Planning & Community Development

Back to Blog June 16, 2016

Community Development Student Recieves 2016 Emerging City Champions Fellowship

Author: Tracy Purdy
Brad Vasallo (CDEV '16)

Knight Foundation and 8 80 Cities have selected 20 civic innovators to participate in the 2016 Emerging City Champions fellowship program. The participants will receive $5,000 to implement one project in one year that will improve mobility, public spaces or civic engagement in their home cities.

Bradley Vassallo (CDEV ’16) is the recipient of one of these fellowships. His project idea?  PUMP (Pop-Up Market Place): Using shipping containers as venues to sell products and services from aspiring entrepreneurs.

Brad came to Temple with a specific goal — “to have a tangible effect on communities.”

“Growing up, I watched my dad working in a high stress office job. I decided I wanted to make a social impact my primary focus from the very beginning,” said Vassallo, 22, of Quakertown, who will graduate with a B.S. in Community Development. “I want to be able to help people in a meaningful way. Temple was one of the only schools I applied to — I wanted the experiences and hands-on opportunities that the city environment would provide.”

"The emphasis from our professors throughout the Community Development program is on real world experience. Your projects are based in reality — real communities, real people, real budgets — and that gives you a much better understanding of what it would be like working in the field,” Vassallo said. “I’m leaving Temple with real on the ground experience. I’ve learned so much in the classroom, but that has been substantially supplemented by these experiences — you’re able to propel yourself forward professionally.”