Avenues of Change

A few years ago, Matthew Nocho of Avenues of Change in East Kensington saw that there was a great need for an education based organization committed to empowering low income families and defending local teachers. The Philly Home Girls were lucky enough to meet Matthew this past Fall at our Grande Open House Event in Kensington for our Suite Row Phase II properties.

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Our Parisian Carnival event included local circus performers, small business owners, and fun bites from the neighborhood like Little Baby's Ice Cream and Martha. We also invited our partners Kendra Scott to pop-up shop for visitors to browse their new home collection. 20% of the purchases made at our event went to H.A brown Elementary School, a passionate cause for our agents. It was Friends of H.A Brown (FHAB) who invited Matthew to our Phase II through our open facebook event.

After chatting and snacking on a Little Baby's Ice Cream cone, The PHGs fell hard for Avenues of Change as an organization. We sat down with Matthew later this year to get some more details on the organization and upcoming events they are having in 2018. 

What initially made you decide to start Avenues of Change? Why specifically in this East Kensington?

Honestly, I was tired of parents telling me that there wasn't anything for kids to do in the community. One of my favorite parents was also battling cancer at the time and she told me that one day somebody needed to make a change in the area and stand up for the teachers.

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What has been your most memorable experience so far in your efforts?

For me, every event that Avenues Of Change has done at the Sergeant Street garden has been memorable. However, our very first outreach event with PAFA ( Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts) four years ago is the winner. Their organization lead an arts and crafts activities. During the event I noticed there was there was a woman walking down the street with her kids. I walked over to her and invited her along with her family to the event. I explained to her that our events were designed to empower the families in the area and it was something fun for her kids to be apart of in the the community. This woman, Ms.Lucy has since become my moat faithful volunteer and her family attends all of our events.

What do you want people moving into the neighborhood to know about your Avenues Of Change?

We want new parents to know how committed we are to providing educational programs that empower their families in the community.

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Are there any interesting facts that most people don’t know? 

In just 4 years over 238 families have attended Avenues of Change outreach workshops at the Sergeant Street community garden. We are trying to transition from grassroots to a non-profit education based organization.

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How would you describe the your organization's mission?

We are a local education & community based organization in East Kensington. Our mission is to inspire low-income families of Kensington by providing educational programs, supporting local teachers, and supporting school-based initiatives.

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What was your experience at our Kensington Open House Event?

I was able to briefly interact with most of the members of Philly Home Girls. I walked away feeling very encouraged that we have realtors who are invested in the lives of members of the community. As AOC transitions to becoming a non profit organization I hope that we can support more Realtors like Philly Home Girls moving forward. 

What is your favorite part about your neighborhood, East Kensington? 

I love forming relationships with families in my neighborhood. It is fun to see their kids grow and their parents witness my growth as a leader along with the progression of AOC.

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We love finding out where the best hot spots in the area are, what are some of your favorites?

It really depends on my mood. If I'm looking for a good cup of coffee I'll be in Franny Lous’s Porch ordering an Oscar Romero Latte. On the other hand, if I want a nice meal or I'm with a friend looking for some comfort food, I'm taking them to Soup Kitchen Cafe for an amazing grilled cheese and tomato basil soup.

Matthew is also excited that this fall the young people El Centro Estudiantes will be leading many of Avenues of Change workshops for the Outreach Team this school year. Here are some of the organizations upcoming events and make sure to like them on Facebook!

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Parfait Workshop
DATE : March 8th
TIME: 3:00pm-4:00pm
LOCATION: Kensington Branch Library, 104 Dauphin St, Philadelphia, PA 19133 

Graffiti Workshop
DATE : March 22nd
TIME: 3:00pm
LOCATION: Kensington Branch Library, 104 Dauphin St, Philadelphia, PA 19133

Slime
DATE : April 19th
TIME: 3:00pm
LOCATION: Kensington Branch Library, 104 Dauphin St, Philadelphia, PA 19133

Henna Workshop
DATE : May 10th
TIME: 12:00pm-4:00pm
LOCATION: Trenton Arts Festival, Frankford Ave and Susquehana