Saturday, April 9, 2011

Phil Martelli Talks to Chester Youth

On Thursday evening, Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli spoke at the TAP (The Achievement Project) "Tip-Off" reception at Widener University. The photo of Martelli and the press release below are both courtesy of The Williams Group.

Saint Joseph's University Head Basketball Coach, Phil Martelli, Spoke to a Full House at a Reception This Evening to Appeal for Sponsorships for Chester Youth -Study Program

Swarthmore, PA -- April 7, 2011 Saint Joseph's University Head Basketball Coach, Phil Martelli, spoke at a "Tip-Off" reception at Widener University for The Achievement Project's (TAP) "1000 to 1" campaign, this evening.

In typical Martelli style, his passionate address reached out to the hearts of the audience, and appealed to them to look within themselves to find the time and funds necessary to help children, who otherwise may never benefit from the fruits of a higher education. The audience, filled with business people and educators, were visibly moved by Martelli's plea. As well, students who have "graduated" from the TAP program were present to answer questions and offer a "hands-on" explanation of the TAP process.

"We're going to change Chester, just like Philadelphia, with the schools. It all starts in the schools," said Martelli. The coach went on to pledge his devotion to youth by saying, " Anytime young people are involved, you can count on me!"

TAP is an academic and educational advancement program that works with young people of the city of Chester, PA. This year-round program operates after-school and during the summer. It includes tutoring, coaching, classes and enrichment experiences. The students are recruited in the 8th grade and participate in the program through their four years of high school and through the college application and admission process.

TAP is the brainchild of Nicola Tollett Jefferson, a former practicing attorney turned child-education advocate. Nicola first tutored Harlem students as a law student at Columbia Law School in New York City. She watched with great joy as a young woman made the transition from underperforming in a less-than-stellar school, to eventually becoming a college professor in Florida and author of two books. "It's absolutely amazing," says Ms. Jefferson, "what the power of education can do for a young person who faces formidable social, economic and educational challenges. Those of us who hail from more economically- privileged backgrounds can easily fail to comprehend what kids of poor to modest means have to go through, not just to survive, but to thrive and be successful. These young people, just as young people everywhere, have tremendous gifts, attributes and talents. TAP's mission is to help them realize their gifts," says Jefferson.

Coach Martelli, having spent 26 years at Saint Joseph's University (SJU), and 16 seasons as head coach, has built a program that is consistently one of the top in the conference. In the 2003-2004 season, he received The National Coach of the Year award. His efforts to help students are widely known, not only on the court, but off the court as well. His humanitarian efforts have made him a leader, not only in the Philadelphia region, but also on a national level.

Ms. Jefferson, Founder and Executive Director of TAP, joins campaign chairs Debbie Dickinson and Marc Turner to head-up this event. Ms. Dickinson is a Harvard-trained attorney and Mr. Turner is the Managing Partner of Renaissance Advisory Group in Havertown. He is also the head basketball coach of the School at Church Farm's Griffins boys' basketball team. He was a former assistant basketball coach to the Villanova Wildcats.

This event was made possible through the kindness of our generous sponsors.

To find out more about TAP, please visit their website, email them at or
call Nicola Tollett Jefferson at 484-995-0828.

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