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IAMPHL24 Winners Headshots in cluster

PhillyGoes2College Selects I AM PHL Winners to be Featured at Wawa Welcome America 

June 5, 2024

Philadelphia’s high schoolers showed off their one-of-a-kind talent to win one-of-a-kind prizes through the 2024 I AM PHL contest presented by PhillyGoes2College in partnership with Wawa Welcome America and Vanguard.

9th-12th grade students entered I AM PHL by submitting work in the creative arts or investment. Students submitting in the investment category responded to a case study designed by our partners at Vanguard while students submitting in music, visual arts, or spoken word poetry penned original pieces connected to the contest themes “I Am College Bound” and “Great Things are Happening in Philadelphia.” 

Students from across the city shared submissions celebrating their unique and momentous potential. They reflected on how our city has shaped who they are and will become, how they will assert influence on the city’s future to create a place where all can thrive. Trust us when we say that Philly’s future looks bright. 

The Results Are In!

I AM PHL submissions were reviewed by judges at the top of Philadelphia’s creative and financial fields. Our judges selected one winner in each submission category to receive:

💵 $1,000 in cash furnished by Vanguard
🌟 Recognition and the chance to perform at the 2024 Wawa Welcome America Festival
🎟️ Special guest experience tickets to the festival’s July 4th concert and fireworks
🏢 6-month membership to creative co-working space Indy Hall
🤝 Exclusive mentor sessions
🎉 And more!

IAMPHL24 Winner Line Up

Mentor sessions are generously provided by: 
🎨 Jane Golden: Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia
📖 Quentin Williams: Storyteller, Poet, and Executive Director of We The People Stage
🏆 Ben Thomas: Grammy-winning Founder of After5 Studios and Co-Owner of nicethingsMUSIC
💼 Omar Sanders: Senior Credit Analyst at Vanguard

Meet the Winners!
Check out the winning submissions below and don’t miss the I AM PHL winners’ presentation and performances live at the Wawa Welcome America Festival’s Avenue of the Arts Block Party on Saturday, June 29th. Find us at 11:15am on South Broad Street between Walnut & Pine Streets.

Art: Eirinn Rodgers

IAMPHL Art Category Winner - Eirinn Rodgers

My name is Eirinn and I’m an 11th grader at the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush. When I discovered this contest on my school’s page and read into the prompts, I was instantly motivated to submit. Like my theme, I am also college bound and bound for a future that combines business and visual art. Philadelphia and my love of creating are two fundamentals that make me who I am. I’m ecstatic to be able to represent my city through my craft.

Eirinn’s Submission:

Eirinn's Winning Art Submission Piece

Click to see the full image

From Eirinn Regarding her submission: This piece shows a child looking ahead to her future. Behind her, there is doubt and fear– emotions that come with the college application process. She is facing towards a collage of Philadelphia colleges. Applying to college is very overwhelming, but if you can make it up those stairs, a bright tomorrow is waiting.

Spoken Word Poetry: Chloe (Cas) Edens

IAMPHL 24 Poetry Category Winner Chole Edens

My name is Chloe (Cas) Edens. I attend Girard Academic Music Program. I have many loves in life as an artist from playing my variety of instruments to poetry. Poetry for me has been a way to call out to my city and to reach out to the world and reclaim my voice. After finding out about the I AM PHL contest with my mom searching the web, I knew I had to do it. I was worried and filled with anxiety. However, submitting was the best decision I ever made and opens the door for many opportunities. I am eternally grateful.

Chloe’s Submission:

Music: Cheo Mangum

IAMPHL24 Music Category Winner Cheo Mangum

My name is Cheo Mangum and I am currently a 9th grader at Friends Select School. I first heard about the contest through my music teacher at school. I like to write, produce, and record my own music. I’ve always found music as a way to express myself and I felt that the I AM PHL contest was a great opportunity to express my love for the City of Philadelphia. Making and performing music is a great passion of mine which I definitely plan to continue in the future!

Cheo’s Submission

Investment: Roman Shaaban

IAMPHL24 Investment Category Winner - Roman Shaaban

My name is Roman Shaaban. I go to Julia R. Masterman and, throughout high school, my passion for business, finance, and economics has been enhanced through my participation in the economics club at my school. The PhillyGoes2College investment competition was introduced at the club, and I decided to partake because I felt it would be a fun way to test my financial analysis abilities. I’ve enjoyed learning about multiple aspects of the business world, and hope to continue in college and throughout my career.

Wawa Welcome America and Vanguard Logos

A special and sincere thank you to all students who entered the I AM PHL contest and to our partners at Wawa Welcome America and Vanguard who make this contest possible. Stay tuned to PhillyGoes2College social media to see more student submissions.

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