Philadelphia

Valley Youth House Backpack Challenged Kickoff and How You Can Help Foster Youth

On Thursday, July 30, Valley Youth House (VYH – Valley Youth House, 1500 Sansom Street, Suite 300A, Philadelphia, PA  19102,) kicked off their annual
“Backpack Challenge” at Dilworth Park. It’s a 30 day community effort to
collect backpacks, school supplies and funds for Philadelphia’s foster
care youth heading off to high school or college (You can help them
reach their goals http://www.vyhphila.org/backpackchallenge/).

 Vanessa Garrett Harley, DHS deputy commissioner, a partner with VYH,
addresses the crowd gathered at the kick off press conference.

 Jennifer Hill, a client of Valley Youth House, tells her story and how
she was able to utlize the programs offered by VYH to help fund her
dream of working in the medical field, and to graduate from Community
College of Philadelphia.

 There was a great turnout to support the annual Backpack Drive, 
The Backpack Challenge raises funds and collects essential back to
school items for foster care youth. From its humble beginnings, the
Backpack Challenge has grown from a small collection drive to a national
program due to the strong partnership between the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Five Below, 96.5 Amp Radio & 92.5 XTU, and Valley Youth House.
Matt Smith, Beasley Broadcast Group and VYH Board Member spoke about the great success about the Backpack Challenge. This year they’re taking the program nationally in Atlanta, Baltmore, Cleveland & Detroit area Five Below stores will run from July 24 to August 9.  
 Bennett and Bex from 96.5 Amp Radio with the Valley Youth House standout
students who are receiving scholarships, computers and other tools to
help them further their education.

Young people ​in foster care are given the tools
needed to pursue and achieve their educational goals through the support
of their own communities. From 2013 to 2014 in Philadelphia, the number
of collection site partners more than doubled, 5,173 backpacks were
collected, and over $36,000 was raised.