Its like a heat wave burning in my heart

We are in a heat wave in Philadelphia. There is a storm on its way. And I am climbing on board a yellow school bus – being granted the fortunate luck to get out of the office again to witness first hand the impact the youth and Get HYPE Philly are having in this city. I am on the Philadelphia Youth Networks (PYN) Work Ready Tour. This tour is an end of summer tour that highlights what the interns did for the summer. PYN is one of the 10 partners that are part of Get HYPE Philly! This intern program is a “citywide initiative dedicated to  improving the economic outcomes of the region’s youth by attracting, aligning, and investing resources in coordinated, youth-workforce-development programs.” And guess what? GSK’s grant supported adding 50 interns every summer for over 3 years so up to 150 youth will get amazing work experience because of GSK.

Tour stop 1: We walk into this building that radiates culture and energy. There are pictures and origami placed all throughout the building. We walk in and are greeted by the Asian Americans United (AAU) youth interns and led through a multitude of their summer projects. One of them was around Chinatown Vote which is trying to increase the voting population around Asian Americans. The reason Asian Americans do not vote is 1) they cannot read or understand the information or 2) they

This picture the AAU youth created which signifies alone we may be overtaken but we are so much more powerful together …. mind blow!

do not know how to use the voting poll system. You guys … these youth found ways to solve this! Offering to go with them to show them the polls or by bringing information and translating it. These youth are creating change!

Tour stop 2: We get to this beautiful water view on the river, yes it is hot but the beauty of the water allows you to forget about the heat. We have arrived at Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory. What they are doing is amazing! You know what was even more amazing – having youth take the lead. Ken shown below was our captain. We had this woman Jackie on our boat. She was scared and I mean shaking, barely getting on the boat, crawling on the dock scared. The water was extremely choppy as a storm was imminent. Ken our captain tells us

Three cheers to our captain Ken!

roughest day on the water he has seen yet. But you know what Ken did – he took charge – told us he was the best rower there was and not to worry he’s got this. He eases Jackie’s fears and mine immediately. That confidence is what the Get HYPE Philly! movement is all about. Inspiring youth to be leaders of change! Realizing their voice matters. Even the news showed up for this event – look for me 16 seconds in walking down the ramp – don’t blink you might miss it – I am also at 22 seconds on a boat with Ken leading the way.

The PYN work ready program is just one part of Get HYPE Philly! … check out a glimpse of what has been accomplished in year 1 – be gentle this was my first non-profit blog.

I LOVE all these things I am learning GSK is supporting that I never even knew and being ranked the number 1 company changing the world gave the heat wave song a whole new meaning as my heart is bursting with pride. And don’t forget GSK family – what you are all doing everyday to make the world proud!

Stay tune for my next blog Navy Yard crew – we have an event coming up I would love to see my GSK family & Philly friends at – the Night Market coming to the Navy Yard on November 6th!




  1. Love the energy that continues to come through your voice in your blogs! Keep up the great work, & thanks for sharing 🙂 See you in the NY soon!

  2. This is so awesome!!! Loved to learn more about Get HYPE Philly! and how GSK is enabling these kids to be more confident and to have access to great professional and educational experiences throughout summer. Really enjoyed your writing too, I could see myself within that building in Chinatown and on the boat with Ken.

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