California rapper Vince Staples joined forces with Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson and the city staff of Ramona Park on Tuesday (June 14) to help launch the new Youth Institute in North Long Beach. The new YMCA program will serve to educate 20 local kids in filmmaking, music production, 3D printing and product design, reports the Long Beach Press Telegram.
“I think the most important thing is opportunities,” Staples who is from the Ramona Park area, said. “What I can say is, living over here my entire life, I’ve never had an opportunity given to me from the area, only examples of how to mess up, and what I didn’t want to do.” He continued, “I want to be able to be one of the people that reinforces the fact that we matter just as much as the next person. That’s actually the biggest thing I can do for this community.”
The educational program will happen at Hamilton Middle School, and will serve eighth and ninth grade students. Officials stated that the $10,000 used for the program was the first money spent from the North Long Beach Education Fund, created by Long Beach Unified board member Megan Kerr and Richardson.
Essentially, the funds are to support programs that enrich youth in North Long Beach.
“It’s important that we work together to support and educate our young people on being good citizens, as well as providing a safe space for them to thrive,” Kerr added.