The District 1 Youth Advisory Board, a group of mostly Brentwood High School students and alumni, is giving away several hundred backpacks Friday to honor International Youth Day.
The recently formed board — which aims to boost civic engagement among Brentwood, Central Islip and North Bay Shore youth — initially hoped to raise $500 to fund the backpack giveaway. They raised almost $1,500 as donations poured in from local businesses and organizations, said chairman Joshua Chan, 20. Tripling their goal was a win for the board’s first community event, which will likely become an annual affair, he said.
Data from the 2020-2021 academic year shows that 89% of the Brentwood Union Free School District student body is economically disadvantaged. Chan was one of those students, he said.
“So many people live check to check, they can’t afford to go to Target and get school supplies … it really hits home,” he said. “We’re all going through some type of pain with this inflation.”
Nearly 300 of the backpacks will already be filled with school supplies. The rest can be filled by the recipient on-site, Chan said. Additionally, Chan said, some 50 businesses and organizations will attend the giveaway to share information on civic involvement, jobs and networking. Some organizations, like the Brentwood Public Library, also will hand out additional school supplies.
The goal of the event is twofold, Chan said: Equip students while exposing them to ways to get involved in Islip Town.
Elected officials and civic groups were invited to attend.
“We are doing this because we think bettering the people after us is going to lead to really great change,” Chan said.
The event will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. at La Espiguita Soccer Academy located at 1795 Brentwood Rd.