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Stories of Citizen Diplomacy: Connecting Philadelphia to the World
Friday, May 07 2021
Sister City High School Exchange Teacher Receives Prestigious Award

“Nobody is more deserving!!!” exclaimed principal Nimet Eren

On Saturday, May 8, 2021, Angela Iovine, from Kensington Health Sciences Academy (KHSA), will receive the National Liberty Museum’s Teacher as Hero Award sponsored by State Farm® with a Virtual Awards. Angela was selected to be one of 10 inspiring teachers for her work making a difference in the lives of students. The Awards will be presented by State Farm Representatives, National Liberty Museum leadership, friends and family on Zoom. 

Like Citizen Diplomacy’s exchange programs on freedom and democracy, the National Liberty Museum envisions a world where all people understand and embrace the contemporary meaning and significance of liberty and are empowered to take transformative action to ensure liberty for themselves and others.

In nominating Angela for the award, Siobhan Lyons, Citizen Diplomacy President & CEO, said,

“Angela Iovine embodies what a Citizen Diplomat can do to help her students become aware of their global world. By working with Citizen Diplomacy International, Angela has provided her students the opportunity for world travel as well as hosting students and teachers from our Sister Cities in Philadelphia for an experience that will be with them forever,”

In 2018, Angela helped her students prepare Citizen Diplomacy International’s Florence-Philadelphia Sister City High School Exchange with community schools. Kensington Health Sciences Academy is a public high school located in Kensington Philadelphia, a neighborhood that makes national headlines as the heart of the opioid epidemic. They are one of 12 community schools in the city of Philadelphia, named by Mayor Jim Kenney, to work with a community school coordinator to bring existing partners and resources to the school to provide students with incredible learning opportunities.

Eight students from Kensington Health Sciences Academy joined 11 other students from Dobbins CTE High School, George Washington High School, and South Philadelphia High School represented their school, city, and nation as a part of a delegation from Philadelphia to our Sister City, Florence, Italy.  Partners at Culinary Careers in the Arts Program supported students in job training and summer paid internships that contributed to their travel costs.  And the Free Library of Philadelphia provided classes about Italian culture and language.

On this once-in-a-lifetime trip, students stayed in the homes of students from the Istituto Aurelio Saffi, a Hospitality and Culinary Arts High School in Florence. They learned technical culinary skills unique to Italy, participated in a health-related service project with their Italian peers, and visited cultural and historic sites. While in Italy, they also had the chance to take in the sights and food of Siena and Pisa.

Their Italian classmates traveled to Philadelphia for the second part of the exchange in March 2019.  Angela ensured that her Philadelphia students hosted Italian students at their homes and schools and had the opportunity to return the generosity they experienced abroad. During their stay in Philadelphia, students visited Di Bruno Brothers, Reading Terminal Market, an urban farm, and Philadelphia’s best culinary landmarks. Mayor Kenney officially welcomed our Florentine students and their teachers on their reciprocal culinary exchange at City Hall and a pasta-making class at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

A passionate advocate for educational equity, Angela has taught at Kensington Health Sciences as an English teacher for 15 years. She has advocated for the importance of public schools and Career and Technical Education curriculum. Her 2019 testimony on behalf of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools captures her dedication as a teacher,

“At KHSA, we strive to offer our kids everything we can to level the playing field in the name of educational equity. At our school, we accept everyone. There is no application process, which can sometimes be a hurdle for struggling families. This year, I teach 10th grade English. Typically, as sophomores, students have some growing pains because the work is difficult. I tell them, as well as their parents, when I call to introduce myself, that it’s my job, my RESPONSIBILITY,  to give them the challenging college preparatory class that they would have in a more selective school BECAUSE THEY DESERVE IT.”

Until students and teachers can safely travel internationally, Citizen Diplomacy is offering free, 4-week virtual exchanges for high school and college students in the Citizen Diplomat Academy.  In two exchange topics, “How to Succeed as a STEM Innovator” and “How to Succeed as a Social Innovator” students met new friends internationally. They learn to be Citizen Diplomats and apply the core skills of diplomacy, cross-cultural dialogue, STEM entrepreneurship and social innovation. Guest speakers are featured from top universities, start-up businesses, social innovation labs, and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and around the world.  

The Citizen Diplomat Academy program is free and enrolling now for the summer July and August sessions. More information and sponsorship options are available at https://cdiphila.org/citizen_diplomat_academy.

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Citizen Diplomacy International is a nonprofit organization that empowers Philadelphians to represent our city and the United States through person-to-person diplomacy. We believe that personal interactions help shape U.S. foreign relations, have an impact on our national security and the United States’ reputation around the world. Our network of volunteer Citizen Diplomats welcomes nearly 1300 international visitors every year to Philadelphia on high school exchange programs, professional exchange programs, and trade missions. We partner with the Department of State and the City of Philadelphia to host international delegations and show them all of the great things that Philadelphia's world-famous for - which is more than just cheesesteaks. International exchange contributes to the world's growth and stability and enriches Philadelphia with a deeper understanding of world cultures and ideas. WWW.cdiphila.org.

The National Liberty Museum brings liberty to life through stories of people whose character and courage have expanded liberty for all. Through robust programs and dynamic exhibitions, the Museum presents the stories of people whose positive actions inspire us to protect and advance liberty for all.  www.libertymuseum.org.

Kensington Health Sciences Academy is a public high school located in Kensington Philadelphia. The mission of Kensington Health Sciences Academy is to prepare every student academically and holistically to be responsible, caring community members, ready for college or career upon graduation. We strive to accomplish this by building our community together, learning through inquiry, valuing integrity, and celebrating learning. Thirty teachers and three counselors educate 450 students in four majors, Health Related Technology, Dental Assisting, Pharmacy Technology, and Global Leadership. School website - https://khsa.philasd.org/about-us/

Posted by: Andrea Silva AT 12:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email