PATH visited The Haven ”Home to Our Boys” in Boca Raton Florida on Monday evening. PATH is an organization founded by Brimstone127 that teaches about Hiphop culture. PATH stands for Preserving, Archiving, and Teaching Hiphop. The Haven is a nationally accredited group home for boys,who have been removed from abusive and neglectful homes and placed in protective care by the state of Florida, ages 9-17,that is dedicated to providing a safe, loving and stable environment that fosters the development of self-esteem and independence while empowering each young man to reach his full potential.
We arrived at dinner time to watch them feast on a well balanced meal of fried chicken, potatoes, bread, rice and peas, salad and vegetables. While they were eating a gentleman from The Haven gave out cash bonuses for the youths that achieved improving grade point averages. Some of the youth had 4.0 averages. It was amazing to see all the boys clap and support each other’s achievements.
It was so fresh to watch the boys of The Haven open up to the PATH mentors. Each PATH mentor taught one of the four elements of Hip hop: emceeing, deejaying, urban art, and b-boying.
Brimstone taught two mini workshops on deejaying. It was beautiful to see the youth smile as they got to play with the equipment. A few of the youth tried to challenge him to see how large his music library was, but he was able to pull up any artist that they threw at him, thus gaining their respect.
Sekajipo taught emceeing. He got all of the boys to group around him in a cypher (rapper’s circle) and proceeded to get them to try kicking some rhymes. Again, it was so fresh to see the youth light up by having Sekajipo teach them some of the tricks of writing and kicking rhymes.
Sicks, taught the ways of urban art, got the boys to work on a small piece using their name as the foundation. She told each group “You can do whatever you want! There are no rules in art!” I loved that. There are no rules! Only getting to expressive yourself through the medium of your choice.
NewCre taught of b-boying (Hiphop dancing). He got their bodies moving, and even some of The Haven staff joined .
It was a great day to be out with the PATH team. They got to share their passion for Hiphop with the youth, the future of Hiphop. To see The Haven boys sitting around and focusing their energies into a positive direction was beautiful. One of The Haven staff commented that the Boys never stay focused for more than a few minutes, but today PATH had their full attention.
I feel so fortunate to be a part of the PATH team. At the end of the workshop Brimstone answered questions from the Haven boys and staff.
The PATH workshop concluded with all the youth and staff gathering around Sekajipo as he rocked Hardtimes. A song the youth could relate too. In fact I was so moved listening to the song, and the youth chanting the chorus “hard times” that It brought a tear to my eye.
Pure emotion. Pure love from all the PATH workshop teachers for the boys of The Haven.
Hiphop! Ya don’t Stop.
For more information about The Haven please visit their website.
To check out more about PATH check www.pathtohiphop.org
One note about the pictures. I needed to protect the identities of the youth; therefore, sometimes faces have been blurred and framing done to intentionally keep their identities. I wish I could have shown their smiling faces!