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Cooper University Health Care and the Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they will be participating in a day of service on Friday, June 25 and will also host two free youth basketball clinics on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27. The events will all be held in Camden in support of the local community.


“Since moving their Training Complex to Camden, the 76ers organization has embraced the community. We are especially grateful for the 76ers support of Cooper and the community throughout the pandemic, and our work together on the Day of Service and Basketball Clinic initiatives benefiting city residents are the latest examples of their generosity and partnership,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-CEO of Cooper University Health Care.


The day of service is part of the 76ers annual “Project 76” initiative through which 76ers employees are encouraged to dedicate 76 hours to volunteering in the local community. The event will take place at Cooper’s Poynt School where the 76ers have been involved in multiple projects over the years including court refurbishments, hosting youth basketball clinics, and implementing the NBA Math Hoops program. 76ers and Cooper volunteers will participate by painting and cleaning up the school.


“We are looking forward to serving the Camden community this weekend alongside our partners at Cooper University Health Care,” said Philadelphia 76ers President Chris Heck. “Cooper defines what it means to be a great community partner. From administering COVID-19 vaccines to providing for our local youth, we can always count on them to step up in times of need.”


In addition to the day of service, the 76ers and Cooper University Health Care will host a free, two-day youth basketball clinic at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, which will include special appearances by Marc Jackson, Franklin and Squad 76 members. The clinic will give participants ages 10-14 the opportunity to improve basketball skills and overall wellness in a fun and energetic atmosphere. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee comprises some of Camden’s most prominent business, economic development, community, education and social justice advocates to ensure Camden takes a “Camden First” community approach to the state’s emerging cannabis industry.

Community Submitted Content

CAMDEN, NJ – On Tuesday, May 11, 2021 the City of Camden passed resolution MC-21:7946 on the formation of a Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee with some of Camden’s most prominent business, economic development, community, education and social justice advocates to ensure Camden takes a “Camden First” community approach to the state’s emerging cannabis industry.

As stated in the resolution: The City believes that it is in the best interests of the City of Camden that valuable input be received from Officials of the City of Camden, the residents of the City of Camden as well as the local business, education and medical communities, in determining whether the City of Camden should exercise its right to allow such services to be conducted in the City of Camden and also to determine what the scope of those services should be as well as the types and number of licenses that should be allowed for license categories for Class 1 through class 5 in the City of Camden.


Nominated and confirmed committee Members include:

  • Chair – Nichelle Pace, Vice President, Camden Business Association
  • Vice Chair – Sheilah Greene, Parkside Business Community in Partnership
  • Secretary – Tameeka Mason, Executive Director, One Camden
  • Maritza Alston, IRS/Finance Professional and Education
  • Captain Vivian Coley, CCPD
  • Dwaine Williams, City of Camden Affirmative Action Officer
  • Community Members
  • City Officials

Working under the motto that good policy guidance is the policy of inclusion, the ad hoc committee members, members of city council, and the Mayor’s office are committed to ensure that Camden residents, businesses, and community stakeholders are included in the process.

The committee will host both virtual open public meetings and in-person meetings, including meetings in each ward, as well as tap into cannabis equity advocates and experts across the state to provide the ad hoc committee and the community with guidance and ideas to ensure equity for Camden’s residents and businesses.

It’s with great honor that I serve my city as Chair of this ad hoc. As Vice President of the CBA, I have been testifying, learning, and collaborating with organizations such as the NJCBA, NAACP, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Women Grow, and the NJ Drug Policy Alliance and others, to ensure that our Camden community and constituents, which is 96% Black and Brown New Jersians, have voices with stakeholders, officials, and industry advocates throughout the state of NJ.” Says newly elected ad hoc committee chair, Nichelle Pace. “It is my mission to serve and stay engaged through partnerships and collaboration to ensure that this industry does not get built on the backs of the communities that have lost wealth, life, and liberties for decades. I will continuously call upon all diverse NJ community and legislative leaders to collaborate and ensure that those aforementioned communities are considered first, not last, in pushing for the economic equity of those who have been disproportionately impacted like our Camden community.

