A Grays Ferry resident will receive an honor for improving the lives of locals affected by crime.
By Joseph Myers
Tyrique Glasgow is well-versed in loss, having said goodbye to many acquaintances in his Grays Ferry environs due to violence and even to five years of life on a drug distribution sentence. Having revamped his life to favor addition over subtraction, the 35-year-old has looked to lessen the communal sense of pain that plagues the neighborhood through his Young Chances Foundation (YCF) and work with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. For these efforts, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia (V/WSSP), 1426 South 12th Street, will commend him Friday, granting him its Edward J. McLaughlin Award for Distinguished Service to Victims at the Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St.
The designation is bestowed annually at the Passyunk Square-based agency’s spring fundraiser, with a silent auction bolstering the cause. As a Community Outreach Coordinator with the DA’s office, Glasgow has strengthened V/WSSP’s reputation as a tireless advocate for those who are struggling to make sense of tragic setbacks, making the upcoming ceremony a fitting nod to him.
“If you’re going through pain, I feel it, too, because I know what it is like to part with people who are loved and cared for,” the impending honoree said of empathy’s role in his vocation. “I feel it’s inexcusable not to connect people with resources because they’re already struggling. Should we make them a victim twice by denying them what could help them through their grief?”
V/WSSP covers individuals in the 1st, 3rd and 17th police districts, offering direct assistance to those who are picking up the pieces of their lives following violent crimes, with the DA’s office serving as a key ally. As executive director at YCF, Glasgow has worked hard to make community residents, especially children, feel valued. The nearly eight-year-old foundation will soon have an eponymous community enrichment center at 2703 Tasker St.
Glasgow, a promoter of positivity, no matter the circumstances, speaks eagerly about the benefits of choosing to do good. “I would say that it’s been easy to gain respect in the community because these surroundings realize that matters have to change,” Glasgow opined of Grays Ferry, a territory frequently disrupted by drug squabbles and gunfire. “There are a few people around here who want us all to prosper, and I’m happy to be among them.”
Glasgow appreciates that his employment can mesh with the foundation to help South Philadelphians on an enhanced scale. He expressed sadness that violence has become normalized in some stretches of South Philly and is fighting to make sure that people see “not only the drawings but also the big picture” when it comes to pushing back against crime and regret.
“I’ve lived through the trauma, and others can, too,” Glasgow said. “Yes, it’s a shame that we even have to face it, but there’s growth that comes from it.”
Having learned of the V/WSSP distinction a couple months ago, the winner initially shrugged off the idea of receiving an accolade, and he still feels his true reward is being able to have the chance to encourage others, be it through the City or YCF.
“Tomorrow is the biggest honor, and then the next day is even bigger than that,” Glasgow said of seeing each day as a gift. “When you realize that every day can be about making a difference, you’ll never have a chance to put yourself on a pedestal because it’s those you’re helping who are going up on it.”