A group of young South Philadelphia High School students living at the poverty level, many of whom have never even left the city their entire lives – finally got the chance to venture outside city limits thanks to a bunch of strangers.
When the possibility of a trip to Washington D.C. arose, along with it came a bit of despair. They didn’t have the funds to pull the trip off – many of the kids didn’t even have the proper attire. That’s when they decided to turn to Facebook for help – less than an hour later, they were D.C. bound.
In sixty minutes, donations poured in for students from the neighborhood, so they would have enough money to travel to a symposium at the Department of Education.
For many of the underprivileged children this was their first time out-of-state, and they took advantage of a program started by the White House called My Brother’s Keeper mentoring program.
School counselor, Emily Goodman told local ABC 6 that,”It’s a really big deal. Many of our kids have not been out of Philadelphia; they’ve not taken a train.”
A program employee, Tyler Wims said, “This is our opportunity to battle chronic absenteeism.”
Adding that, “A lot of our kids are battling poverty and they’re on the street trying to find different ways to make money,” Wims said.
So to make sure this happened, the mentors within the school decided to reach out and ask for financial assistance. Twenty four hours after the request, the team had collectively secured $1,300 to cover clothes, train tickets and money to tour the city.
The original goal was $600.
TJ Dean of The Future Project, a program encouraging at-risk youth to reach for their dreams said, “Surprising to me was how fast donations came. Within an hour, I had raised already over a couple hundred dollars.”
The day long trip was considered life changing for the kids that attended because it showed them other parts of the country.