Jelly Roll’s Giving $250K to Bring Music to Incarcerated Youth
As an artist who grew up in the Nashville area, Jelly Roll is passionate about giving back to his community, and he's doing just that with a new musical initiative that will support incarcerated youth in Nashville.
Per the Tennessean, Jelly Roll, whose given name is Jason DeFord, has announced plans to donate $250,000 in partnership with non-profit Impact Youth Outreach. His donation will finance the construction of a recording studio within the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center, where Jelly Roll himself spent time in his youth.
The singer's donation is also set to support five $10,000 scholarships for high school graduates in Davidson County, as well as food and toy drives during the holidays.
"Nashville is a town that people come and take from," Jelly Roll said upon announcing the news at a press event at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena last week. "They come and they party. They make the best memory of their life right here on Broadway ... They come and they chase their dreams. They join the medical field. They become big musicians in the music industry and make millions of dollars. But they never give back."
"As a local kid, I felt like it was important to start addressing the problem hands-on, at a community level," he added.
Jelly Roll's passion to help incarcerated youth may stem from his past, which involved doing time for aggravated robbery and possession with intent to sell charges. He said he hopes the recording studio can offer some individuals and alternative career opportunity.
"Kids are killing each other ... it's just getting sad," he said. "As a community we have to stand up and we have to do something about it. I'm challenging my musician friends: To come from your ivory tower, get [out] from behind your guitar, roll your sleeves up and ... see the problems we have in this community."
Jelly Roll will return to Bridgestone Arena on Dec. 9 for a headlining show. More tickets and VIP packages for the show were released for purchase on Wednesday, and they will benefit his donation.
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