Bulls guard Coby White joined local nonprofit After School Matters (ASM) to host a beat battle competition for five Advanced Music Production students with special guest judges Chicago Producer Thelonious Martin and DJ Flipside. Students competed to win music equipment and the chance to have their beats used for Bulls highlight mixtapes.
Students spent the evening with White, listening to beats that they spent weeks producing prior to the beat battle. The event showcased much more than talented musicians and captured the connectivity and healing produced by music.
“This program is important to me because I love music and always want to use my platform to give back to the community and help youth,” said Coby White. “It’s been an amazing experience getting to know the kids, seeing the bright futures that they all have and the talent they have been blessed with.”
By partnering with organizations such as ASM, the Bulls and its players can interact with students on a deeper level, encouraging them to develop career goals.
“The partnership with the Bulls and this beat battle competition have been helpful in showcasing what my students have been doing in class and offering them the opportunity to advance,” said After School Matters NU Sound Studio Instructor Hondo Lawrence. “The city has a lot of resources and if you build connections with the right people, the youth can get more out of this program. The Bulls have a lot of resources to be able to make this event happen, so it’s been a beautiful experience.”
Together, White, ASM and the Bulls believe that education and opportunity access are crucial in youth success and life development. By investing in the community and providing ASM participants with access to opportunities that they may not receive elsewhere, the participants are reminded that a bright future is ahead. The collaboration between White and ASM aligns with the Chicago Bulls ongoing commitment to preventing community violence through education, community investment, health and wellness and opportunity access.
“We know that when youth have a vision of their future and something to dream about, they're less likely to get involved in community violence,” said Adrienne Scherenzel, vice president of community engagement for the Bulls. “This specific music program with After School Matters is great because it gives them a challenge to learn new skills and provides the students with an outlet to express themselves.”
Founded in 1991, ASM is a local nonprofit that provides 19,000 Chicagoland teens with paid opportunities to enhance professional development and experience. With the help of community-based organizations and independent instructors, ASM encourages teens to discover their passions, develop life-long skills and create meaningful relationships. Students engage in programs relating to the arts, communications, sports, STEM and more, earning financial stipends for participation. In 2022 alone, ASM offered 1,635 opportunities for 24,678 teens at 338 program sites across Chicago in collaboration with 169 community partners.