For Immediate Release Contact: Kitty Kurth
July 17, 2013 Phone: 312-617-7288
Donda’s House and the ARK of St. Sabina Join Forces for “Got Bars” Music Writing & Fitness Program
Donda’s House, Inc. a new non-profit organization established to honor the educational legacy of Dr. Donda West, the mother of Kanye West, by implementing arts and literature experiences that transform youth, will partner with the ARK of St. Sabina to offer a pilot youth education and training program called “Got Bars.”
Kanye West said, “My mom spent her life as an educator and I am happy that Donda’s House can pick up her torch and honor her life’s mission.”
Donda’s House co-founder and Assistant Director Che Rhymefest Smith said, “I am so happy to launch “Got Bars” to honor Kanye West’s mother’s memory and to fulfill one of my Aldermanic campaign goals. “Got Bars” will change our youth musically, get them healthy and keep them busy in a creative, peaceful environment. I know it will be an even stronger program because of our partnership with the ARK of St. Sabina.”
St. Sabina’s pastor Father Michael Pfleger said, “We are honored to partner with Donda’s House for this important new program. It complements our existing youth programs and will encourage more people to come to a creative safe haven here at Saint Sabina.”
The “Got Bars” program invites 15 – 24 year olds to apply for participation. The Program Goals include:
- Each participant will create an original written piece that will be recorded or published and performed.
- Each participant will improve his/her physical health through exercise and nutrition.
- Each participant will learn life-skills (e.g. etiquette training, goal –setting, media-literacy, etc.)
Young people interested in applying for the program can visit the Donda’s House website dondashouse.com for an online application, or visit The ARK of St. Sabina located at 7800 S. Racine for a paper application.
Applications will be accepted now through Friday, August 2, 2013. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 – 24 and can apply at St. Sabina or online at dondashouse.com. All applicants will be notified on Monday, August 5, 2013. The pilot program will run from August – October of this year.
About Donda’s House
Donda’s House, Inc. a non-profit organization was established to honor the educational legacy of Dr. Donda West by implementing arts and literature experiences that transform youth, Dr. Donda West believed that arts instruction improves a child’s analytical and creative capacity. This philosophy used in her classroom and her home, was the blueprint for success. Donda’s House seeks to provide a safe, creative environment that inspires, challenges and produces tomorrow’s problem solvers.
Donda’s House Board of Directors includes Kanye West, Dr. Garrard McClendon, Exavier Pope, Julie Kerouac and Olivia Gil-Guevarra. The Executive Director is Donnie Smith and the Assistant Director is former 20th Ward Aldermanic candidate Che “Rhymefest” Smith.
About the ARK of St. Sabina
The ARK is a community youth center located on the St. Sabina campus. It was created to nurture and develop the gifts, skills, and spirit of community youth by providing a safe supportive environment in which youth can prosper and excel. The center was named ‘The ARK” to symbolize Rev. Michael L. Pfleger’s intent for it to be a safe haven for youth to escape from the storms of the world and prepare for a better life.
The ARK staff employs a multifaceted approach to impact primarily individual youth and expansively their families as well. From education to employment the ARK offers a vast array of opportunities and programs for youth ages 6 – 18. The comprehensive holistic philosophy is designed to inspire self esteem, resourcefulness, vision, morality, and concern for others-life skills that enable youth to grow and prosper in life and become productive members of society. The ARK services between 70 – 120 youth on a daily basis Monday - Friday.