Representing the Petey Greene Program, 13 students from St. Joseph’s University, Haverford College, Temple University and The University of Pennsylvania have been volunteering their time and talent to Glen Mills students as they pursue their academic goals. The Petey Greene Program supplements the academic curriculums in schools such as Glen Mills and in correctional facilities. With their clearances and background checks in order, the tutors undergo training from both Petey Greene and the Glen Mills Schools before beginning to work with Glen Mills students.
The non-profit program based in Princeton, New Jersey is named after Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, Jr., who was a tv and radio talk show host and community activist in Washington, D.C.. He overcame a drug addiction and a prison sentence to become a well-known media personality in the D.C. market. The partnership between the Glen Mills Schools and the Petey Greene Foundation, now in its fourth semester, began when St. Joseph’s University student Esteban Valencia toured the school with his father, who is a judge.
Founded by Greene’s close friend Charlie Puttkammer in 2007, the Petey Greene Program matches college students and other volunteers with people such as Glen Mills students who would benefit from their tutoring. The students and the tutors put their heads together two times a week, two hours at a time, and the results have been impressive.
“Our students really flourish when they get one on one, undivided attention,” Glen Mills Academic Coordinator Mary McNeal said. “The tutors are really making a big difference.”
Students are enhancing their skills in algebra, geometry, English, social studies, and science.
“The tutoring program has been a big help to me as I work towards earning a high school diploma,” Glen Mills student Alron Patterson said.
McNeal has coordinated the partnership with the Petey Green Program and has found the volunteers’ participation to be of great benefit to the Glen Mills students.
“We are so grateful for the time these college students give to help teach our students” McNeal said. “They bring a lot of enthusiasm each week…They are great to work with and their coordinator, Emma Sindlair, is very organized.”
The Glen Mills students are reaping the rewards from the program, and the volunteers are enjoying the opportunity to make a difference in a young man’s academic life.
“I’m doing a lot of cool activities this semester and this is definitely my favorite,” Haverford College student Vanessa Martinez Penn said. “And it’s the most important.”
Other tutors include Max Abrams, Aurora Trainor, Alayna Wacker, Niki Van Aller, Yaa McNeil, Elizabeth Cardamone, Allegra O’Neill, Janie Kim, Rachel Graves, Ben Kaufman, Sophie Adler, Chelsea Richardson, and Vanessa Penn Martinez.
PHOTO: University of Pennsylvania student and Petey Greene tutor Janie Kim helps Tajmir Ford with his assignment.