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Marcus Allen to Deliver Commencement Address at Girard College High School

The Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence will speak to the Class of 2022 on Thursday, June 16 at 10am in the Chapel.

The 18 Girard College High School graduates have persevered despite three-fourths of their high school career being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every student has been accepted to a four-year college or university, with several receiving full scholarships.

Class of 2022

“Every one of our seniors has battled adversity over the past three years,” said James Turner, interim president of Girard College. “They keep bouncing back and have made the most of their time together. The entire community is proud of them.”

An experienced nonprofit leader who has advocated for disadvantaged youth throughout his career, Marcus Allen joined Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence in 2013 as the first Black Chief Executive Officer in its 106-year history. Mr. Allen has since enacted a vision of innovative youth mentoring programs to transform the lives of children throughout Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. He is also committed to reshaping the national organization of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, serving as Co-Chair of its Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and a member of its National Leadership Council.

Marcus Allen

“Mr. Allen’s unwavering commitment to social justice reform and advancing communities of color is an inspiration to our students,” Turner said. “His leadership and outspoken advocacy on issues like the school-to-prison pipeline resonate with Girard’s mission of opportunity, achievement, and impact.”

Mr. Allen’s efforts have led to appointments to the US Commission on Civil Rights in Pennsylvania, and as a Senior Fellow for the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the board of directors for United Way, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, and the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. He is a graduate of Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned his MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. He began his college career at Paine College on a General Motors Engineering Scholarship while playing basketball.

The Class of 2022 Commencement will also feature speeches from Valedictorian Aaliyah Burton, who will be attending Albright College, and Salutatorian Faith Lynn, who will attend West Chester University. Three of the 18 graduates have attended Girard College since the 1st grade.

Please join us in congratulating the students in the Class of 2022!

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