*With California’s budget crisis wreaking havoc on the poor, some of the hardest hit are youth in foster care and their guardians. Having experienced eight foster homes between the ages of four months and 15 years old, Grammy nominated producer Kashif, knows on a personal level the dilemma such a crisis can cause.
The producer/songwriter, whose credits include Whitney Houston, Kenny G., Lil Romeo and Monica just to name a few, always visualized his Kashif University as an institution that could make a difference.
From July 12-23, 2010, he teams with the Los Angeles County Department of Children & Family Services to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children in foster care with a ground breaking music and recording camp.
Located at 9550 Crenshaw Blvd. in Inglewood, CA, Kashif University offers classes in music, recording, producing, drums, piano, guitar, singing and more. All the instructors at Kashif University are working professionals in music, and education. As proof of their accomplishments, youth leave the camp with recordings that they created. Kashif, who helped launch the careers of superstars Whitney Houston, Kenny G and Meli’sa Morgan with his hit music, works closely with the students and is always looking for new talent.
Kashif’s own recordings have sold over 70 million copies worldwide. His music is a mainstay on the radio, though he considers himself one of the industry’s best kept secrets. In the world of foster care, however, he is a giant. His Kashif University is a two week music and recording camp for youth ages 8 through 18.
Summertime is a critical time for all youth, explains Kashif, a time when many get into trouble because they are idle. For youth in foster care though, it is especially important as many have experienced five, ten or even 20 foster homes by age fifteen. For these youth this leaves an emotional gap that is almost impossible to fill.
“My introduction to music came in the form of a three dollar song flute when I was elementary school in the fourth grade,” recalls Kashif. “Music, as it turned out, would be the only common denominator amidst the uncertainty of moving between the many places I would call home.” Music, Kashif firmly believes, is one of the best methods of communicating with youth because it offers them a voice to express themselves.
Clarence Brown, assistant executive director of Eggleston Youth Center, a foster care agency, says:
“Kashif achieves in two or three days what years of psychological counseling is unable to do. He does it with music. I have seen him do it over and over again. It’s amazing to watch.”
To learn more about Kashif University or enroll a youth contact James Crawford at 323.353.1936. You can also visit http://www.celebritycamp.com.