About The Camden Ad Hoc Committee on Cannabis

The Camden Ad Hoc Cannabis Committee was formed by the City of Camden to coordinate, plan, and collaborate with the Camden community at large on how best to approach, implement, and manage the recently passed cannabis legislation, including the new recreational and current medical cannabis landscape.

The committee is tasked with ensuring equitable processes, inclusive community input, data collection and equitable outcomes for the residents of Camden, and centering equity in creating comprehensive recommendations to the City of Camden.

The Ad Hoc Cannabis Committee will lead an inclusive and comprehensive collaborative effort with Officials of the City of Camden, the residents of the City of Camden as well as local businesses, and educational, faith-based, and medical communities.

The committee will work with all of the aforementioned stakeholders in determining how the City of Camden should exercise its right to allow such services to be conducted in the City of Camden.

Priority and focus will be placed on creating equity and opportunity for Camden City Residents while aligning the Camden community’s needs and benefits for neighborhoods city-wide.

On October 9, 2012, the San Francisco Giants found themselves in a deep hole. Facing elimination in the National League Divisional Series against Cincinnati Reds, the Giants looked like they were headed home from a dismal and brief playoff run. They had just lost the first two games at home, with Game 2 being a complete blowout (a 9-0 win for the Reds). However, Game 3 changed the course for the Giants in the 2012 playoffs, all thanks to outfielder and relatively new teammate, Hunter Pence. Hours before Game 3, Pence took the initiative and gave his team a much needed pep talk in the visiting locker room.


As San Francisco Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins recounts, “Manager Bruce Bochy called a team meeting in the clubhouse, said a few choice words, and then Pence took it upon himself to address the team. Normally, at times like this, the speaker will be a longtime veteran of the club, someone who exudes authority by his mere presence. Pence showed up only nine weeks ago—but if you’ve seen him play, you understand the burning desire he brings to the game.”


Pence’s speech emphasized teamwork, support and playing “one more day with you guys.” The team was fired up and after a thrilling, 10-inning Game 3 win, Pence was an overnight hero. The Giants won the last three games against the Reds, becoming the first NL team to come back from a 0-2 deficit, and, eventually, won the 2012 World Series.


Clearly, Pence had a speaking talent that lifted up his teammates in their eleventh hour—but his actions showed the importance of developed leadership skills. Whether you’re a professional athlete or not, sports participation can highlight leadership qualities that are both effective on and off the field. Below are four leadership skills learned in athletics that have a direct workplace crossover.

  1. Teamwork
    Though this may be obvious, teamwork is one of the basic skills sports can teach participants. Teamwork helps motivate participants to do their part, assisting the team to reach its ultimate goal. Teamwork also involves delegation of tasks, which is what successful leaders do every day. Great leaders need team building skills in order to be examples and effective to those they lead. A growth of team building skills in the workplace can positively influence group projects, campaigns, employee engagement and motivation in the workplace.
  2. Communication
    When Pence addressed his teammates, he spoke about his love of the game and playing for his fellow teammates as inspiration. No doubt other Giants players felt the same way and this speech gave a sense of team unity—something that was missing in previous games. Communication skills are vital for leaders to motivate, recognize and appreciate the great work of their departments and teams.
  3. Strategic Development and Organizational Skills
    Teamwork and communication are not effective unless there is organization and strategy behind it. Sports and team activities give opportunities for participants to come up with a game plan and strategies to win. Leaders always have the ultimate goal in mind. They do away with pointless meetings, develop strategies and make sure the work being done is effective and efficient.
  4. Self Discipline
    On an individual level, sports can give participants self discipline and understanding. Self discipline from sports can teach players what they need to practice, whether it’s perfecting a softball batting stance or getting more endurance to run up and down the soccer field. Sports brings different challenges to each of the participants, but can also allow them to recognize the challenge at hand, their contributions to the team and make necessary improvements individually. Same is true in the workplace. Leaders are not perfect—instead they work hard on improving and developing new skills. Leaders need self discipline in order to be successful.

What can football teach us about accountability? How can running cross country help us set appropriate goals? And how can building a rugby team from the ground up illuminate new ways to communicate? Here, three Boothies with a love for sports reflect on their own athletic experiences and how they’ve applied those leadership lessons to the business world.

