It was an exciting and inspiring moment on May 22 as more than 300 Philadelphia public school students grades 3-8, teachers, and community partners gathered at the University of the Arts to share what Need in Deed classes learned and accomplished over the school year.

As one attendee remarked, surveying the room, “These kids are the city’s future, and wow, does it look bright.”

At this year’s Shout Out, our annual celebration of student voice, nearly 50 display boards around the UARTS courtyard described how the students in Need in Deed classrooms across the city identify issues they care about and develop meaningful service.

As student ambassadors from each class shared their work with peers and other attendees, they described the community issue they identified—homelessness, discrimination, substance abuse, environmental degradation, child abuse, distracted driving, hunger, and gender bias—and illustrated how their research and action was a lens for learning skills and concepts in reading, writing, math, social studies, science.

Studying the complex causes of these seemingly intractable problems and the ripple effects that play out in their own neighborhoods and schools, the students chose multiple paths for making a difference, from advocacy on their issues to simple acts of kindness for those in distress.

Many thanks to all who attended and to our funders and supporters for investing in the city’s future.