Photo Essay, Luis Cubas
It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the rhythm of the music was perfect, along with the scent of food being cooked. For the fourth consecutive August, the RYSE Center, a nonprofit youth center in Richmond, organized its own Summer Jam, an event that features live music, a basketball tournament and other activities, all of which is completely free to the public.
The purpose of the event is to create unity by bringing people together, while addressing the needs of Richmond youth. This year, RYSE gave away 200 backpacks to event participants, ages 13 to 21. Another highlight was the release of the newest RYSE Mixtape, vol. 2, which is a collaboration of the center and its youth members.
In addition, free information about education and job opportunities was made available to young community members. The RYSE Center has always encouraged its members to seek a higher education or find a job. In fact, their resources have opened a lot of doors for me, personally. RYSE’s fourth annual summer event continued that tradition.[flagallery gid=9]