Jesse Nading, ’16, is an engagement manager in McKinsey & Company’s Denver office and a former linebacker for the National Football League’s Houston Texans.



Football is a fantastic way to learn about teamwork and accountability. When I was playing for coach Gary Kubiak and the Texans, after each game, we gathered as a team to watch the week’s best and worst plays. Early on, I was nervous that I would be featured in the worst plays in front of my teammates, but what I quickly realized was that, one, nearly everyone ended up on the worst-plays reel at some point and that, two, a single person was rarely responsible for either a good or a bad play. Naturally, everyone wanted to be on the week’s highlight reel. But we also knew there would come a time when we would be held accountable for our performance, and, while painful at times to watch, it was rarely a negative experience.



We didn’t dread the self-reflection because transparency and accountability were part of our normal operating model. As a team, we could quickly identify mistakes, acknowledge them, and pivot to developing a plan to be better for the next week’s game. The simple ritual of collectively celebrating and scrutinizing our play increased the level of trust we had as a team and created an atmosphere that encouraged players to take calculated risks to make big plays, facilitated honest communication across the team, and held everyone (coaches included) accountable for mistakes.

“Team members excel and do their best work when leaders give them space and trust while keeping everyone accountable and celebrating team successes.”

— Jesse Nading

That process of open reflection is one I was surprised not to see more of in the business world, where people often seem hesitant to openly discuss mistakes. The best-performing project teams I’ve seen find a way to regularly schedule dedicated working sessions to openly talk about performance (good and bad) and push to create a culture where you can have a transparent conversation and say, for example, “Hey, we didn’t execute this project as well as we could have. What could each one of us have done better to drive a better outcome?” Building in this time requires real investment from leadership, but the teams that make the investment tend to function at a higher level, create the most rewarding experiences for each team member, and grow the fastest.


Valuing transparency and acknowledging that doing great work requires risk, and therefore mistakes, is what enables the higher levels of trust and accountability that are hallmarks of great teams. When I played for the Texans, we had a defense that was talented but underperforming. A new defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, came in, and we became one of the top defenses in the NFL. His basic thesis was that if he could simplify our game plan, such that each player was able to be accountable for his role, we could play faster and have the talent to win. It was a matter of trusting the guys to simply beat the opposing player—think less and play faster. It was a powerful lesson. I didn’t anticipate that perspective to be so applicable to the business world, but I’ve found it’s impactful in both sports and business. Team members excel and do their best work when leaders give them space and trust while keeping everyone accountable and celebrating team successes.

George Wu, the John P. and Lillian A. Gould Professor of Behavioral Science, was a high-school and college runner. His research includes topics such as goal making.


My high-school cross-country team was winless the year before I entered high school. In my junior year we won a single meet, breaking a 47-meet losing streak, before finishing dead last out of 16 teams in our conference meet. But the following year we went 14-and-1 and won the conference meet.


When I led the Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership, we thought about the challenges of making individuals and teams more effective. The business world is challenging because even though people are members of teams, we tend to think primarily about our roles as individual contributors. As you move up within an organization, the boundary between the individual and the team becomes murkier, and you need to reassess how your goals fit into corporate strategy and objectives.


Cross country probably seems like an odd team sport: after all, it’s a collective of individuals each trying to run as fast as they can. However, although the effort out on the course is yours alone, a lot of leadership is about defining the vision and ambitions for collective success, and helping others who are striving to be their best. Even though my junior year cross country team had been really unsuccessful, we knew that we weren’t that crummy. We had a lot of talent and potential, and set an audacious goal to win the conference meet the next year. The summer before my senior year, a big group of us got together and ran lots and lots of miles.

“Challenging but not absurd goals bring out the best in people, and it’s the job of a leader in the company to set that vision.”

— George Wu

Part of my academic research focuses on goals. In my 30s, I set a goal to run a mile every year on my birthday in five minutes or less. I met my goal for eight of the 10 years. But when I met the goal, I only just did so­—lots of 4:58s and 4:59s. That became an impetus for some of the research that I did involving marathon running: goals help to motivate people to do better because falling short of a goal is loss, and people hate losses. However, when people reach the goal, they have little motivation to exceed it or do better.


