RH: What do you want people to know about your organization?
CD: You wouldn’t know it from the amount of programming and resources we consistently churn out, but Campus Philly is currently only 6 deep. More often than not, it’s assumed that we must be at least 50 people strong because we do so much. But even though we’re small, we are super passionate about our mission which gives us the drive to want to do what we do…and then do more!
RH: What was your first impression of your organization?
CD: I first got to know Campus Philly as a freshman at Saint Joseph’s University who attended College Day on the Parkway in 2004. I loved that Campus Philly made me feel so connected not only to my city but to the students at other colleges in the area. I had no idea who or what Campus Philly was, but I got the impression that the City of Philadelphia cared about me as a student and had created a number of special opportunities just for me, which made me feel absolutely valued as part of the community. So when I was looking for an editorial internship, my first (and it turns out, only) stop was Campus Philly. I came on board in 2008 and have been with the organization in a variety of capacities ever since.
RH: What influenced you to work with your organization?
CD: I am a Philadelphian, born and raised, and although at times I get frustrated or bored with my city (as any true Philadelphian does), I love it and I think everyone else should as well. Unfortunately, Philly, I think unfairly, gets a bad rep for a number of reasons, and the negatives get so prevalent that they overshadow the millions of positives. I wanted to find a way to reverse that trend, and I’ve found that possibly the best way to do that is to help the young talent in Philadelphia become as connected as they can to this city. If they are like me and never left, Campus Philly wants to make them feel as much pride in Philadelphian as possible, and if they came to the city for a specific reason, like to go to school, Campus Philly wants to give them a thousand more reasons to stay after their education is complete.
RH: What has surprised you most about working with your organization?
CD: Even though I have lived here my entire life, I learn more and more about Philadelphia every day working with Campus Philly. Maybe it’s because the city can’t stop growing—every time you turn around there’s a new eco-friendly building or music festival or great new restaurant—but I’ve really found that through my professional interactions, I’m improving my personal relationship with the city.
RH: What do you find most challenging about working for your organization?
CD: Getting Campus Philly the recognition I think it deserves. I’m a huge traveler and no matter where I go, whenever I meet people and tell them what I do and the purpose of my organization, they are always amazed and want to know if their city has a similar group. National recognition is clearly wishful thinking, but right now we are only rockstars in the collegiate circles. I would like for us to be a household name across Philadelphia, and most importantly, continue to be and become even more so the #1 resource for students living in the Greater Philadelphia region. After all, they are why we do this.
RH: Who are some of the interesting people you’ve met while working for your organization?
CD: I love our student interns! I feel a special connection with them since I was once in their shoes as a Campus Philly intern, and every semester they surprise me with their dedication to our mission and impeccable work ethic for such a young group of individuals. We get some real characters interning for us, and they definitely keep the fun in the office.
RH: What do you think will change about your organization or it’s causes in the next five years?
CD: Campus Philly has changed so much in just the past year, I can’t imagine where we will go next. My hope is that we will grow and have more of a capacity to offer even more programs and resources for students. But no matter how far reaching Campus Philly becomes, what’s at the heart of our organization will always remain the same—the desire to connect the students of Philadelphia in all ways to our great city!
RH: What would you say to someone thinking about donating, volunteering, etc?
CD: If you love Philadelphia, then we want to meet you. We are always looking for new ways to work with and engage all members of the Philly community, especially its students. In addition to the internships we offer, we run a number of events that could always use some volunteers. So if you are interested in the nonprofit world, or find yourself living out our mission in your day-to-day, give us a call!
Campus Philly is a nonprofit organization that fuels economic growth by encouraging college students to study, explore, live and work in the Greater Philadelphia tri-state region.