Abington resident Alexa Rhodes, 16, recently won first place in the Global Youth Entrepreneurship Competition. Twelve projects were in the finals with students from such countries as China and the United States, with students from several states including California and Pennsylvania. Rhodes, a junior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, was joined by three other students from her school who all placed in the Top Four. Rhodes claimed a 5,000 prize to be used toward her project.
Rhodes’ project was titled H.E.L.P.I.N.G. The Homeless Backpacks. She collects items (through financial and in-kind contributions) to fill sturdy backpacks with products worth approximately $40 including the backpack, and donates them to needy charities. Her goal is to help solve problems the homeless face daily: having to carry all their possessions while living outside in extreme temperatures, risking damage to their personal belongings in rain and inclement weather as well as having only a minimal amount of necessities to live comfortably. Each backpack includes a water bottle, a winter hat, gloves, soap, utensils, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a waterproof blanket, a poncho, a pair of socks, wipes, a hand sanitizer, a mask, and a card of positivity. Rhodes made her first delivery in October 2020 to Broad Street Ministry in Center City Philadelphia. She plans to make another delivery shortly to Covenant House of Philadelphia, located in Germantown.
The Global Youth Entrepreneurship supports the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and is committed to engage global young people in this effort. The program aims to empower aspiring global young students with the mindset of entrepreneurship, cross-culture immersing learning environment, the grit for overcoming difficulties, and the goal for lifelong learning, which ultimately will contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
After winning, Rhodes shared, “Winning this first-place recognition is such an honor for me, especially when considering that the competition included youth from around the world as well as students in my own school!”
For more information about H.E.L.P.I.N.G. The Homeless Backpacks, visit the Instagram site @helpingthehomelessbackpacks, or the website, https://arhodes74.wixsite.com/website. To donate, visit https://one2oneusa.org/homeless-fund/.