By Matt Caputo
There was a time in New York City when 30 kids crowded in a city park meant that someone was going home without their Jordans or their teeth. But yesterday some 30 kids gathered in Brooklyn, to renew the landscape in Fort Greene Park. The cellular phone provider Boost Mobile and RockCorps, an organization that uses music to promotes volunteerism in young adults. For their hard work and effort in Fort Greene yesterday, the volunteers not only earned a green thumb, but a ticket to Radio City to see Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Young Joc, Fabolous, Keisha Cole, Angels and Airwaves and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
“We partner up with a lot of non-profits around the city and we try to get as many people involved as we can throught the power of music,” says Brandon Perry, an L.A.-native and RockCorps employee, who organized the supplies needed for the Fort Greene event. “We put on some big concerts and the only way to get a ticket is to come out and volunteer four hours of your time.”
Boost Mobile RockCorps was launched in 2005 with an aim at getting the national youth more involved with their respective communities. In each year since it’s inception the BMRC have seen increases in volunteers, non profit partners, volunteer projects and volunteer hours generated. In 2006, the RockCorps volunteers worked over 250,000 hours rebuilding homes and neighborhoods across the country.
“The average age in New York is 19 and we have the projects in the afternoon so we can attract more students,” said RockCoprs coordinator Michele Giordano. “This year we were in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and a bunch of other cities. Hopefully we can make this an international thing where people can donate their time and see a great show.”
As a local DJ (recruited by RockCorps DJ scouts) spun the latest hip-hop headaches from a RockCorps truck (think UPS) for everyone within ears reach, the volunteers were treated to a snack of Vitamin Water and cheese nips. More than anything, the BMRC is trying to teach the lesson that hard work and a positive attitude can change everything around you for the better.
“The reason why I came was because I heard they were giving tickets to see Fabolous and Ludacris,” said 17-year-old high school student and RockCrops volunteer, Tia Stilley. “It feels better than being home, bored and doing nothing. This is my first concert so this was a lot of fun for me”