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  • Volunteers Clean Up Street, Paint Mural in Honor of Amber Long

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Volunteers Clean Up Street, Paint Mural in Honor of Amber Long

    April 11, 2014


    Helping our students and giving back to the community are at the core of what we do. All employees are a reflection of the company they work for, and it warms our hearts when employees take time out of their busy schedules to create a campaign for social good.

    On Saturday, April 5th, Drexel University Online’s Business Development Marketing Manager, Jackie Newall, organized The Northern Liberties Front Street Cleanup in Philadelphia in collaboration with the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association. The event was in honor of Amber Long, a 26-year-old architect who was shot and killed last January while walking to her car with her mother. 

    “As I learned more about Amber, I discovered what a smart, motivated and talented person she was,” said Newall. “She had such diverse interests from playing pool to music to art. She seemed like such an amazing person with so much to give.”

    More than 75 volunteers spent the day cleaning up and painting the area on Front Street, between Poplar and Laurel Streets.  

    “Amber's architecture helped to develop this part of Front Street. We wanted to do something that would continue to revitalize this part of the neighborhood and make it cleaner and safer in her honor.”

    The volunteers included Long’s friends, her colleagues from U.S. Construction, Northern Liberties residents and people from neighborhoods across Philadelphia. Among those volunteers were several Drexel University Online employees, including Dan Henner, Megan Groiss and Christine Conley, as well as graphic designer Anne Toal, who created a flyer for the event.

    “Although I did not know Amber Long, I thought this event was a great way to show support for a worthy cause and in the process clean up an area that could really use some attention,” said Henner. “As a proud Philadelphian, it pains me to see such historic and once beautiful areas of the city misused or mistreated. This was a perfect opportunity for me to provide a helping hand to the city I love, all in the name of a great woman.”

    Volunteers painted a beautiful mural of flowers in the wind to brighten up the area and cleaned up a large stretch of Front Street. The cleanup also helped raise awareness for a scholarship fund in Long’s memory. The Amber Long ’11 Scholarship Fund will be available for a student with a passion for sustainable design who enrolls in the architecture program at Philadelphia University, Long’s alma mater.

    “It was great to bring awareness to the unsolved murder of Amber Long by doing something that had an immediate positive impact on the neighborhood,” said Conley. “I have to say I was overwhelmed by what got accomplished in such a short amount of time – the mural was beautiful!”

    Investigators are asking anyone with information to call the Philadelphia Police tipline at (215) 686-TIPS. A reward for information leading to an arrest has surpassed $30,000.

    “Everyone worked super hard all day painting and cleaning,” said Newall. “We plan to continue the efforts to keep this area clean and bright through additional planting and maintenance.”

     (Photobucket Album Link)


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