A New York youth center is bringing inner-city youth back to their communities through music. The Renaissance Youth Center located in the South Bronx aims to empower students through team building education, music and sports programs.
“This is Renaissance’s pride and joy right here — music with a message,” Bervin Harris, Renaissance Youth Center CEO, told “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts.
The center connects with about 4,000 kids a week, Harris said.
“It’s a place for us to bring young people who are disconnected or formerly known as at-risk youth to become law-abiding citizen for our society,” he added.
The organization, which also has a band, encourages young people to write their own songs of hope, love and inspiration.
“I get to spend the summer spending time with my family and spreading good messages through our songs,” youth singer Beatrice Cardona said.
Cardona said these programs are hard to find in the city.
“We don’t get as many opportunities as others and there is not as many programs for us as teenagers so I feel like this is something special,” she said.
Harris said there are few programs like the Renaissance Youth Center because of a lack of funding for after-school and summer programs.
“What are are trying to do is find all these teenagers who don’t go to synagogues, who don’t go to churches and who are not involved in after school programs … we want to have a call and get some of this positive energy and find things for them to do,” he said.
The organization’s band will be launching a five-borough tour to encourage youth to reconnect with their community.