Detroit Bag Drop!

Posted 10/17/2014 At 3:25pm


Gone are the days of Motown in motor city, where you’re more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than you are anywhere else in America. Almost 80% of Detroit students live in poverty, and the city has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country (About 25% in 2007 according to Education Week). Kids in Detroit’s public schools score consistently lower on standardized tests than do their counterparts in other large urban areas. And this was before the recession. 

Detroit’s bankruptcy led to thousands more leaving the city, larger tax deficits, smaller education budgets, and ultimately the closure of dozens of public schools. But despite the economic and political turmoil, “pockets of excellence” were able rise up from the education system, giving students a fresh start and bright future in the form of charter schools through the Education Achievement System. Combine these high scoring schools with a culture of elevated expectations with a $200,000 check from the AAA to the Detroit Public Schools- things are starting to look up for the midwest car capitol.
We at STATE can’t resist the action when it comes to renewed school systems, which is why we packed up and headed to Detroit for a bag drop at the Detroit Achievement Academy. The school is located in Brightmoor, one of the poorest and most dangerous zip codes in all of Detroit. Although the school has only been open about a year, the impact it is having on the community is visible. One parent, Kamillah Harris remarked in 2013 that “I see a renewal. I see a new chance, a new opportunity. I see hope, and I can see it in the other parents.” 

We were thrilled to contribute brand new STATE bags along with donations from our partners, KIND Snacks and Bombas Socks to every student at DAA. We hope our bag drop rally helps to keep the incredible momentum going as the energy in the room shown by our newest GiveBackGals and Guys was truly awesome. We can’t wait to get back to ‘Comeback City’ soon! Thanks again, Detroit!  #GiveBackPack

What Kind of Leader Are You?

Posted 10/15/2014 At 2:05pm

STATE of Schools

Posted 10/10/2014 At 12:33pm

Read here about why sending your child to school in Las Vegas is a gamble. 

The Warby Manhattan Literary Map

Posted 10/8/2014 At 12:28am


Check out this academic scavenger hunt brought to you by the glasses gurus at Warby Parker. If you’re in Manhattan you may be on top of an scholarly treasure….

Phillin’ The Love

Posted 9/30/2014 At 11:38am

It looks likes Philadelphia plans to put our bags to good use. 

Our second biggest bad-drop to date (you win, NYC) involved Beyonce, Urban Outfitters, two drop sites, and over 500 backpacks. 

Thanks to all of these Philadelphia news sources who took notice of our mission! Here are some of the highlights,

Role Models of the Week: Ben and Sam Blizard

Posted 9/25/2014 At 3:41pm


When 8th grader Ben Blizard heard about the annual Operation Backpack drive at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, MA, his older brother Sam’s school, he decided to take on the challenge by himself. Relying both on his social media connections and the kindness of his neighbors in Ipswich, Ben collected 90 backpacks, 33 of them within a 24-hour period.  

If you want to connect with St. John’s Prep, you can find them online here:






STATE: Ben, as an 8th grader, you’re not yet a student at St. John’s Prep. What moved you to collect these supplies on your own and why has this become so important to you?

Ben: “I was reading the St. John’s Prep “Parent’s Weekly” newsletter and saw that their Campus Ministry Department was organizing an “Operation Backpack” for the kids at the Mathers School in Dorchester where new (or gently used) backpacks needed to be collected and donated.  I asked my brother Sam (Sophomore class of 2017 at St. John’s) if I could make flyers and use my social media contacts like Instagram, to help collect backpacks for the drive.  He said that we should shoot for the 80 backpack goal and see if we could bring in 100% of the total.  In less than a week, we actually collected 90.  People were so generous that they actually went out and bought new back packs to donate - or that some families even filled them with new school supplies.  It was great to see Mr. Molloy’s reaction (Head of SJP Campus Ministry) when we dropped off all of the garbage bags full of backpacks.  I hope something as small as a new backpack will help the kids at the Mathers School get off to a great start this school year.”
STATE: Sam, how did you and your younger brother collect supplies for Operation Backpack, and what did you find to be the biggest challenge of it all?
Sam: “My brother Ben will be applying to St. John’s Prep this fall so he has been pretty in tune to the things going on at Campus since I joined as a freshman last year.   Once he told me that he wanted to help, I thought it would be fun to make the program’s 80 back pack goal our personal target.  When we both got home from school, we ended up running door-to-door asking friends and neighbors if they had extra back packs or “last year’s models” stuffed in a closet somewhere.  In just 24 hours, we collected 33 backpacks so we knew we were on to something.  The biggest challenge we had was finding a place to store all of them at our house.  You’ll see that we took over my parent’s porch so that we could sort them by newest to oldest.  It was fun helping the kids at the Mathers School and we hope that they know we have their “backs(-pack)” up at St. John’s.” 

STATE of Vanity Affairs

Posted 9/25/2014 At 12:15pm

We’re excited to share this back-to-school shout out from Vanity Fair! We’re in great company with brands such as J. Crew and Vans. Check out VF’s  ultimate swagger-ed out school year wardrobe featuring The Kane! 

It feels good knowing we’re loved by urbanoutfitters!

It feels good knowing we’re loved by urbanoutfitters!

Posted 9/23/2014 At 2:10pm

Backpack Awareness Day

Posted 9/22/2014 At 9:38pm

STATE would like to wish all of our GiveBackGals and GiveBackGuys a happy belated Backpack Awareness Day! Started by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and celebrated on the third Wednesday of September, National Backpack Awareness Day is to educate students, parents, teachers, and communities about proper backpack usage. Here’s to zipping up and packing smart!

STATE x Shawn Carter

Posted 9/10/2014 At 2:09pm

It’s been a star-studded month here at STATE! We recently teamed up with Jay Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation to outfit 100 kids living in the Marcy Projects with new STATE Bags!