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Project SHINE director recognized as White House Champion of Change

On Thursday, April 26, Patience Lehrman, a Temple graduate and the Program Director of Project SHINE met with President Obama to celebrate the one year anniversary of the White House Champions of Change program.

This program, created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative, honors individuals who have pioneered significant improvements in their communities.

Patience Lehrman was initially recognized as an Immigration Integration Champion in 2011. The title was designed to honor an individual who is active in local and national organizations serving immigrants, youth, and low-income adults. In addition to her work with Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders), Lehrman has been an advocate for immigrant and refugee rights, has testified before Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and frequently presents at national conferences.

Project SHINE, a nonprofit that operates out of Temple’s Intergenerational Center, trains college students to transmit knowledge in English, civics, and literacy to local older immigrant populations. Since its inception in 1985, the program has trained nearly 10,000 students and helped more than 40,000 immigrants.

Lehrman, national director of Temple’s Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders), was awarded the E Pluribus Unum Prize in 2011. Competing against 450 applicants, Lehrman was one of only four to receive the award for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives. The $50,000 prize, given by the Migration Policy Institute, was used to fortify and expand Project SHINE’s initiatives.