Program seeks to keep Columbus kids away from violence and in the recording studio


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The ongoing violence in Columbus inspired one man to pick up his bags and move back to the city. Now, he’s hoping his non-profit can help bring the violence down and create change.

Job Clarkson said he grew up in Linden and knows what it’s like to fall victim to making bad decisions.

“Before I was 24, I had already committed felonies and been in trouble with the law,” he said. “One of my friends took me into the studio and ever since then, I haven’t been in any trouble.”

Clarkson said once he found his love for the entertainment industry, he launched his non-profit, The Heart of Job Foundation.

He was living in California when he made his vision come to life, but one call made him realize he needed to bring the program to Columbus.

“I lost two of my best friends while I was gone,” Clarkson said. “One of them was a video music producer. He lost his life on Mother’s Day last year. The entertainment is dying in the city if friends of mine in entertainment are dying.”

Starting July 5, he’ll be transforming a local business center in Linden into a place for opportunities. Young adults between the ages of 12 to 24 can learn about singing, composing, video editing, sound engineering and other skills. His hope is for this summer program to get the youth thinking about different career opportunities.

Angela Smith, 18, said she’s been waiting for something like this.

“I don’t think that kids often get that in places like school or workplaces,” she said.

Smith said that although she doesn’t live in Linden, she’s willing to commute for this opportunity for the experience and to be the voice of this program among her peers.

Clarkson said the free program will run three days a week. Right now, there are about 20 spots left for the program.

He’s hoping other city and community leaders will also get involved and help provide more resources for the effort.

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