Going back to my high-school cross-country team, after winning the league championship—our big goal—we went to the state meet, and we were pretty mediocre. Once we achieved our goal, it was difficult to stay motivated.


In the business world it’s important to set goals that are appropriately challenging. If your goals are too hard, they can demotivate the group, but if they’re too easy, you will exceed them but not achieve much more. Challenging but not absurd goals bring out the best in people, and it’s the job of a leader in the company to set that vision.

Katherine Bartels is a student in the Full-Time MBA Program and co-chair of the Booth Rugby Club. She recently completed a summer internship at athletic gear company Nike.


There hasn’t been a robust women’s rugby team at Booth since the 1980s. But over the past year I’ve leveraged free team workouts and fun social activities to bring people into the fold. I’m planning programming over the next year that is going to make the rugby team even less intimidating, to make it more inclusive.


That’s an important leadership skill to develop: how to not only include the members of an organization that you already have, but also position the organization in a way that makes it more accessible to others. By framing rugby as something anyone can learn and participate in—something that’s possible to join if you haven’t played previously—and as a sport that will allow you to meet new people and get to know people both at Booth and in other MBA communities, we can draw more women who might otherwise be intimidated by an unfamiliar sport. You have to be tactful and strategic when you’re thinking about diversity—that framework has helped us field a full team.


There are more opportunities for disagreement than for agreement in a team environment. This makes the team setting a great vehicle for understanding how to have appropriate debate and discourse, how to appreciate people’s various skills, and how to leverage them effectively. You also learn how to bring nuance to your language and use words carefully. The rugby club team connects me to a huge global MBA community, especially because rugby is an international sport. We have people with a variety of languages and ability levels, people who know how to play rugby and people who don’t, people who want to be competitive and people who more so want to be part of the community. All of them have strengths that are opportunities for the team, even if they have different goals or approaches.

“On the playing field there are a range of backgrounds, skill sets, and abilities that you have to learn to speak to and balance.”

— Katherine Bartels

The skills I’ve learned in wrangling the rugby club and folding people into the team have really come in handy in my business experience so far. This past summer, I was the global merchandising strategy intern at Nike. We determined the cadence of new innovation, examined how products are distributed around the globe, and explored upcoming areas. I specifically looked at the retail market space—how people are shopping differently because of the proliferation of digital devices and whether exclusive products can help sales.


Merchandising is the hub of Nike. It’s the driver of what products are produced. As a result, there are more folks than I could accurately count who have to weigh in to make sure the right products are making it to market. So it’s a very cross-functional role. I had to have excellent communication skills as well as a lot of empathy for various stakeholders and their different needs and perspectives.


It was a lot like being a captain of a sports team: on the playing field there are a range of backgrounds, skill sets, and abilities that you have to learn to speak to and balance. This helped me leverage stakeholders in appropriate ways.


Being a successful leader means communicating and positioning in a way that maximizes the inclusion of multiple viewpoints, needs, and priorities—whether I’m at Nike or on the rugby field.

The areas of most concern to the parents were finances, quality of life, housing, employment, health, making friendships, education and independence, in no order. These are concerns because as soon as a disabled young adult finishes school, they are no longer able to receive certain resources.


Why is this so important? Because all people, even the disabled, should be able to live with the same advantages and opportunities as everyone else, including living independently.

What Is Independent Living?

For a disabled adult, independently living can mean the same as it does for a non-disabled adult. It means no longer living with parents, working at a job or having a career, going to college, and even having a social life that may include dating. It means having access to these opportunities by adjusting or creating new environments that support their disability so they can succeed on their own, or with help, in adulthood.

Below are a few ways independent living for disabled young adults has advanced and helped many experience an active and fulfilling lifestyle. Housing is one of the first factors to investigate. Types of housing can include college dorm rooms, apartments, assisted living, public housing, and even owning a home. If planning to attend college, there are dorm rooms built to accommodate those with disabilities.

Accessible College Dorm Living

Those with disabilities can live on their own. They may need to adapt their living environment to do so, but those are small barriers to overcome. The type of disability they have can often determine the best environment.

