VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 25, 2015) – Most teens spend their summer by the pool, but not this group of six Norfolk Academy sophomores. Instead, they spent their break teaming up with Centura College, Tidewater Tech, Aviation Institute of Maintenance and Dollar Tree to fill more than a thousand backpacks with rulers, highlighters, folders and other important school supplies. Over the next two weeks, all 1,100 backpacks will make it into the hands of Hampton Roads children who need them most.
“I’ve seen it all—mesh backpacks, broken backpacks, garbage bags. The truth is that there are lots of kids all over Hampton Roads that show up on the first day of school without the supplies they need. I decided it was time to change that—kids helping kids, one backpack at a time,” said Sven Patzer, the fifteen-year-old leader of the Hampton Roads Backpack Attack operation.
Kicking off Friday, August 21, employees of Centura College, Tidewater Tech, Aviation Institute of Maintenance and Backpack Attack volunteers alike arrived at Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus to get to work, stuffing the 1,100 backpacks. Crayons, notebooks, folders, and pencils, donated by Dollar Tree, Centura College and many individual Backpack Attack donors, consumed the room and transformed each empty backpack into the epitome of the perfect school supplies list.
From Monday, August 24, through Labor Day, Backpack Attack volunteers will deliver 800 backpacks directly to local schools for give away. The other 300 will be handed out at the following local pick-up sites: the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Chesapeake campus, the Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, and Chesapeake Centura College campuses, and Tidewater Tech. Our neighbors in need of school supplies are strongly encouraged to stop by any of these locations and grab a backpack while they last.
“Centura College prides itself on community involvement and leaving a positive footprint within our local neighborhood. We are honored to be working with Backpack Attack and truly humbled by the opportunity to help so many local children. We can’t wait to see the smiles when they get those backpacks in their hands,” said Centura College’s Vice President of Operations, Joel English.
Backpack Attack has even bigger plans for the future. Though 1,100 backpacks is a huge success for the drive’s first go, Patzer hopes to reach a jaw-dropping 10,000 next year. There’s even talk of additional student-run chapters developing in other Hampton Roads high schools. To this incredible group of kids, one year isn’t enough. They plan to keep changing the world, one backpack at a time, for years to come.
About Hampton Roads Backpack Attack
Backpack Attack launched in the summer of 2015 as an initiative to put school supplies and gear into the hands of Hampton Roads children who needed it most. Though begun as a summer community service requirement for 15-year-old Sven Patzer, the Hampton Roads Backpack Attack quickly grew into a large community effort aimed at changing the world one backpack at a time. Learn more at http://www.hrbackpackattack.org/ or like Backpack Attack on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hampton-Roads-Backpack-Attack/801309666617795?fref=ts
About Centura College
Since 1969, Centura College has been training working adults in the important fields of computers, business, law and healthcare. These are among the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace and in the future. Currently, Centura College’s four Hampton Roads campuses, located in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, are enrolling students to train for careers in medical assisting, massage therapy, business, information technology, paralegal law, phlebotomy, medical billing and coding, dental assisting, nurse aide and practical nursing. The schools offer professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, and job placement assistance. Learn more at www.centuracollege.edu. Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance
AIM is the nation’s largest family of aviation maintenance schools, with headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. Through AIM’s FAA-approved program, students prepare with hands-on training for careers in aviation maintenance. They learn the skills necessary to become successful as aircraft mechanics. AIM graduates are there to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. Campuses are located in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Manassas, Va., Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo., Las Vegas, Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Irving, Texas. To learn more, visit www.aviationmaintenance.edu. Like us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AIM.edu.
About Tidewater Tech
Tidewater Tech is a career training school that specializes in trade vocations including auto technician, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), building maintenance and repair, and welding. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, and job placement assistance. The campus is an Accredited American Welding Society (AWS) testing facility. Learn more at www.TidewaterTechTrades.edu. Like us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/TidewaterTech.edu.