Our history:

Becoming Fab Youth Philly


Prior to moving to Philadelphia in 2007, Rebecca lived in Brooklyn, New York for 14 years. While there she held various roles in several youth programs and was a high school teacher at a small alternative high school. From 1999-2007, she started and ran an award-winning afterschool program at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. It was one of the first high school afterschool programs to be awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in New York State, and became a model program for what was then The After-School Corporation (TASC) and has since become ExpandEd Schools. Council Member Gale Brewer, awarded Rebecca with a Proclamation from the City in 2007 for her service.

Crossing Brooklyn Bridge
front of martin luther king, jr. high school in nyc
close up of LOVE sign from love park in philadelphia


When she moved to Philadelphia in 2007, it was to be the Executive Director of a (then) 40-year-old organization whose mission was to “promote interracial, intercultural, inter-ethnic harmony among youth.” After spending six months assessing the health of the organization, she determined it was in dire shape. Thus, she recommended to the board that rather than trying to revive it, they move to dissolve it.

Rebecca then led the board through that process and then became a VP of of Strategic Partnerships & Capacity Building

at an Intermediary organization in Philadelphia.


Rebecca is at that organization until 2010, at which time she leaves to work independently and provide consulting services to youth-serving and nonprofit organizations. Her focus at that time is curriculum development, training and program planning for youth-serving organizations. Clients and projects included, but were not limited to:

  • Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) of the Netter Center

  • 5th Ave Community Development Corporation

  • American Paradigm Schools


  • Department of Human Services OST

  • Taller Puertorriqueño


She is hired by Development Without Limits to work on projects for: Athletes for Hope’s Good Game, FEGS, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA), Manhattan Strategies, and Youth Development Initiative (YDI).

Rebecca Fabiano standing up and presenting. Wearing black turtleneck sweater and black leather pants
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In 2012, she created an official business as Rebecca Fabiano Consulting Services (RFCS), LLC. By then she is sought after for developing curriculum on a range of topics, though with a focus on youth workforce development, and for designing and facilitating a wide range of professional development experiences like trainings, professional learning communities (PLC) and conferences.


During this time (2013), Rebecca created the Sandbox Philly, “not your same old same old professional development” to provide networking and professional development for youth development professionals. The goals of those initial meetings were to bring youth development consultants together to increase collaboration and reduce competition, and to share resources.


Since the first meeting, the group grew to also include other youth development practitioners, educators, teaching artists, community members, and advocates.


The Goals of The Sandbox were to:


  • Create a forum for networking, professional development, resource sharing and collaboration for adults who work with, on behalf of, and advocate for youth in under-represented communities in Philadelphia;

  • and be a laboratory for practitioners to test ideas.

Over the years numerous attendees have secured contracts, developed arts projects, tested workshop content, facilitated (a) Sandbox meeting(s) and more!

Clients grow to include:

Center for Literacy

PowerCorps PHL

Every Hour Counts

Bell eXcel

National Institute on Out of School Time



The Bridge of PHMC


Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN)

US Dream Academy

image of logo
image of logo
the sandbox collective(1).jpg
black woman raising her hand. white man profile looking sideways
two people talking during a CYDP training. A white man with a mustache and also the back of a woman with long hair


In 2015, Rebecca officially changes the company name to Fab Youth Philly, LLC.

Is FYP an nonprofit?

Initially, Rebecca makes the decision NOT to register Fab Youth Philly as a nonprofit to avoid becoming a part of the nonprofit industrial complex. She's not convinced operating as an LLC is the right or ideal way to operate when providing vital services to communities with public and private dollars and often considers other models.

Listen to her talk at West Chester University in 2017 about why NOT to start a nonprofit: https://youtu.be/yizbg2f2Du4

After a lot of thought and discussion with trusted advisors, in 2021, Fab Youth Philly applies for and is granted nonprofit status, enabling us extend our fundraising reach. 

Fab Youh Philly logo
image of different colored index cards with writing on them


Fab Youth Philly is hired to help other youth-serving organizations:

  • Align programming with their vision, to meet grant deliverables

  • Assess and improve program quality

  • Establish and facilitate Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

  • Model for, coach and assist program staff in creating high quality programs and experiences for youth

  • Help shift organizational culture by enhancing or establishing structures for on-going professional development

  • Create curricular materials and train staff how to use them effectively

  • Develop and facilitate retreats

  • Design and coordinate small to mid-size conferences


Connect youth development professionals to networking and training:


  • Between 2013 and 2020 host 60 FREE monthly networking and professional development gatherings via the Sandbox

  • Founded Center for Youth Development Professionals (CYDP) www.cydpphilly.org MISSION: To meet the professional development needs of adults in Philadelphia who work with or on behalf of youth ages 4-24 through networking, training, workshops and professional learning communities (PLC).

  • Create and co-facilitate with Michele Martin of The Bamboo Project the Leadership Lab for youth development professionals.

two women facing a wall with yellow sticky notes on a wall
fab youth philly post cards, and cydp post cards


Design and implement summer and afterschool programming for children ages 4-19.


Since 2015, we've provided programming directly to more than 600 children, teens and young adults (and counting!) Programming emphasizes opportunities to be exposed to and develop leadership, civic-engagement, arts, creativity and workforce development.


Fab Youth Philly is awarded a contract from LISC to run a middle school afterschool program for Norris Homes. This allowed us to hire exceptional teaching artists, community activists to provide programming.


In 2016, Rebecca developed the Teen Business Lab with Michele Martin of The Bamboo Project. It was offered to teens ages 14-18, with funding and support from Citizens Planning Institute & YouthBuild Philadelphia.


In 2017, Rebecca created the Play Captain Initiative, which has become a signature project of the organization.


six black girls ages 8-13 at Norris Home Middle School Programming
play captain bex deck which is an organizing and training tool developed by fab youth philly
play captain high fiving a child on a north philly playstreet during the pandemic
Play Captain sitting on the sidewalk reading a book to a male child about 5 years old
Male student wearing a YouthBuild hoodie
Two Black women facing a wall and placing sticky notes on the wall


In 2018, Drexel University’s West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood invests nearly $750,000 over a three-year period to support the Play Captain Initiative, create the Safety Captain Initiative and develop and facilitate professional learning communities for staff of up to 20 Out-of-School Time programs.


Fab Youth Philly is invited to apply for and receives a prestigious award from the William Penn Foundation to pilot the Play Captain Initiative in three playgrounds during the summer of 2021.

Fab Youth Philly is selected as one of 4 national finalists of the

National Summer Learning Association Learning in Excellence Awards.


Rebecca writes a children's book, Yaya Plans a Block Party about the Play Captain Initiative, featuring several of the Play Captains. It is illustrated by Briana Clarke, a local artist and former Play Captain Supervisor. You can read Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Helen Ubiñas' heartfelt review!
Cover of the book Yaya Plans a Block Party

our impact

children & youth
served since 2015




since 2017


youth development

professionals trained


connections made to

resources and between

youth workers


organizations hired

Fab Youth Philly

*as of fall 2020

"I just wanted you to know that as a result of your resource sharing through one of your newsletters, I learned about the Awesome Foundation and applied for a mini-grant to support clean up efforts in my neighborhood - Cobbs Creek. Today, I received notification that I received a $1,000 grant. So exciting. Thanks for being an amazing connector!" -Temwa Wright, Founder and Executive Director of Pamoza International