Actor Dayo Olatokun went from sleeping in his car in Los Angeles to creating a four-week arts program for NYC students. The artist realized he wanted to use his experience to help youth identify their passions early to avoid becoming a struggling artist. So, Olatokun founded the nonprofit organization GPA—the Gifted & Purposed Alliance.

He has since partnered with the DOE to bring a curriculum to NYC school students and has held programs at more than nine schools and education centers across the city. His most recent collaboration was a four-week program where students spent two hours a day, four days a week where they learned and practiced acting, singing, dancing, and creating their own content. 

The program helps students who are interested in the arts write a bio, take headshots and more. He even filmed the program at Far Rockaway High School last year to create a web series. Olatokun is happy about bringing the programming to his home neighborhood of Far Rockaway because many of the families wouldn’t be able to afford the type of program he provides. Read more about his program here.

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Nicole Perrino is the founder of, a hyperlocal website for Bronx families where she use her influence to celebrate the beauty that the Bronx has to offer. In addition to her role at Bronxmama,...

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