Empowered Community Development Corporation opens

Regina Young is assisted by her son, Steven Young, Jr. as she cuts the ribbon during the ceremony of Empowered Community CDC at Francis Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia Saturday. -TRIBUNE PHOTO BY NATHANIEL LEE

Hundreds of people gathered at the Francis Myers Recreation Center on Saturday to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony of the long awaited Empowered Community Development Corporation.

The ceremony was a day long event open to the community and included activities for people of all ages including live entertainment, games for children, vendors who hosted resource tables and addresses from state and local officials.

Founded by Regina Young, Empowered will provide needed services for Southwest residents including job readiness consultations, housing and financial counseling referrals, health and wellness workshops, computer repair training and more.

The event started with a musical selection from Regina Banks, 10, of Russell Byers Charter School who sang a rendition of “Lift Every Voice.”

Then there were the multitude of supporting groups and organizations that came to show their support.

“I’m supporting the Empowered Community CDC because it is all about the community and so is Town watch and so we are here to reach out to the community,” said Tara Smith of Town watch Integrated Services who were on hand at the event.

Smith is also a member of Southwest Partners Community Relations and Engagement Committee, a coalition of individuals and organizations serving the Southwest area.

Also on hand were members of the 12th police district that actively supports numerous community activities.

“It’s been the vision of Regina Young and I would like to congratulate her. Its something she had on her mind and it’s good to see it become a reality,” said Officer Joseph Young, community relations officer for the 12th police district.

Young said the 12th police district’s active support for local organization and residents are mutually beneficial to both residents and law enforcement.

“We know that that’s the only way that we can get people on our side is to make sure we get out there, talk to them, come to there affairs, let them know that we are human beings and we need them and they need us. It just helps us out and helps them out also,” says Young.

The ribbon cutting took place in the newly renovated annex of Myers Recreation Center which has been empty for years. Today, the annex is the home of the ‘Community Hub’, a group of organizations which includes Empowered Community.

Not only was the annex filled with residents and well-wishers, there was also elected officials including Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, Ward leader Ann Brown, State Sen. Anthony Williams, State Rep. representative Maria Donatucci and Councilman Bill Greenlee.

“Because of organizations like Empowered, people who are dedicated to social change and individual and social empowerment, there is hope for our community,” said Maria Donatucci who represents the 185th legislative district.

Donatucci said that she looked forward to the future and what Empowered will accomplish.

Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell called the ribbon cutting ceremony an important event for the community.

“We worked hard with them to get this place, this part of Myers Recreation Center, for them to use,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said that the crowd of people who turned out for the event proved that it was the right thing to do.

Councilman at large, William K. Greenlee concurred.

“I was very impressed when Mrs. Young contacted me from the organization and told me what she was going to do and I know how hard Councilwoman Blackwell was working on this issue,” said Greenlee.

Greenlee said he attended in order to show his support for Empowered CDC and the community it represents.

For more information about Empowered CDC or to learn about its summer schedule of activities, contact Regina Young at (215) 805-1950.

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