Kenneth started at his Boys & Girls Club at age 9. It was a fun place where he felt welcome and safe. He could meet friends, play basketball, and get help with his homework. He didn’t know then that it would play a much bigger role in his life. His Club would become the first place he discovered his talent in music and a refuge when his family life got rocky.
When Kenneth was in middle school, his parents divorced and his dad moved to California. His mother gave him lots of love and support, but there was a hole left in his father’s absence. “It was hard when he left. My Executive Director Ziggy was a father figure to me. He helped so much.”
The Club’s leader Ziggy Asfaw and Program Director Rodney Taylor served as a rock for Kenneth during this tough time. They noticed he had a great passion for music and encouraged him to explore it as a way to cultivate his talent and express his emotions.
Kenneth remembers, “One day, I was in Ziggy’s office and were talking about DJing. I didn’t know he did it. The repair guy at our Club mentioned that he did it too and that was the start of our partnership.”
Ziggy and the Club staff set up a DJ booth at his Club and Kenneth launched a DJ Club for kids like him interested in exploring this art form. When asked about his favorite style of music, Kenneth shares, “I love everything! Hip hop, pop, EDM, rap, country. I love how music brings people together and can create a whole different vibe in a room.”
Since forming this Club and getting lots of practice, Kenneth has turned his hobby into a business. He has DJed at multiple events including festivals, corporate affairs, and birthday parties. He plans to use some of the money earned to invest in his future.
While music will always play a big role in his life, Kenneth is not sure it’s his ultimate career path. After talking with his uncle and Boys & Girls Club staff in CareerBound, he is interested in pursuing a career as an air traffic controller. Right now, Kenneth is figuring out the best path to get there with the military and college both on the table as options.
Kenneth’s view on the future is powerful and uplifting. “If you do what you love, there is no limit. No one can stop you.”
To learn more about our art programs, visit our John H. Harland Club page.