A partnership between Rebirth of Camden and Better Tomorrows resulted in a once in a lifetime opportunity for Philadelphia and Camden youth. On January 15th, 26 at-risk youth, ages 8-13 who were selected to participate in an All-Star game traveled to the Wells Fargo Center to play at the home of the Philadelphia 76ers. All of the participants are residents of affordable housing developments in Camden.
The All-Star program was conceived by Tyheem Baker, a Camden-based community activist, who heads Rebirth of Camden. The program is designed to make the connection between hard work and positive outcomes for youth facing adversity. Participating youth learn the value of collaboration, teamwork, and commitment with an opportunity to annually participate in this special event where youth are given trophies and jerseys for their participation. Baker noted that, “The program came together after I recognized that Camden youth would benefit from a positive program where work ethic and motivation are rewarded with a chance to play on the court at the Wells Fargo Center.”
Baker reached out to Better Tomorrows to connect the program with the individuals who would most benefit from the rewards of this opportunity. Rebecca Tone, President and CEO of Better Tomorrows, recalls, “This type of collaboration is just the type of partnership that Better Tomorrows seeks. Whenever we can tie local, meaningful programs to the communities we serve, it’s a win-win situation.”
Aside from the ability to play on the Wells Fargo court, participants as well as an additional 106 affordable housing youth and their families had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia 76ers home game against the Charlotte Bobcats. These tickets were generously donated and distributed by Baker.
Better Tomorrows organized participation from youth and families from seven affordable housing developments across the greater Philadelphia region: McGuire Gardens, West Poplar Apartments, Kensington Townhouses, Haddington Townhouses, Sharswood Townhouses, Jackie’s Garden and Courtyard Apartments. These communities are owned and managed by The Michaels Organization, which has a strategic partnership with Better Tomorrows to provide supportive services to its residents
About Rebirth of Camden
Rebirth of Camden’s mission is to give back to the city of Camden by helping local youth recognize their leadership potential and civic pride through programming, activities and positive role models. Rebirth of Camden Charity Organization helps the children in the local community achieve success by offering academic programs, athletic programs, assistance with completing job applications and filling out college applications. The organization fosters an environment that encourages learning, leadership and builds self-esteem.