MT. AIRY >> The Northwest Philadelphia area has many programs to inspire and enrich the lives of children. Yet, there is always room for one more nonprofit that offers programming for both adults and children.

Enter Trades for a Difference, which recently held its grand opening after converting an abandoned eyesore into a state-of-the-art multi-level community space at 6612 Chew St. in East Mt. Airy.

This organization is the brainchild of construction entrepreneur Jordan Parisse-Ferrarini, who grew up in walking distance of the new site. While the unveiling of the Philadelphia Arts Mural handiwork and the ribbon-cutting drew Mayor Jim Kenney, state Rep. Christopher Rabb, D-200, and other community leaders, for Parisse-Ferrarini, his focus was on what the center will do for his neighborhood — especially for the children who live there.

“What this center will be used for is a vehicle for prosperity education,” Parisse-Ferrarini said. “This will show those who come that there are careers in the trades that don’t require a college [degree]. It will also show why they need a good education because I learned the trades first. I was self-taught, but then I got training before I went to Temple University for construction management. The process can all start here.”

Parisse-Ferrarini said he is also proud of the fact that the building was a former community eyesore. It had been abandoned for many years and was in poor shape when he acquired it. He was able to convert it into a modern and attractive space.

“This is a center that is going to transform the lives of those who come here,” he said.

Youngsters will be able to get tutored on basic skills and learn about not only computer technology but the basics of owning a business. The center will also have programming for adults. Parisse-Ferrarini said he hopes those who come there will not only learn a trade through the various workshops but learn about how to become entrepreneurs like him.

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