The Believe & Achieve Foundation provides programs dedicated to providing basic needs for at risk children in local neighborhoods. Through our programs, B&A at the YMCA and the B&A Backpack Buddy Program, we are able to provide these children with the opportunity to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams.
The Believe and Achieve Programs at the YMCA are after-school and summer camp programs for at-risk, low-income children ages 5-15 who are lacking a support system. The programs take place at the Oscar Lasko Youth Program Center in West Chester and The Brandywine YMCA in Coatesville. It is the goal of the foundation to launch these programs in at-risk areas throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area and beyond.
The Believe and Achieve Programs provides access to quality, safe, supervised enrichment after school and during the summer months for no cost. Providing this access decreases our youth’s potential for risk-taking behaviors such as vandalism and the use of drugs and alcohol. The children are provided with positive adult role models, interaction with local police and other community volunteers, as well as positive interaction with older children. Each factor helps to expose kids to the developmental assets that are critical for children to thrive. Enrollment is referral based and most of the families are introduced to the programs by school caseworkers, domestic abuse shelters and police officers.
Core Pillars for Success
The members of the Believe and Achieve team have designed our program to incorporate 4 pillars for success. Each pillar addresses common problems seen throughout the youth of at-risk communities nationwide. Each is backed by research and is vital to the mentoring our participants to believe in themselves and to achieve their full potential.
- PROMOTING ACADEMIC SUCCESS
- PROMOTING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE THROUGH GOOD NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
- PROVIDING A SAFE HAVEN TO GROW AND THRIVE
- PROMOTING POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM
Every weekend there are children that go home hungry. Realizing the vital role that food and nutrition play in a child’s physical and mental development, the Backpack Buddy Program insures that these children have access to food by providing a backpack of nutritional items throughout the school year. The Backpack Buddy Program feeds feed 1000 children and provides items such as peanut butter, tuna, chicken, fruit cups, fruit juice, healthy cereal, pasta and shelf stable milk. Our volunteers deliver the backpacks to local Elementary Schools every Friday during the school year. In addition to the current 1000 children receiving food assistance with the program, there are thousands more waiting in line for assistance. Food donations are always accepted but monetary donations allow us to increase the buying power.