200 College-Bound Foster Youth to Receive Backpacks Stuffed with School Supplies

By: PRLog

Youth Voices Rising's "Pack to the Future" Backpack Drive Returns this July in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - June 21, 2023 - PRLog -- The Youth Voices Rising program from Fostering Media Connections — a national journalism nonprofit based in Los Angeles — is working with community partners to support youth on their academic journey through Pack to the Future: A Backpack Drive for College-Bound Youth this summer.

The goal of this project is to provide 200 high school and college students with the necessary resources to confidently begin their postsecondary education, from notebooks and highlighters to laptops and dorm room essentials.

With only 70% of foster youth graduating high school by age 19, and only 24% going on to college at all, the challenges faced by these emerging adults are clear. Youth Voices Rising Program Manager Raquel Wilson remembers struggling to get the materials she needed to prosper while in college, and designed this event to make it easier for fellow foster students to strive for their academic goals.

"When attending supply drives dedicated to supporting students, I noticed most of the items often went to  younger students," Wilson said. "This experience revealed the need for events specifically dedicated to older students so that each individual feels special, cared for and prepared to succeed in the new school year, especially during the challenging transition from high school to college."

The supply-stuffed backpacks will be distributed at a live event at Asana Academy in Los Angeles' Leimert Park neighborhood on July 29. The event will also feature vendors and workshops to help teens prepare for college life, from barbers and hairdressers  providing fresh styles, to professionals offering financial literacy training.

In addition to basic school supplies, "Pack to Your Future" also seeks to gift a number of big-ticket items like laptops or mini-fridges, bedding and other furnishings for dorms. Youth can ask for what they need through a wishlist request form.

People can support the event by purchasing school supplies via Youth Voices Rising's Walmart Registry; volunteering as an event helper, sponsor or vendor; or making monetary contributions.

To become a volunteer, please use this application form.

Fostering Media Connections (FMC) publishes media and journalism to lead the conversation about children, youth and families in America. FMC publishes Fostering Families Today magazine as well as The Imprint Youth & Family News, and offers a media training program for young people with lived experience in the foster care and youth justice systems.

Raquel Wilson

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

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