A series of articles profiling the dedicated individuals who make the agency’s success possible.

Michael Karp is a former YSI Board Member and a current member of the agency’s Emeritus Board

Why do you support Youth Service, Inc.?

YSI works with highly disadvantaged familes and gives them nurturing and hope. YSI does its best to provide old-style family social work services rather than bureaucratic care.

How does YSI help children and families?

By hiring and developing a caring staff, YSI establishes communication and trust with its clients, and connects them to the professional services they need. YSI brings many years of experience and learning as it works to meet its clients’ needs.

Tell me about your work with the Belmont Charter School.

I am the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Belmont Charter School. I also have founded and Chair the Boards of the Belmont Academy Charter School and the Community Education Alliance of West Philadelphia. All three organizations work in tandem with one another in service of a common mission: improving the academic, social, and emotional welfare of each of our students. As Board Chair I like to be very hands-on – not only providing Board leadership and fundraising, but also taking a very active role in program development and management.

What is your vision for the Belmont community?

I am committed to Belmont and to turning around its once-failing elementary school. My vision consists of not only providing a quality education for Belmont’s youth but also in creating a school that acts as a beacon for all community residents. In addition to BCS’ role as the community elementary school, the schools also provide year-round afterschool and daycare, mentoring, adult education and family support services, and a wellness center.

What do you do to de-stress?

I analyze and think things through and come up with an action plan. I remember how lucky we are to live in America. I think of my annual summer vacation with the whole family and I feel lucky and happy.