Philip DeVol graduated from Woodstock School in 1966, and has been training and consulting on poverty issues since 1997. He has been honoured as a Distinguished Alumnus for his exemplary work on poverty issues, designing adolescent treatment programmes, and improving the retention rates of new hires from poverty and the challenges of chemical dependence.
He is co-author of Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities with Ruby K. Payne and Terie Dreussi-Smith. In 2004 he wrote Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World: Building Your Resources for a Better Life to help people in poverty investigate the impact of poverty on their communities and themselves.
The Bridges Communities organisation brings together people from all classes, political persuasions, and sectors to address all causes of poverty in a systemic way. Phil works nationwide and internationally with communities that apply Bridges Out of Poverty constructs, including sites in Canada, Australia and Slovakia. In fact, Getting Ahead has been translated into Slovak, and Bridges Communities in Slovakia have so far been awarded two European Union grants to further the work there.
Phil’s 2010 work Investigations into Economic Class in America, co-authored with Karla M. Krodel, applies the Getting Ahead concepts to college life for under-resourced post-secondary students. Investigations received the 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award in the Curriculum—Adult Life Skills category and was a finalist for the 2011 Golden Lamp Award as well as for the 2011 Innovation Award by the Association of Educational Publishers, leading to an invitation to showcase the work at a Capitol Hill briefing. A collection of Phil’s essays and articles was published in 2010 under the title Bridges to Sustainable Communities.
Phil is married to Susan, and was the youngest DeVol to attend Woodstock after his sisters, Priscilla ’55 and Patricia ’55, and his brother, Joe ’62.