A FORMER rapper is helping young people realise their potential by giving them the kind of opportunities that helped him achieve success.
Prince Laryea is chief executive of the charity he set up, Acts 29, based in the Ealing Christian Centre in Northfield Avenue, Northfields.
The charity is named after the Bible’s Book of Acts, which the 34-year-old says contains ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’. He says his Christian faith underpins his desire to give something back, although the charity is keen to help young people from any faith, or none.
Mr Laryea, of Hillingdon, said: "We believe young people have unlimited potential. We help them to realise how they can help shape their community as well as see there’s a big wide world out there.”
The three-strong team from the charity visit schools in Ealing and Hillingdon to run workshops, organise competitions and give motivational talks.
Most recently Mr Laryea held a battle of the bands which gave six teenage groups the chance to perform in a youth festival tomorrow (Saturday).
The One Ealing festival was established last year by Acts 29 and by youth workers from churches across the borough in response to the 2011 riots.
The aim is to celebrate the good that young people do and, by putting on free activities, show them they are valued. The charity is also mentoring seven people, in their teen and early 20s, who want to make music their career.
Prince teaches business basics and song writing and draws on his experience of performing full-time in a hip-hop band, 29th Chapter, for six years.
The father-of-three, said: “Statistically, with my background, I shouldn’t have done as well as I have. It was the people around me: the church, my friends and family, and through music which meant I ended up being a success.”
The band went from being a hobby for him to one that was signed by an independent label and toured the UK and Europe.
Prince changed career when he and his wife Laura decided to have children. He set up Acts 29 in 2004 to help nurture young people’s aspirations and confidence.
Despite his musical background, his outreach at schools is aimed at introducing and fostering any skill young people may have.
One Ealing runs from noon to 5pm in the grounds of Christ the Saviour Church, tomorrow (Saturday).
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