Penn develops program for district's student-athletes

Wilford Shamlin III

The Philadelphia Tribune

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Zaire Witherspoon, who stands at 6-foot, 3-inches tall, jokes about being able to grab items from the highest shelf for his mother Shona, but then strikes a serious note about participating in an after-school sports program.

The 14-year-old West Philadelphia resident said he has learned about college life from University of Pennsylvania’s varsity lacrosse team who have served as mentors. He has sharpened his leadership skills, bonded with teammates from B.B. Comegys Elementary School and experienced memories he will cherish for a lifetime.

“Just knowing I have the support of such great mentors has made an amazing impact in my life as well,” Witherspoon said. “Lacrosse has taught me a new respect for athletics.” 

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann said she hopes the partnership between Henry C. Lea in West Philadelphia, Samuel B. Huey and Comegys schools in West Philadelphia and the Netter Center for Community Partnership will be embraced as a national model after-school program.

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