Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High School is the inaugural site of the Villa Dream project.
The day-long event is Oct. 22 at the school at 550 N. Broad St. The project, which is being organized by Villa, a specialty footwear retailer, will feature appearances by more than 40 successful professionals from across the country.
They will appear in panel discussions and mingle with the students to provide for networking opportunities.
“We need to provide the tools that urban youths need in order to see
the world of possibilities that awaits their future,” said Patrick Walsh, vice president of marketing at Villa.
The event is expected to be attended by 500 high school students. The guests include top ranking executives from corporations such as Nike, Twitter, Univision, National Basketball Association, Philadelphia 76ers, VILLA, American Express, Deutsche Bank, BET, Vanguard, Fannie Mae, and American Express, Radio One. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and former Def Jam president Kevin Liles will give the opening remarks.
Q&A sessions will be geared towards exposing the students to career paths that await them within the sports, entertainment, banking and finance, business and marketing, E-commerce, and real estate industries.
Partnering with Villa are the City of Philadelphia, PhillyGoes2College, Philadelphia Youth Network, Rising Sons and the University of Pennsylvania.
Walsh says the company hopes to expand the Dream Project to additional cities.