I remember being a young, lost high school student who felt that my school wasn’t the right fit for me. Or maybe that I wasn’t a right fit for the school. When it came to extracurriculars, my school mainly offered sports teams, science clubs and our ever popular robotics team. Where, I wondered, were the clubs for kids like me who didn’t want to play a classical instrument but loved music? Where were the clubs for kids like me who thought it would be so cool to study fashion or take part in creating a magazine? Where was there a club where my creative expression was welcomed and encouraged? I was determined to find out.

 In 11th grade my mom suggested I join an after school program called H.A.I.R. (Helping Adolescents Improve their Reflections). This program was where young black girls could go to learn about healthy hair care, improving your self-esteem and how both of these things went hand in hand. The program was held at The Spot Where You(th) Want to Be. The Spot had other programs that taught youth about music, getting a job and many other things. Through H.A.I.R and The Spot I discovered tons of other programs just like it that offered youth to creatively express themselves, learn more about their future careers and get hands on experience with the things they were interested in.

In the map below I’ve posted some of the many different youth programs that are offered across the city. These programs will give you a chance to explore your creative side or give the tools to have a successful career in your field of choice. The first one I will be starting with is The Remix Project, a massive youth organization that works with you towards your goals, has regular workshops on maintaining a successful career and provides mentorships with industry professionals. The Remix Project has been a launch pad for success stories such as Future The Prince; Drake’s official DJ and business manager, Internationally acclaimed DJ Wristpect, Rapper/Producer Rich Kidd, one of Complex magazines “Top 10 music industry heads Who Should Be A&R’s” Karla Moy(brains behind HustleGrl) and many, many more.

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