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Music keeps California teens off the streets

Richmond, a small city in Northern California just outside of San Francisco, is known for two things: rap music and gang violence, which often leads to drive-by shootings and homicides.

But on Richmond’s southern edge, there’s a building called the RYSE Youth Center. The center was opened to give youth a safe haven from the realities of the streets.

Twenty-year-old Xavier Polk has taken full advantage of the opportunity and introduced a free music production class where he helps teenagers develop their musical talents – and stay off the streets and out of trouble.

Listen to the report by Anne Hofmann and Aaron Mendelson in Richmond, California:

Xavier Polk teaches a free beatmaking class at the RYSE Youth Center to inspire teenagers musically and help them to stay out of trouble (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Xavier Polk teaches a free beatmaking class at the RYSE Youth Center (Photo: A. Mendelson)

15-year-old Janelle Thomas is working on her own track in Xavier's class

Fiften-year-old Janelle Thomas is working on her own track in Xavier’s class (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Student Emandre Winston uses the keyboard connected to the music production software at RYSE to work on his own track (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Student Emandre Winston uses the keyboard connected to the music production software to work on his own track in Xavier’s class (Photo: A. Mendelson)

The mural on the outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California (Photo: A. Mendelson)

The mural on the outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California, where Xavier teaches his beatmaking class to give teenagers a safe haven (Photo: A. Mendelson)

 

Date

Wednesday 06.08.2014 | 08:59

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