Drexel University wins grant to begin networking learning opportunities
Philadelphia is one of eight winners of the national LRNG City Challenge and Drexel University, on behalf of Digital On-Ramps (DOR), will receive a $40,000 grant made possible by support from the Fossil Foundation to begin networking learning opportunities throughout the community.
Other cities include Columbus, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego, Calif; San Jose, Calif; Springfield, Ohio, and West Sacramento, Calif. LRNG is a new, youth-centric movement focused on turning learning into a lifestyle. With its new technology platform, LRNG enables cities to network their existing learning resources like schools, libraries and community centers, and connect young people directly to in-person and online activities in their communities.
DOR was created by a collaboration of 13 agencies and employers who are committed to improving the system of training and employment services in Philadelphia by applying 21st century technology for workforce development agencies, job seekers and students.
“We are thrilled that Philadelphia has been named a city of LRNG. We are focused on creating meaningful pathways for young people across the city and LRNG provides us with a platform to help them document their learning and explore their passions” Joanne Ferroni, director of university and community partnerships at Drexel University, said in a press release.
LRNG is working to close the nation’s opportunity gap by reaching teens and young adults who are locked out of traditional paths to success.
LRNG is led by Connie Yowell, former director of education at MacArthur, and Jessica Lindl, who ran GlassLab, a next-generation game maker that has merged with LRNG. It is funded in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
“This announcement is both thrilling and humbling because it builds on a decade of hard work, research and design thinking about what learning can and should look like in the 21st century,” Yowell said. “We’re working with partners from many sectors to ensure all young people have the opportunity to pursue their passions, develop their full potential, and find their own unique paths forward to higher education, career opportunities and engagement in their communities.”
DOR is housed at Drexel University and will pilot LRNG this summer with partners at Philadelphia Academies Inc., Philadelphia Youth Network, and the Urban Affairs Coalition through WorkReady and summer programs.
Drexel University will also be piloting digital badging through summer programs and WorkReady experiences. The summer pilot will reach an estimated 1,000 young people across the city. It will also set up the framework for year-round implementation of digital badging, which will connect programs and work experience to employer validated competencies, developing a way for youth to move into postsecondary education and employment.