The rapper’s alma mater Overton Elementary School was shut down in 2013, but with earnings from his succesful career, he bought the building and transformed into a community center where creatives can learn and develop their skills.
“This is just about being able to lead by example for the next generation,” said Herbo of his recent purchase. “We’re really just trying to change the narrative and lead by example ... and show the next generation that they can do what we’re doing even greater. We’re not saying we’re going to see drastic change tomorrow, but if we keep this up, there’s limitless opportunities, and it’s limitless where we can go.”
The PTSD rapper has already used the location to run an event for Chicago residents. Over the weekend, he hosted the #YearoftheYouth giveback for children in the neighborhood. As he and fellow rappers Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and Joey Purp handed out backpacks and school supplies, adults were able to get HIV testing and register to vote.
While Herbo’s community center will help aspiring creators foster their artistry, the rapper, who has been diagnosed with PTSD, previously launched an initiative for Black youth to cater to their mental health as well.
“Swervin’ Through Stress: Tools to Help Black Youth Navigate Mental Wellness,” his collaboration with Audiomack, will aim “to connect Black young adults with therapeutic resources that help inform and improve their mental health in pursuit of a better quality of life,” per the mission statement.
“‘Swervin’ Through Stress’ is a project I put together to put 150 kids through therapy,” Herbo told the Chicago Reader. “At their age, you never know how critical it can be to have someone to talk to — to have someone help you better yourself and your situation.”
Look below for photos of G Herbo at the #YearoftheYouth event.