For Immediate Release: April 24, 2006
Contact: Tom Krattenmaker
Lang Center's Jetter Wins NAACP Award
Cynthia Jetter, director of community partnerships and planning at Swarthmore College's Eugene M. Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, has been named winner of the Lewis Brown Freedom Award by the Chester, Pa., chapter of the NAACP.
Jetter, a 1974 Swarthmore graduate who has served at the Lang Center since 2002, was honored at the chapter's annual awards dinner on Friday, April 21, an event attended by Gov. Ed Rendell among other dignitaries. The award recognizes Jetter's longtime service and leadership in the Chester community.
Growing up in Chester, Jetter, at age 14, became one of the first participants in Swarthmore College's Upward Bound program. She was also one of the first students selected for A Better Chance, a national program that provides educational opportunities for young people of color. That led to Jetter attending high school at Dana Hall School for Girls in Wellesley, Mass., and her enrollment at Swarthmore, where she graduated with a degree in sociology/anthropology. Jetter has also pursued graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and completed certificate programs at Temple, Harvard, and LaSalle Universities.
As part of her work for Swarthmore's Lang Center, Jetter serves as director of the College's Upward Bound program, which helps low-income students prepare for college.
"It was the support and encouragement of Upward Bound and the Swarthmore students involved in the program that sparked my commitment to education, both for myself as a young person and for the many others growing up today in circumstances similar to mine," Jetter says. "To be recognized by the NAACP chapter in the community from which I come is very meaningful to me."
Before her current position at her alma mater, Jetter worked for the Philadelphia Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, served as a senior visiting fellow at the Manpower Demonstration Research Corp., and worked as a private consultant specializing in equal opportunity and community development. In addition, she was director of student volunteer activities at Swarthmore from 1984 to 1986.
The Lang Center serves as Swarthmore's campus home for activities and programs linking the College to communities in the U.S. and abroad through service and social action. The Lang Center also serves as Swarthmore's link to Project Pericles, a national organization of colleges and universities committed to making socially responsible and participatory citizenship an essential part of their educational program in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.