A non-profit in New York City is looking to change the narrative for education within the black community by offering free courses for children and parents in the New York City area.

Amidst the execution of Mike Brown two summers ago, two social workers in the South Bronx sat down and constructed the business plan for the non-profit R.E.P. U, Inc. Fed up with the underserved communities they worked in, a plan was devised to give back to their community and help engage children and parents of color. R.E.P. U, Inc. founders worked in the poverty-stricken communities that have limited educational funding and very few after schooling programs due to budget cuts.

The programs range from DJ courses to digital photography. R.E.P. U curates curriculums and hand-selects instructors for these programs and encourages parents to attend workshops and courses with their children. It takes absolutely no government funding and is funded by in-kind donations. There are several courses offered, and new ones are added monthly. R.E.P. U, Inc. is also looking to start adding more courses and helping more people in other major cities outside of NYC in the near future.

The organization’s mission statement is stated as:

R.E.P. U is a non-profit agency providing free educational programs for children ages 5-21 in the New York area. The programs will be taught and administered by community leaders. R.E.P. U’s goal is to provide free educational and cultural exposure opportunities for youth of color and low-income families. Children will be exposed to an array of courses beyond their regular academic course load through curriculums geared towards education and fun, providing them with a new outlook on learning while acquiring useful skill sets at no cost.

Ariel Johnson proudly hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ariel graduated Magna Cum Laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with her degree in Mass Communications. Immediately after college, Ariel attended Penn State to pursue her Master’s Degree in Media Studies. At Penn State, Ariel’s research focus was on understanding how children’s informal media use can translate to formal, academic outcomes. Check out R.E.P. U on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.