Empowering a generation of young leaders in high-risk Philadelphia

Level Up featured on nationally-televised ABC NIGHTLINE NEWS with award-winning reporter, Byron Pitts

City & State Recognition

“Pastor Campbell has put together an amazing program centered on young people, meeting them where they are, and giving them the space, security, and support to help them move up and to help them become confident and self-sufficient for them to function fully and effectively in society.”

Vincent Hughes
Pennsylvania State Senator 

About Level Up & Urban Dream Chasers

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20,000+ Home-cooked gourmet meals served since 2019

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$331,934 Invested directly into our youth since November 2018

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1,200+ Young people from high-risk neighborhoods positively impacted
(ages 13 to 25)

"Thanks for your financial support without which none of this would happen in the midst of such a city-wide youth crisis."
Aaron Campbell, Executive Director
Follow Him at @pastoraaroncampbell

As the city of Philadelphia has just reached an all-time record in homicides, with many revolving around teens both as victims and assailants, something needs to be done. Compounding our young people's crisis is the pervading violence and crime, poverty and homelessness, PTSD, depression, and overall hopelessness. All of the above and more is why Level Up exists.

Level Up is a grassroots movement serving young people from high-risk neighborhoods—and oftentimes their entire families—on the “front lines” of Philadelphia.

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Urban Dream Chasers (UDC) is simply the "umbrella name" of the 501(c)3 organization of which the Level Up program is the first phase, with the ultimate goal of starting a charter school. At Level Up we provide holistic mentoring, addressing the compounding crises that our young people from high-risk neighborhoods are confronted with. This includes counseling, crime prevention intervention, anti-retaliation negotiations, court advocacy, academic tutoring, job placement, college, and career prep, and help with housing for teens who are homeless.

All of this takes place in our 12,000 square foot “safe space” that is located in the heart of the city, complete with a $10,000 dance studio that we built just for them. Level Up currently serves some 125 young people from high-risk neighborhoods each week, and over 250 young people at our monthly large events. They come from the hardest and most dangerous sections of the city—from Southwest and West Philly, to North Philly, to South Philly, Kensington, and Frankford.

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The Philly Crisis Deserves A National Response

These nightmarish statistics are affecting REAL people - OUR children and OUR future!

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Source: Respective Police Department Crime Data (2021YTD)

Crime and violence

In 2021, Philadelphia had more homicides than it’s ever had. Even more than New York City—a city that is roughly five times larger!

Serving Life

Historically, Philadelphia has had more teens serving life sentences in prison without parole than anywhere else in our nation.

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Source: Mills, John R. and Dorn, Anna and Hritz, Amelia, Juvenile Life Without Parole in Law and Practice: The End of Superpredator Era Sentencing (September 22, 2015). American University Law Review

Poverty

Philadelphia is the poorest of the top ten largest US cities—with a child poverty rate that is nearly twice the national average.

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Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Center

Suicide

The national average of high school students who attempted suicide is 8.9%. Philadelphia is among the highest at 15%. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents aged 13-18 in the U.S

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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Join us in fighting the crisis and saving the youth of Philadelphia!

There Are Levels To What We Do!!

At Urban Dream Chasers, we coined the name “Level Up” simply because we meet each young person, wherever they are, and help them “Level Up” to their next step of success—whatever that may be. So when someone comes to us and needs court-mandated community service hours, we work with them and “Level Up” from there.  When someone is drowning in the drug-dealing culture and has never been exposed to an alternative lifestyle, we work with them to “Level Up” to a legal part-time job.  When they are failing or struggling in school, we “Level Up” with tutoring and college guidance.  We have seen countless young people go from C’s and D’s to A’s and B’s; school suspensions and have even helped some be the first in their families to go to college.  Urban Dream Chaser’s “Level Up” is intentional, it is committed.

Our Mission

To inspire and empower young people, and their families, through mentoring, tutoring, counseling, and recidivism reduction in response to the city’s violence crisis.

Level Up Philly