Richardson (L) and Staples (R). Image courtesy of Rex Richardson's Twitter account.
Long Beach City Councilmember Rex Richardson and Def Jam Recording Artist Vince Staples announced today the launch of a brand new North Long Beach youth enrichment program. Richardson also announced that new summer programming at Houghton and Ramona parks will double the amount of jobs available through the Hire-a-Youth employment program.
The Youth Institute (YI) in North Long Beach, a program of the Greater Long Beach YMCA, will use technology as a means to promote positive development, create pathways to post-secondary education and increase career preparedness for urban youth.
“This is truly an all hands on deck effort to support our youth,” said Richardson in a statement. “I’m honored to announce this partnership to utilize technology, innovation and workforce development as a means to provide more opportunities for our North Long Beach youth. Special thanks to Vince Staples, Megan Kerr, the Greater Long Beach YMCA, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, and Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network for joining me on this important initiative.”
The YI Program will take place at Hamilton Middle School in an effort to give youth more summer learning options during their critical years spent in eighth and ninth grades. Starting Monday, 20 students will be taught filmmaking, graphic design, music production, 3D printing and product design to teach them “high-end technology literacy skills,” according to the release.
“This is a great opportunity to give back to my home as well as create more pathways that will cultivate a sense of pride in the North Long Beach youth community,” said Staples in a statement.
As the first expenditure of the North Long Beach Education Fund, created by Richardson and LBUSD Board Member Megan Kerr to allot resources to support youth enrichment, the program is also funded by a donation from Staples, Levis, the LGA Foundation and the New L Foundation, according to the release.
“Through community partnerships with Vince Staples, Levis and our North Long Beach Education Fund, the Youth Institute will provide opportunities not only for STEM learning, but social and emotional learning for our students during the summer break,” said Board Member Kerr in a statement. “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.”