Film Screening of PERSONAL STATEMENT with director Julie Dressner, Penn C’89

November 9, 2019

Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
3680 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Please join us for a free screening and panel discussion of PERSONAL STATEMENT. This award-winning documentary film created by a Penn alumna features three inspirational high school seniors who are working as college counselors in their schools and are determined to get their entire classes to college, even though they are not sure they are going to make it there themselves. Screening will be followed by a panel discussion with director Julie Dressner (C’89), cast member Enoch Jemmott, West Philadelphia High School graduate Madelaine Akinyemi, and Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Hughes, moderated by Netter Center founding director Dr. Ira Harkavy (C'70 GR'79).

Refreshments to follow.

Free and open to the public! (Registration strongly encouraged but not required.)

PERSONAL STATEMENT was recently nominated for an Emmy Award!

More information and a trailer to the film can be found here:

This is a Penn Homecoming event co-sponsored by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Penn Alumni Relations, the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND), and Philly School Counselors United


Penn alumni, please register through the Homecoming registration page (under General Events: Saturday).

For non-alum, please feel free to use the above link or register directly through our Eventbrite page.


PERSONAL STATEMENT'S engagement and impact campaign is using the film to inspire young people to persist to college and to spark a national conversation about the college guidance gap. Our goal is to bolster efforts to increase access to college for low-income students by building support for more resources to close the college counseling gap and to eliminate other systemic barriers to college. There are promising reforms already in the works, for example:

On May 8th, 2019, legislation was introduced to ensure that students have greater access to school counselors. Senate Bill 650, sponsored by Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), and House Bill 1401, sponsored by Reps. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny) and Tom Murt (R-Montgomery), would require, among other things, that school districts employ at least one school counselor and one school social worker for every 250 students.

Press Release about the PA legislation

PA Senate Bill

PA House Bill


Check out also: Penn First Plus Homecoming Celebration (3-4:30 pm at The Arch) to learn more about initiatives supporting the first-generation and/or lower-income journey for students and alumni at Penn.