gifts, and everyone who joined in our celebration.” – Maura, Director of Youth Programming, Providence Center

Aramark Global Volunteer Day
Aramark Team volunteer on farm With Box
Aramark Team volunteer with Produce on Table

ARAMARK and FNC are committed to continuing this successful partnership in the years to come. This year we are looking at exploring a new direction by creating a learning laboratory for replicating innovative Health and Wellness programs based on a national partnership plan with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

Stay tuned…

1901 S 9th Street, Bok room 212
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 982-2115