I come from a very musical family. I wasn’t blessed with the gift of singing, but I was rhythmically inclined. My mother was a great dancer, and she showed me a few moves. Then, I discovered Michael Jackson and James Brown. I studied their moves and worked to perfect my gift.
Growing up in Queens at the time, Hip Hop was a bit combative. I started to learn how to battle rap and dance. It was a way for me to express myself. It wasn’t long until I became a part of that culture and fluent in its artistic language. In my late teens, I left New York and moved to a small town in Kentucky.
I gave my heart to Christ in 2000 and He completely turned my life around. I began serving in the youth ministry at my church, and quickly became a mentor to a number of young people. I saw a little bit of myself in some of the kids, and I wanted to help them express themselves with their God-given talents.
Thus began the start of Opfor: Open Platforms For Outreach. It was a vision that God birthed in my heart to empower creative young people to use various art forms to bring enrichment to our culture and communities.
One manifestation of this is our Friday night “sessions.” We set up in a parking lot on a busy street in town every week. I open with prayer, then we play music; and dancers, singers, rappers and visual artists come out and share their talents with the community. We take time to spread the Gospel during each session, and to encourage and build up the young people of the area. Ultimately, the purpose of Opfor is to bring glory to God and build His kingdom. Opfor continues to grow and impact many lives, and I’m blessed to be part of it.