From Adversity to the Ivy League. This describes Glen Casey’s childhood journey on the streets of West Philadelphia to young adulthood in University City.
A former NET client, Glen was born and raised in a world of drugs and violence. But with the help of NET’s counselors, mentors, teachers – and most of all, his mother who never quit on him – he is now entering his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania.
Community members, clients, friends and staff gathered at NET’s 5th and Spring Garden office to watch a recent free screening of Glen’s story called “Glen’s Village”, a documentary produced by journalists Paul Jablow and Dorian Geiger and released by the Philadelphia Public School’s The Notebook and 5th Borough Films. The 3-part film series is part of a larger reporting project by the publication focusing on the effects of trauma on children in Philadelphia.
The showing was followed by a panel discussion with Glen, NET staff Rich Neal and Jeanne Lehrer and the film’s producers. As Glen answered questions from a multi-generational audience about overcoming barriers to achieve his goals, his passion for education and mentoring youth was evident. Many in attendance were other youth receiving services from NET, to which Glen serves as an inspiration. He is currently participating in a summer internship in Washington, D.C. at the Postsecondary National Policy Institute and has been offered a full time teaching job with the Philadelphia School District that he will begin after he graduates next year.