2014-08-25 22:33:12 - The Philadelphia Department of Human Services’ Achieving Independence Center will hold a closing ceremony for the Backpack Challenge on August 27th at the Impact Hub. The Backpack Challenge is an opportunity for the Philadelphia community to help older foster care youth be successful in school.
The Closing Ceremony will feature several speakers, including Rashaun Williams of Phresh Philadelphia and David Gloss of Here’s My Chance. AIC Alum and Temple University student Gabrielle Taylor will speak about her experiences and the support she received from the Backpack Challenge. Chill Moody, recently named Best Rapper by Philly Mag and Philly Music Ambassador for PHLLive, coordinated a performance by AIC members after running a two week workshop at the AIC. 200 young people are expected to attend, and all will receive a backpack filled with school supplies following the Ceremony. An additional 2,000+ youth will receive backpacks and school supplies as part of the Backpack Challenge.
Thus far, the Backpack Challenge has collected over 2,100 backpacks and $15,000
to support members of the AIC. Sponsors include Wired 96.5, 92.5 XTU, Five Below, Internet Essentials by Comcast, Forman Mills, Everfresh, the International Longshoremen’s Association, Environetics, Ambulance Services of America, and National Penn Bank. Collections will continue through September 3rd at Five Below, Forman Mills, and 90+ collection sites across the Greater Philadelphia area, including Styron, Temple University, Royal Bank America, Liberty Property Trust, Oracle, and Ballard Spahr.
“These young people have worked so hard and overcome so many challenges,” says Matt Smith, Director of Sales for XTU and Wired 96.5 parent company, Beasley Broadcast Group. “We are thrilled to do our part to help them achieve their dreams.”
This year, 85 AIC members graduated high school and 65 of those graduates have enrolled in a post-secondary program; 4 of those graduates were also class valedictorians. In total, 124 members will attend their first year of post-secondary school, 24 members enrolled in a vocational program and 10 students graduated from a post-secondary program.