The Backpack Challenge Kicks off in Philadelphia to Support College-Bound Youth in Foster Care

Initiative to raise funds and collect back-to-school items for young adults pursuing higher education

Valley Youth House and Philadelphia's Department of Human Services (DHS) kicked off the annual Backpack Challenge on July 29. The Backpack Challenge supports college-bound youth who are members of the Achieving Independence Center (AIC).

The Backpack Challenge raises funds and collects essential back-to-school items, helping young adults pursue higher education. Monetary donations will be used for laptops, school, and dorm supplies, tuition assistance, and other essential supports. This year, the Backpack Challenge will run through August 31, 2022.

"Our development department at Valley Youth House works hard to connect with businesses and individuals in the Philadelphia community who want to support our mission. Generosity from local donors is the #1 way we are able to provide supportive programming and essential items needed to our youth," said Christina Schoemaker, SVP of Development, Grants & Marketing at Valley Youth House. "We appreciate your consideration in supporting this year's Backpack Challenge." 

"Supporting older youth, especially young people who have experienced foster care, is a top priority," said Kimberly Ali, DHS Commissioner. "The reality is that out-of-pocket costs for education are high. We're grateful for our community partners who work to ensure that college-bound youth have the school supplies they need to thrive. We're so excited for our graduates, and the next stage of their lives as they transition to adulthood."

The Backpack Challenge offers the opportunity for community residents and businesses to support our young people using various platforms. Every gift is an opportunity to make an impact on the future of a young person starting college this fall. 


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To learn more about the Backpack Challenge 2022 or to show your support, please visit

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