Good morning, Philadelphia. Today, we continue to look at a violent and bloody Father’s Day weekend in the city. This year, more than 150 people have been slain in Philly, the highest total through a June 16 since 2012. Reporter Kristen Graham also takes us to Strawberry Mansion High School, where students are thriving through the face of uncertainty. Plus, you’ll come across a story of a coffee shop that gives budding adults a shot — not of espresso, but of potential life-changing experiences.
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Prom is supposed to be a time of celebration ahead of the much-anticipated summer break for high schoolers. For the struggling Strawberry Mansion High School, the party took a more somber note following the shooting death of a student’s mother the day before the event.
The shooting and its aftermath reflect Mansion’s tough realities. Unlike any in Philadelphia, the high school has been fighting not just to survive but to reinvent itself, to somehow be an educational refuge in a neighborhood that logs more homicides than any other in the city.
The bold task falls to the school’s 32-year-old principal, Brian McCracken, who not only has to address issues like staff turnover, but improve morale across the student body and show — not just tell — his vision to the Philadelphia Board of Education.
Lori Locust, a 55-year-old assistant defensive line coach and the Buccaneers’ first full-time female position coach, inadvertently pointed herself toward the NFL nearly a decade and a half ago. For 13 years, the Philadelphia-born football fanatic worked in the insurance industry and raised two sons alone while apprenticing in near-empty arenas and high school stadiums, both in Allentown and Alabama, and as a semipro coach and an NFL intern.
Her upbringing in Pennsylvania and love for the game’s aggressiveness and physicality drew her into the industry at an early age, and she later played women’s semipro football with the Central Penn Vipers.
Her energy and devotion to the game brought her to her current job, but don’t call her a pioneer in the space.
“It sounds bad to say, but that’s never been my motivation,” she said. “I haven’t come into this waving the woman card. That’s not me. If this helps broaden the path for others, great. But I want them to be qualified and experienced."
Every so often, it pays to look up. Thanks for capturing this cool angle @crackd_lens!
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“ ... each of Biden’s missteps raises the question of whether someone with a fresher face and cleaner record on key issues like racial and gender equality would not be a better choice for the Democratic Party in 2020, especially if the central strategy Democrats plan to deploy is to draw a stark contrast between their nominee and Trump.” — Lauren A. Wright, Princeton lecturer in Politics and Public Affairs on how the qualities that made Joe Biden an effective running mate in 2008 could hurt his 2020 presidential bid.