Words Beats and Life (WBL) has developed a unique approach to community transformation through hip-hop culture in the District of Columbia. The WBL Staff develop curriculum, projects, and programs to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness for DC youth, parents and area hip-hop artists. WBL has seen a number of breakthroughs with our students and a series of first time breakthroughs with numerous DC based youth development funders. Over the last year we have seen our organization budget grow as the size of our student roster grow even more. The WBL Academy is growing at an exponential rate.
'College Material’ is part of the Words Beat & Life Academy. It allows a set of volunteers to equip Apprentices in the Academy to reach beyond the classroom and seek to create a link between the artistic elements of hip-hop and higher education. Students are encouraged to actively participate in our arts programming and see themselves as 'college material’; someone with the ability to succeed and flourish in a post-secondary educational environment. By linking each student with a one-on-one 'College Material Coach’, the program provides the individualized resources, skills, and support needed for Academy Apprentices to achieve their goals. In addition, the program is simultaneously developing meaningful intergenerational relationships rooted in a common love for hip-hop culture. College Material has included as many as 22 students and 10 College Material Coaches (a 2:1 student-to-coach ratio).
Two days a month which includes dedicated time for one-on-one coaching and coaching meetings.
Principle Duties & Responsibilities:
Individuals interested in becoming Coaches must pass a background check, have or obtain documented TB test results, and either be currently enrolled in or have been enrolled in a two or four-year college or university.
Principle Duties & Responsibilities of Volunteers:
Devote 2 days a month (2 hours) to coach one to two (1-2) students for 3-9 months
Participate in a monthly All-Coaches call
Document in writing Student-Coach bi-weekly meetings
Help student create personal goals and a plan to accomplish them (both short & long term)
Identify the need for additional resources (i.e. tutoring, counseling, employment)
Play an active role in programmatic activities (i.e. college tours, scavenger hunts, etc.)
St Stephens Church, 1525 Newton St NW, washington, DC 20010, US
We are unapologetic advocates for the transformative power of hip-hop culture in all its forms, empowering artists to relentlessly create and refine systems that demonstrate this notion of positive change through creativity. We embrace the sacred nature of our work and our roles as keepers and innovators of our culture.
Words Beats and Life was founded as a hip-hop conference at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall of 2000. The brainchild of Mazi Mutafa, Executive Director, WBL was developed and researched at the University of Maryland with two fellow students who wanted to continue the hip-hop conference after graduation. When the Black Student Union decided they could manage the conference without the help of alumni, Words Beats and Life was faced with the option of dissolving or moving in a new direction. More than anything, the founders wanted Words Beats and Life to be a vehicle to transform individual lives and communities through hip-hop. In 2003, WBL was officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization with 501c3 status in the District of Columbia and began developing its first program, The Urban Arts Academy.