Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a quiet day at Temple University’s Main Campus, with one exception. In Ritter Annex’s Kiva Auditorium, a few dozen adult students and their proud families gathered to celebrate the biggest and hardest-won academic achievement of the students’ lives—completing their high-school equivalencies and workforce-training programs.
The 36 people called to the podium to receive their certificates that day are among thousands of local residents who have taken advantage of the free services offered to Philadelphians by the Workforce Education and Lifelong Learning program. The program, commonly referred to as WELL, began in the early 1980s and is run by the Center for Social Policy and Community Development, housed in Temple’s College of Public Health.
“The WELL program at Temple changed my life,” said Shameka Thomas, who was honored on Monday for completing both her high-school equivalency and the Community Health Workers Training Program.