PhillyGoes2College’s “I AM PHL” Contest Launches!

PhillyGoes2College’s “I AM PHL” Contest Launches!

Posted: January 8, 2024

PhillyGoes2College’s “I AM PHL” contest invites Philadelphia high schoolers to submit original works to be featured at the Wawa Welcome America Festival. PhillyGoes2College is powered by the Philadelphia Education Fund. This is the second consecutive year that PhillyGoes2College and the Wawa Welcome America Festival have partnered with Vanguard to highlight and celebrate the aspirations of Philly high school students through “I AM PHL.”

The contest invites students to submit original works in one of four categories: music, visual art, spoken word, or investment. The investment submission, in partnership with Vanguard, asks students to create an investment recommendation based on a Vanguard-designed case study. Winners of each category will receive one-of-a-kind prizes, including the opportunity to perform or display their work at this summer’s Wawa Welcome America Festival (June 19 through July 4, 2024) and a $1,000 prize per category winner, sponsored by Vanguard.

“I AM PHL is a celebration of our incredible high school students and the city of Philadelphia. It is about finding and fostering community – a rich community right here in Philadelphia where students can connect with peers and professionals who share their passions and support their goals,” said Kelly Staskel, Director of PhillyGoes2College at the Philadelphia Education Fund. To enter the contest, students are asked to respond to one of two prompts in their submission:

#1 – Great Things Are Happening in Philadelphia

#2 – I Am College Bound

Entries will be judged by a panel of experts and the winner of each category will receive a prized mentorship from a leading professional in their field.

QuentinThePoet, storyteller and executive director of We the People Stage, will mentor the Spoken Word category winner. Benjamin Thomas, Grammy-winning engineer, producer, and mixer; founder of After5 Studios and co-owner of nicethingsMUSIC, will mentor the Musical Performance category winner. Jane Golden, artist and executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, will mentor the Visual Art category winner. Vanguard investment professionals will mentor and lead the Investment category winner.

The submission period opens on January 8, 2024, and there will be a celebratory kickoff event on February 10, 2024, at University of the Arts. Submissions are due by April 19, 2024 and the winners will be announced in May of 2024. Winners will be recognized during the Wawa Welcome America Festival on June 19 – July 4, 2024.

Visit for contest tips and entry information.

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