Teacher Standing in Front of a Class of Raised Hands

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A building that once housed a neighborhood bar is now a community center for Philadelphia’s youth.

After his mother passed away, Kevin Upshur transformed her bar into in hopes of of fulfilling her request that he give back to the neighborhood that reared him.

“She said you’ve got to do something in the community. You’ve got to give back and you’ve got to help stop some of the violence by having a place where young people can come and learn,” he told HuffPost host Alyona Minkovski.

Just a few blocks away from the center lies Strawberry Mansion High School, from which Upshur himself graduated. The school has a 41 percent graduation rate, which is much lower than the national average of 82.2 percent.

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