In a time when not all families can afford to send their kids to camp, two Carleton University students are making sure that kids are getting the chance to take part in that fundamental camp experience regardless of their family’s financial situation.

Gearing up for its second year, Rise and Flow is a free music day camp for low-income youth.

Having grown up in low-income households themselves, childhood friends and camp founders Jarratt Best and Bruce Kyreh-Addo say the goal of their three-week camp is to empower youth struggling with the same kinds of issues they themselves faced as kids.

“We come from an area (in Scarborough) that’s affected by the same things we feel our camp helps youth with — overcoming adversity, dealing with drugs and violence, and living in an environment with gangs and different sorts of crime,” said Best.

“The goal of Rise and Flow’s programs are to actually build confidence in youth and to help them progress, not just to give them something to do during the day.”

Run through Black Affinity and held at Carleton University, the three-week camp operated last year on only $5,000 from grants and sponsors. While the camp’s main activities focus on writing, producing and playing music, sub-programs include a green initiative, ‘YouthVironment’ teaches kids the importance of keeping their communities clean, while “WeQuality” emphasizes the importance of girls and women in society.

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