Russell Simmons, LL Cool J visit youth at NYC jail

NEW YORK (AP) -- A group of young people at a jail complex got some words of encouragement on Thursday from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and actor LL Cool J.

The two visited Rikers Island to mark the launch of a national anti-violence program from Simmons' RushCard, a prepaid debit card.

RushCard's Keep the Peace initiative is giving grants to neighborhood organizations. One of those is LIFE Camp, a Queens organization that works with young people, including those at Rikers, to reduce violence.

Cool J told the audience that his rough upbringing could have had him where they are if things had worked out differently, and he encouraged them to believe in themselves.

"You can absolutely without a doubt do anything you put your mind to," he said.

Simmons told them to focus on what's inside them.

"It's your spirit you've got to work on," he said.

Deputy Warden Clement Glenn said partnering with programs like LIFE Camp is among the ways the Department of Correction tries to get young people to change their behavior.

We're "trying to encourage them not to come back into the system, hoping they will integrate into society and become contributing members of their community," he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • Broken Record
    Kansas City fans reclaim the world noise record from Seattle

  • Another Way Across
    A group is pushing for a third route across Lake Washington for light rail

  • 9-Month Closure
    Businesses on the Seattle waterfront hope to survive a long upcoming closure
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.