The Sprite-endorsed, Norf Norf rapper Vince Staples recently returned to his neighborhood of Ramona Park located in Long Beach, California to launch a new youth-centered program.
Vince's own artistry has been heavily influenced by his Long Beach upbringing; his continued connection to Ramona Park inspired him to spearhead The Youth Institute, which is dedicated to teaching high school students skills for post-high school employment, as well as broader enrichment.
It will take place over the summer, with teens encouraged to explore fields they may not have ready access to, including graphic design, music production, 3D printing and product design.
In a press conference for the Youth Institute, Vince articulated on his intentions for the program:
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.
Staples hopes to instill a sense of vitality from a young age, stating, "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."