August’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Brent Kaesler to support a weekly “electronic beats” workshop for youth from low-income neighbourhoods.

“Pathways to Education,” explains Brent, “is a community-based program to support these youth to succeed in high school, graduate, and move on to post-secondary education. One of the ways we keep them engaged is exploring their interests and connecting them with education or careers in those fields. Our most recent such project has been something the students have dubbed the ‘HopShop.’ It’s a weekly workshop that explores how to create electronic beats, write lyrics, and sample existing music to create something original.”

“We would love to continue this project permanently,” wrote Brent in applying to Awesome Ottawa, “but to do so need to purchase licensed software and invest in some recording equipment.” He shared some early work, available here. “The program serves approximately 430 youth from designated social housing neighborhoods in the west-end of Ottawa,” says Brent, ‘and from the evidence we have seen so far, this initiative will help hook a number of those students who would otherwise be disengaged.”

Brent is a Student Parent Support Worker at Pathways to Education.

Funded by Ottawa (August 2014)