“Growing up in the deprived neighbourhood of Croydon myself, I went through experiences that no child should have to go through, but in an environment that’s so detrimental, it becomes the norm. After getting to know the students at my school and tapping into their unexplored potential, as well as understanding more about the roots of London’s gang crime and youth violence, it became clear to me why I wanted to give back and help the youth of today.
“I saw that young people struggle to articulate their feelings and express emotions with ease. It’s become particularly striking in the context of the pandemic and lockdowns. Students at my school found themselves in serious trouble for not reacting to staff in the best way, whether it was verbally or even physically, leading to repeated sanctions. What I gathered, was that young people have difficulty communicating their emotions, to the point where they either bottle it all up and allow it to damage their mental health or act out every time.
“Bearing this in mind, I came up with the idea of creating a rap club that many of my mentees had a shared interest in; a safe space for students to tell their own stories and express themselves in a creative manner, away from school pressures. During the process, I found out that the school had run a similar club in the past. With my background in music management combined with the essence and legacy that the previous club left behind, I rebuilt and tailored the rap club to suit students’ needs and interests today.
“I wish to take this club to new heights and to create my own educational programme in the future that can function both as a career path in the music industry, as well as a safe space to mentor the youth that wish to take part and to help them achieve their full potential.”
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