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President’s Engagement Prize Awarding $250,000 To Anyone Looking to Try Something Out in West Philly


Photo by Brittany Binler / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Amy Guttman has revealed this year’s President’s Engagement Prize recipients, announcing a sum of $250,000 to Wharton students looking to try out some things in West Philadelphia.

The winners have designed different projects that each tinker around with a community concern that nobody in the community had ideas for probably. In the announcement, Gutmann made clear that nobody in West Philadelphia had thought of these projects before, and nobody could implement them as well as Wharton undergraduates from outside the community.

Wharton students will be able to apply knowledge from classes to their projects. One group has plans to use their $250,000 to offer financial advice to underemployed individuals. Amy Gutmann is excited to support Wharton's teachings, finding a fool-proof solution to deep poverty that does not impact the current economic system because it's working really well.

"The issue is not a lack of resources in West Philadelphia, it's a lack of Wharton ideas and spunk," said Gutmann. “This money is going to the right place.”

The recipients reported to Under the Button that they were excited to just try a new thing. In terms of solving community problems, recipients said they were excited to see what sticks. Although the participants candidly admitted they could not predict the future of their projects, they all felt this experience would have long term and sustainable impacts on how they approach their work once they begin as consultants for McKinsey.