Promoting the Integrity, Independence and Well-being of Working Families


Our Reason Why

The Born This Way Foundation, which was founded by Grammy-award winner Lady Gaga, as well as the South Jersey First Star Collaborative, a college exposure program for children in foster care funded by the Pascale Sykes Foundation, and the Give Something Back Foundation, which provides mentors and scholarships to help Pell Grant eligible students go to college, came together for the installation of the “Our Reason Why” wall at The Monkey and the Elephant, a non-profit coffee shop in Philadelphia that employs former foster youth. This kindness popup will provide an outlet for young people to express their stories. 

While at the coffee shop, Students from First Star assembled “kindness packages” for children in foster care. The students, along with other Give Something Back scholars, prepared kits which included hygiene supplies, comforters, pillows, hand-decorated journals, book bags, signed copies of the book Through the Fires, and other Lady Gaga merchandise. The “kindness packages” were personally delivered to children currently in foster care from Philadelphia in partnership with Turning Points.

The theme of “Our Reason Why” was developed by one of the First Star youth during her project-based learning activity over the summer. The website that was created can be found at: “Our Reason Why” has become much more than a theme for a project, rather an inspiration of hope for our First Star youth and the young people they serve.