Giving Back

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It’s been a while since our last Traditions class update, but we can assure you it was worth the wait.

I bet you’d be surprised to know that PBP partners with 26 non-profits to sponsor 30 projects. One of them being a safe home for orphans and immigrant children in Israel, and another being a Nitrogen-Hydrogen Alternative Energy Reaction Research Laboratory. Yeah, we were surprised too… but even more so, we were very inspired.

This week we learned all about PBP’s philanthropy efforts. They do a ton of work for many different groups of people.

The company supports victims of substance abuse, Junior Achievers and local organizations such as the Walnut Street Theater, the Wharton Esherick Museum and much more. They also sponsor stem cell, cancer and energy research.

One of their big initiatives is helping students. PBP founded The Franklin Institute’s STEM scholar program, which is a cohort program of 15 talented high-schoolers in under-served communities. These students get to do research projects with The Franklin Institute staff.

At the collegiate level, PBP sponsors the Life After College Success Program at Franklin and Marshall. Also, PBP created an international internship program in social entrepreneurship. Selected students from UCONN, Duke, Columbia and Notre Dame travel to Guatemala for the summer and teach local entrepreneurs business tools.

One of the biggest ways employees can get involved in PBP’s philanthropic mission is by volunteering at PBP’s adopted inner-city school, Cook-Wissahickon Elementary. Employees act as student-mentors and spend time with their students twice a month – either at the office or at the school. PBP also created before and after-school programs with games, crafts, homework help and snacks for the students. They’ve taken children on trips and sponsored speakers, career days and other events.

Giving back means something different to everyone, and there are many reasons why people choose to give. Some people are passionate about a cause, some feel inspired when they give and others want to make a difference. Also, there are many things people can give: time, money, talent.

We were asked to think about all of these things and what giving back really means to us. We challenged ourselves and discussed how we’re going to give back in our futures.

And now we’re challenging you: how will you give back?

Starting off at PBP

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One Cook-Wissahickon student hurries to join the volleyball game.

Tuesday, June 10th was my first day at PBP, and I felt a mix of emotions – excited, tired, and nervous – to name a few.  I was excited to finally be at PBP, tired from having to wake up earlier than I had for the past four years, and nervous because I was the last intern to start. Immediately, I was welcomed by everyone on staff and it felt like I had been an intern for weeks. I knew I would start writing immediately, but I had no idea I would have the opportunity to take part  in one of PBP’s philanthropy events during my first week!

On my very first Friday, PBP had planned a Mentor Picnic at Battle of the Clouds Park in Phoenixville. I had a few emails describing the event, but I didn’t really know what it was all about. So, a few of the other interns and I decided to check it out.

We left the office around 11 a.m. and headed over to the park. When we got there, a group of students from Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School were gathered at picnic tables along with many of PBP’s employees. After talking with a few different people, we learned the employees had been mentors throughout the year, and the picnic was an end-of- year celebration.

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Students play a game of wiffle ball before lunch.

Throughout the afternoon, students spent time with their mentors playing volleyball, football, soccer and running around on the park’s playground. It was so exciting to see how much fun the kids were having, and it was the perfect day for a picnic!

For lunch, we gathered at the picnic tables for some pizza and salad. The interns had time to chat with students about school and meet any PBP staff we hadn’t already. Then, there was a small celebration to say good luck to each sixth-grader leaving the program. PBP mentors spoke about the many memories they’ve shared with their mentees over the past few years and encouraged them to keep growing.

The students had a lot of fun, as did all of the PBP employees and interns! The picnic was a perfect start to my internship, because I not only had the chance to see one aspect of the organization’s philanthropy, but also I was able to meet and bond with some of the staff.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and bookmark our blog so you can keep up with everything we’re doing this summer!