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Ed Rendell and Former Eagle Jamaal Jackson Join DHS's Achieving Independence Center for Always Bet on Youth

Valley Youth House and the Philadelphia DHS’s Achieving Independence Center will co-host the casino-themed gala to support Philadelphia youth, featuring keynote speaker Ed Rendell and former Eagles Center Jamaal Jackson as guest dealer.

Philadelphia, PA, March 18, 2013 --( Valley Youth House and the Philadelphia Department of Human Service’s (DHS) Achieving Independence Center will co-host the casino-themed gala to support Philadelphia youth, featuring keynote speaker Ed Rendell and former Eagles Center Jamaal Jackson as guest dealer. Always Bet on Youth, presented by Liberty Property Trust, will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 7 pm-11 pm on the first floor of the Comcast Center. The event, emceed by John Gattuso, will include casino games, a silent auction, music by DJ Miguel of Wired 96.5, and an awards ceremony honoring Independent Achiever John Grady, President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.

In addition to presenting sponsor Liberty Property Trust, generous support is being provided by Cozen O’Connor, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Toll Brothers, Inc., LF Driscoll, Environetics, and Pennoni Associates.

"Always Bet on Youth supports the critical missing funding, tools and services needed for us to assure youth become the productive and self-sufficient adults they and we all need them to be; it's a safe bet with a big payoff," said Bob Robertson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Valley Youth House.

According to DHS Commissioner, Anne Marie Ambrose, “The AIC was established to ensure that these young people have caring adults and positive role models in their lives and to provide the education, support and guidance that will enable them to make a successful transition to independence. This event helps us achieve that goal.”

Each year, an estimated 500 youth age out of the foster care system in Philadelphia and must prepare to live independently. Without family or community support, the personal and societal outcomes for former foster care youth are grim. These young people face isolation, homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, and exploitation as they struggle to make their way into adulthood.

Managed by Valley Youth House, the AIC offers a full range of services designed to meet the individual needs of Philadelphia youth, including: educational support, career planning, mentoring, life skills training, housing and budgeting help. The AIC also provides one-on-one mentoring to ensure that youth receive the necessary resources to prepare them for college.

Food for the event will be provided by DiBruno Brothers, Tokyo Sushi & Catering and Termini Brothers; an open bar with wine and beer will also be available. Tickets for the event are $95 for individuals, $175 for couples, and $45 for young professionals age 30 and under. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, please contact Valerie Johnson at or (215) 925-3180.

The Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) is the City agency charged with protecting children from abuse, neglect, and delinquency, ensuring their safety and permanency in nurturing home environments, and strengthening and preserving families by enhancing community-based prevention services. Through the development of organizations such as Valley Youth House and the Achieving Independence Center (“AIC”), DHS provides services to strengthen the overall well-being of Philadelphia youth and families using a personal approach that is responsive to evolving community needs.

Founded in 1973, Valley Youth House provides a first line of defense for troubled young people and their families by partnering with agencies, systems, and businesses to create unique programming intended to preserve family life and provide youth with the necessary resources to become productive and successful adults. Services are provided by a professional staff, community volunteers, and student interns at schools, family homes, offices and more than 100 residential facilities throughout Lehigh, Northampton, Bucks, Philadelphia, Montgomery, Carbon and Luzerne Counties. The AIC, which is managed by Valley Youth House, provides independent living services to approximately 1,400 young people each year and Valley Youth House – Greater Philadelphia has helped more than 2,500 young adults to succeed in their transition from adolescence to adulthood in the past six years.

For more information about DHS, visit; for more information about Valley Youth House or the AIC, visit
Contact Information
Valley Youth House - Greater Philadelphia
Valerie Johnson

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