Vince Staples accompanied Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson and city staff to Ramona Park on Tuesday (June 14) to announce the launch of a new Youth Institute in North Long Beach, a YMCA program that will educate 20 local youths in filmmaking, graphic design, music production, 3D printing and product design, the Long Beach Press Telegram is reporting.

“I think the most important thing is opportunities,” Staples, who is from the Ramona Park area, said. “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.” He continued, “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.”

The new program will take place at Hamilton Middle School and enroll eighth and ninth grade students. Officials said that the $10,000 used for the program is the first expenditure of the North Long Beach Education Fund created by Richardson and Long Beach Unified board member Megan Kerr to support youth-specific enrichment programs in North Long Beach.

“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,” Kerr said.

For more information including where and how to sign up, visit the Press Telegram.

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