Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Youth organization announces winners of COVID-19 grocery giveaway

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A local nonprofit that helps at-risk youth announced the winners of its grocery giveaway.

I Am Kid Culture called on area youth to submit short videos about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic for its #Food4TheHood contest. Five kids submitted videos and received $75 worth of groceries and $75 worth of I Am Kid Culture merchandise.

The winners are Zaniah Gray, Zabrina Gray, Isaiah Baker and Anthony Holliman.

“Kids made 10- and 20-second videos,” I Am Kid Culture founder Patrick Pursley said. “The videos explain how to survive and not to spread COVID. They are to teach their peers–peer-to-peer teachings. Winners can use the money at any store they want to take it to for groceries and household items.”

Pursley founded I Am Kid Culture in the early 2000s, while he was in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a 1993 homicide. He was acquitted in 2019.

Endorsed by college professors, the nonprofit’s curriculum promotes higher education by intersecting academia with performing arts, and hip-hop to connect, influence, and encourage kids and teens to recognize their intrinsic value.

Pursley has also started a career as a public speaker and wrongful conviction consultant. He was in the middle of a speaking tour and about roll out the I Am Kid Culture curriculum when the coronavirus pandemic halted the economy.

“I had been free a year and some change when we hit a global pandemic,” he said. “But, I am going to keep going. I didn’t come this far to fail. Because this ain’t for me. It’s for my city.”

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