Junior X to help inner-city youth through charity
Growing up in the volatile Rockfort area in east Kingston, Richard White, despite being gifted with a soul-stirring voice, had ambitions of becoming a lawyer. His dreams, however, were hindered by the hands of poverty, so White pursued a music career as Junior X, using his voice to represent the voiceless and promote truths and rights as evident in his biggest song to date, Plead My Cause.
Despite his fame and power to relocate from the inner city, he has not forgotten his plight, trying to make something of himself as a youth. For this main reason, Junior X has established Reach Dem While Dem Young, a charitable organisation which aims to assist youth in their personal, academic and professional development.
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and the future depends on what you put in the children’s heads, and they’ve been gravitating to the wrong stuff for a long time,” he told The Gleaner.
“Single-handedly, I’m going to be an agent of change, and, hopefully, others will see and get involved.
This plan cannot fail, cause once you reach the youths from that tender age and give them the tools they need, the future will be bright. They are indeed the true architects of the future.”
With schools being his primary target, the singer said his organisation would work alongside teachers to help youth in need of school supplies and lunch money. He will also install a child-sponsorship programme, allowing supporters to donate in kind, a concept he said has already attracted three women who are ready to support children in need.
“Teachers sit and watch every child, so they know which child has problems at home, who needs school books and uniforms. So we’re using this responsible approach to get assistance to youth,” he said. “So far, even though it’s just on the way, a lot of people are interested and willing to help me, and I want to make this thing into a giant organisation. When you are climbing a mountain, you always reach the top quicker when you help other people. There are a lot of people who don’t have the opportunities you may have, and if people were more open to charity a lot of people would have greater joy in dem soul.”
Part of his long-term vision is to open a series of Internet cafés in inner cities across the island to serve as a resource hub for students and a positive alternative to the dangers that lurk in the streets.
“Me waan put a little Internet café weh can facilitate about four or five youth at a time in as much of the ghettos as possible where the youths can do dem homework for free and be monitored,” he said. “If they want to play games, then they pay for that, and when I successfully set up these cafés, the money will go towards things like issuing lunch money for youths in the community. Can you imagine seeing 20 youths finishing school, going to college, or getting a good job instead of going down the wrong path as a result of us coming together and helping them? That is what I want to achieve with this.”
His philanthropic plans aside, Junior X has a vested interest in youth of his own – three daughters actually. He shared he wants to venture into music production, starting with one of his daughters, Diamond, for whom he has predicted a successful music career.
“That girl has a voice deh, sometimes me tell her she tek weh me talent and a do it better than me,” he said. “She is great at it and me glad me go through weh me go through so me can be a guide for her. After I start production with her, then me a go search for other talent.”
Junior X’s current singles include Stay Above Ground and If Yuh Nah Talk Money.