Colleges and universities have special living spaces with wheelchair accessibility, lower cabinets and sinks, ramps, and widened doors. They also include wheelchair accessibility to the shower, and even allow service pets for those who need the assistance of a trained animal.

Accessible Apartments

Not everyone will decide to go to college. Instead, they may choose to rent their own apartment while they work or take time to adjust to adulthood. There are apartments out there that have been set up for persons with disabilities. If not, there are certainly owners of apartments that will make an apartment ADA-compliant.

In the event of refusal, they know this is against the law and it’s doubtful they would want to face legal actions. For the most part, however, landlords are just happy to have great renters and will do what they can to keep them, even if that means reconstructing some areas to meet needs of a tenant.

Affordable Public Housing

Most young adults are struggling financially, whether disabled or not. They just haven’t had enough time in the workforce to earn a higher wage. Or, they are still in college working a part-time job. In cases such as these, public housing is available, and it is based on income. The Public Housing Agency can help anyone find the right house that meets the needs of disabilities.

Assisted Living Options

You may think assisted living is only for the elderly. Well, this is not true. They also cater to younger adults who are transitioning into independent living. Assisted living facilities have it all. They are built with the idea of making everything easier for the disabled. They individualize a person’s living space based on needs. They can install:

  • Stair chair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Bath lifts
  • Transition benches
  • Showers that are wheelchair accessible
  • Non-slip treads
  • Grab bars

They have on-site staff who can help care for, when needed, a person with disabilities. They also provide transportation to school, work or social activities. They can meet the medical, as well as personal needs of its residences. Assisted living can often give parents of disabled young adults more peace of mind too.


Personal Assistants

Having an assistant doesn’t sound so bad. They work the schedule that fits the schedule of the disabled young adult. Personal assistants are the employee of the person with disabilities. Meaning, they are there to meet the needs of the person they work for. Needs can be with:

  • Personal care
  • Transportation
  • Getting to class on a college campus
  • Eating
  • Attending social events
  • Getting to and from work
  • Organizing a schedule

They can also help ensure the disabled adult takes necessary medications, gets to meetings with doctors and therapists, and communicates daily with parents or family members of their client. Finding the right personal assistant is a process that should include research, references and the final choice being made by the disabled adult.

Transportation Services

The automobile industry has been amazing when it comes to adapting cars, trucks, and vans to meet the needs of the disabled. Some are even created to allow the disabled to drive with assistance. There are vehicles with ramps and that are wheelchair accessible.


Public transportation has stepped up too. Most buses and trains make it easy for a disabled person to use their services. Large spaces are established for those with wheelchairs. Ramps are used as well as vehicle lifts. One problem with transportation can be the cost of the service. However, there are local government programs that can help.


It’s always good to check with local authorities who may have access to funding for those making the transition to adulthood and independent living. Funding may support the costs of buying obtaining supportive devices like walkers, chairs and technology.


Depending on the amount of funding, they may even be able to help with modifications to living environments, like adding grab bars or shower adjustments for safety. The transition to adulthood and independent living can be made so that everyone is happy, safe, and living well.

Many home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, say that coming up with their down payment and money for closing costs is the greatest obstacle to buying a house in East Camden, NJ. The good news is there are options available for borrowers who have trouble coming up with a down payment. From local programs with down payment grants to silent second loans and government programs, you can find help that will enable you to qualify for a mortgage.


In many cases, East Camden, NJ borrowers who earn up to 120% of the median income for their area can qualify for down payment assistance. The following are a few popular programs to consider. Your loan specialist can help you learn more about specific programs in your area.

East Camden, NJ USDA Rural Loans

Many counties in the state qualify for USDA rural mortgages. USDA home loans are popular for many reasons, most notably the fact that these loans allow 100% financing with no down payment. USDA loans are also easy to qualify for with no private mortgage insurance and lower credit requirements. However, you will need to meet income guidelines for this type of loan.

Federal Home Loan Bank Program in East Camden, NJ

First-time home buyers can qualify for down payment assistance from the Federal Home Loan Bank. This institution, which is owned by several large financial institutions, offers two programs: the Individual Development and Empowerment Account (IDEA) program and the Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) program. Both programs will match $3 to every $1 you save toward your down payment, to a limit.

