In the Lehigh Valley, affordable housing is difficult to find. Due to unforeseen and often unpreventable circumstances, many people find themselves without assets or support and are forced out of their homes and onto the street. Although there are programs and organizations devoted to helping these members of the community, the available resources are often scarce, sometimes leading already-vulnerable women to become even more vulnerable.
“Many of you know that sex trafficking occurs in India, in Russia, in Thailand, in China, but it happens right here in Pennsylvania, right here in your community in Bethlehem,” said Dee Dee Foran, a Bethlehem Rotary Club member and Accredited Pension Representative at GF Pension Corp. “Raising awareness is crucial and it often leads to action.”
With decorated caps and broad smiles, the 149 members of the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts class of 2018 marched down the aisles of Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown and up to their seats on the stage. The June 11 ceremony celebrated the largest graduating class in Charter Arts’ history.
“You now have the joy of seeing your kids graduate from what U.S. News & World Report has proclaimed the best school in the Lehigh Valley,” Board of Trustees President Mario Acerra told parents in the audience, “But you guys already know that, because you have experienced it firsthand.”
Beth Masiado has always taken pride in the American flag and shown the utmost respect for those who work to protect it and everything it stands for. In both times of well-being and times of tragedy, the American flag has held great significance for her.
The 188 members of Bethlehem Catholic HS’s class of 2018, dressed in their brown caps and gowns, proceeded into the high school’s filled-to-capacity auditorium the evening of June 6, eagerly awaiting the moment they would become high school graduates.
Following the procession of the graduates to the familiar tune of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” the ceremony began with an invocation given by school chaplain, the Reverend Kevin Bobbin, in which he prayed that God would stay close to the graduates and prepare them for what lies ahead.
Sophomore literary arts majors at the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts held a press conference May 21 to promote their free stage concert at Musikfest as a part of ArtsQuest’s Marketing Musikfest program. The Marketing Musikfest program teaches students how to take what they have learned in their media studies class and use it in a practical, real-world setting.
“What does it mean to be a high school graduate?” Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter HS (LVA) CEO Susan Mauser asked members of the class of 2018 as they sat in the Zoellner Arts Center auditorium May 29, eagerly awaiting their diplomas. “What does this piece of paper that they will be receiving this evening stand for?”
Twenty-five years ago, Sister Virginia Longcope opened the doors to a halfway house that would eventually serve more than 272 men returning to the community after incarceration. Stephen’s Place, located in Bethlehem, was Longcope’s answer to what she called the “revolving door.”
As described by Stephen’s Place Program Director Daniel Massaro, “Stephen’s Place is a halfway house for men returning to the community after incarceration. We provide faith and [a] spiritual environment for them to address the issues that come along with early recovery from substance abuse.”
The Musikfest Cafe at the ArtsQuest Center was alive with movement and conversation as close to 90 participants and volunteers role-played the lives of low-income individuals and families on the morning of April 19. The Poverty Simulation, hosted by the Volunteer Center, Moravian College and Leadership Lehigh Valley, was offered as a way to raise awareness and begin discussions within the community of how to combat issues of poverty.
Sunny weather and blue skies greeted the 12th annual Cops ‘n’ Kids Celebration of Reading…and the Arts and Sciences, held in the parking lot of Northampton Community College’s Southside campus April 28.
The lot was filled with tents and tables staffed with volunteers from 95 community groups, showcasing activities from various disciplines for kids to explore. Indoor venues hosted student performances by a total of 639 students, storytelling and cooking demonstrations.