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UTRS Encourages Youth From the Wister Townhouse Apartments Residents Association to Think Forward

CEO Jerry Wright speaks to Wister children
TOP: UTRS CEO Jerry Wright speaks to Wister children about taking the right steps towards success. BOTTOM: Danielle Wright-Fennell (left) and Jeffery Moore (right) answer questions from Wister visitors about their experiences with success.

It has been said that "behind every success is effort. Behind every effort is passion. And, behind every passion is someone with the courage to try." It is safe to say that the speakers who shared their stories with children from the Wister Townhouse Apartments Residents Association on July 30 had the courage to try and never give up on their paths to personal success.

Each year, UTRS CEO Jerry Wright invites 20 children from Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood, where he grew up, to UTRS's offices, where he "pays it forward" by sharing his success story and life lessons about how to gain success in their own lives.

This year, the event included speakers Danielle Wright-Fennell, UTRS Director of Education, and Jeffery Moore, entrepreneur and CEO of Moore Financial Solutions, a financial analysis and advisement firm in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Both speakers offered inspiring words and anecdotes about their own journey to success. Wright-Fennell even used the success story of popular hip-hop artist J Cole as an example of how far one can go at a young age with dedication and belief in one's dreams. The artist's perseverance provided an example for the children to not delay in setting goals for themselves. Wright-Fennell stressed that all they have to do is realize their own natural talents, create a vision for their future, work hard, and persevere against all odds.

Perhaps the most inspiring and animated anecdote of the event came from Jeffery Moore who, like most of the children in attendance, grew up in a low-income Northeast Philadelphia community that offered little in the way of upward mobility for its residents. The youngest of eight, Moore was the first in his family to graduate from college. He then went on to complete his master's degree, and now owns two successful businesses—Moore Financial Solutions and Stilettos fashion and shoe boutique. But as Moore shared with the audience, his path to success was not an easy one. He had to learn how to eliminate his distractions in order to make the right decisions, as well as surround himself with the right people who would help to foster his dreams.

CEO Jerry Wright speaks to Wister

Wright-Fennell and Moore's words of advice resonated with the children, and sparked many to share their own dreams and aspirations during the concluding question-and-answer session. Some of the children's responses included what they wanted to be when they grew up: an FBI agent, a business owner, a ballerina, a nurse, and a teacher. Upon closing the presentation, Moore bestowed one final piece of wisdom to the group: "The only one who can beat you is you."

The sentiments expressed throughout the presentation were ones that anyone could carry with them through life. It is UTRS's hope that the Wister children benefit from this advice and pay it forward as they set out to achieve their goals. We look forward to hearing their future success stories and sharing with them our own steps toward a brighter future.