American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act

This program offers down payment grants in to low- and middle-income households and uniformed employees like teachers, maintenance workers, police officers and firefighters. Grants available can be used as a down payment for a single family home in East Camden, NJ.

The school year is underway for much of New Jersey, with a vast majority of schools teaching at least some of the week remotely, and worries about the digital divide have hardly gone away.


And the divide may even be wider than previously reported.


The state’s top education official faced questions Wednesday at the state Board of Education’s meeting about how much the state has progressed in closing what has been a gaping gap in technology access at home.


The state provided a new report afterward indicating that as of June, more than 350,000 students — or a quarter of all enrolled — were without the necessary technology at home. The Murphy administration had previously said that the June survey found 230,000 students without the technology, but it appears from the report that was just low-income students. Either way, the state has not provided an updated count.


But interim Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer said Wednesday that the Murphy administration’s $54 million grant program to help districts purchase devices and other technology had proceeded this summer, as planned, and “most, almost all” of the applications from districts had been approved. The department also said more than $300 million in federal CARES Act funding was also being made available to districts for pandemic–related costs.

Some success in closing gap

The department only released some totals on Wednesday, but not how much money was granted or how many districts got assistance. Dehmer only said his department had heard from districts that the funding had helped close their needs.


“Districts have been able to continue their planning and purchases of devices and connectivity,” Dehmer said. “One thing that is very important is that as we rolled out this grant program, we didn’t look at just devices, whether it be laptop or something like that, but also looked at connectivity. If you have a laptop and can’t connect to the internet, that doesn’t get you to where you need to be.”


The number of districts relying on at-home technology is only growing, whether part of a “hybrid” model that also includes in-person instruction or solely remote learning.


At last count, Dehmer said 388 districts were thus far following a hybrid model, 238 were all-remote, and just 69 districts or charter schools were full-time in-person.

Advocates are watching closely

One party keeping a close eye has been the Education Law Center, the organization that has led the state’s Abbott v. Burke school equity lawsuits and last month put the Murphy administration on notice for not yet fully addressing the technology needs.


Almost all of the so-called Abbott districts, among the state’s neediest, have gone to all-remote models, at least to start.


“There has been no movement by the Murphy administration in seriously tackling this issue, starting with publishing accurate and up-to-date data on where the divide is most acute and the barriers causing the divide,” David Sciarra, the ELC’s executive director, said in an email Wednesday.


“It also puts real urgency into the need for the Administration to take full responsibility for any student not having internet connectivity and a device — now essential for a public education,” he continued.


At the state board meeting, Dehmer acknowledged that needs still persist. “I’d like to say that everything is perfect on this,” Dehmer stated, adding there has been difficulty in getting necessary devices from overseas manufacturers.


The interim commissioner highlighted a link the state Department of Education released last week that is a “virtual learning toolkit” that provides information and resources for teachers, parents and students.


“This is an area that we are going to build throughout the school year,” Dehmer said. “We are going to keep that up. We’re not going to let off the gas on this.”


Board members queried the commissioner about how the state will keep track of progress districts are making, especially in remote instruction. Board member Mary Beth Berry, herself a public school teacher in Hunterdon County, said she was worried not only about the digital divide but also about students who had the devices and connectivity.


Querying lack of tech support

“Looking at these numbers, this is an awful lot of young people who are going to be on Zoom or whatever platform,” she said. “Are you working with companies? What system is in place if the system crashes?


“This is going to be how we are providing instruction, and do we have an infrastructure in place to make sure it all works?”


Dehmer said technology infrastructure in this pandemic has become a bigger issue than just for schools, but he said the toolkit should help provide some resources.


“That’s why it was so important to pull that together,” he said. “If this is not working (for families), who should they contact? And to help districts to devise those resources as well.”


The report provided Wednesday evening included a host of numbers from the June survey of more than 600 districts.


In addition to the student needs, it said that more than 40,000 staff members in more than 200 districts also needed devices at the time. It also noted that as of June, more than 540 districts had provided devices and other technology to at least some students, and more than 570,000 students in all — almost half of all students — had received some technology from their districts.