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

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

Posted: June 5, 2024

Philadelphia’s high schoolers showed off their one-of-a-kind talent for a chance 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” or “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: Student 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
  • a 6-month membership to creative co-working space Indy Hall
  • exclusive mentor sessions generously provided by
  • and more!


MEET THE WINNERS: Check out the talented student winners in each category and hear from them about their experience with the contest, below. Then, visit or stay tuned to PhillyGoes2College social media to see the winning student submissions.

WINNERS PRESENTATION & PERFORMANCES: 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 PhillyGoes2College at the festival, which starts at 11:00am on South Broad Street between Walnut & Pine Streets.

VISUAL ART: 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.”


“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.”

MUSIC: 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!”

INVESTMENT: 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.”

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.

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