February 26, 2009 06:00 ET

P. Miller Launches Mentorship Program to Prepare Today's Youth, Wins Social Justice Award

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2009) - Percy Miller, formerly known as rapper Master P, has been adamant at launching initiatives in inner-city communities over the last several years -- with one goal in particular being to raise awareness for education among youth.

His latest act of philanthropy came this week when he announced the launch of the P. Miller Mentorship Program, where he will make his life an open book for kids, so they can learn from his past mistakes and triumphs.

"I will share how I've lived my life with 'no excuses' to overcome them. I am open to share knowledge with my music peers, entertainers, athletes and especially young people," he said of the program.

The program will start in schools and businesses in both Los Angeles and New Orleans -- where he will speak to kids and teens about a variety of topics, such as finances, education, fame, life, and how all of these have not only affected him, but have also affected others. Additionally, he will bring in experts to teach young people to plan and prepare for their future. He wants to encourage kids to pick up the books that surround them and educate themselves through reading. The overall mission being to "prepare, guide and educate people so that they can make the right decisions."

Some other successful programs P. Miller has launched in the past include the P. Miller Basketball Camp for Inner-City Kids; and the Who's Behind the Shooting and Save Our Kids Foundations, which both focused on empowering youth through media.

During this year's Black History Month, P was recognized as the first hip-hop mogul to receive the Social Justice Award for his contributions to civil, social, and economic rights. This particular award is presented to individuals for their commitment to publicly condemning social injustices and the social weakness of corporations and industries within our nation.

In light of the award, P continues his efforts at setting an example for the young minorities, as well as the next generation. According to P, this task isn't easy, but one must take responsibility for their actions, and not be influenced by the media and powers that be. But rather, carve their own path and turn negative into positive.

"We are targets because we are the minorities. We are even bigger targets when we are successful. There are no courses in the education system for a Chris Brown, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Pac Man, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Silkk the Shocker, C-Miller, T.I., or Master P. Only a few learn from their past mistakes while the rest never will. It's easier to do wrong or to be negative. It takes more energy to do right and be positive," he explains.

"Although we are targeted by the system, we stereotype ourselves because we are afraid to grow up and take responsibility for our actions. We use drugs, alcohol, and tattoos to hide who we truly are. We surround ourselves with 'yes' people and uneducated people for a false sense of power. We let the media and the internet control our destinations in life, not realizing that these people are not God nor are they our judges. These news reporters, magazine writers, internet bloggers, and radio personalities have families and everyday problems like you and me. We should not give them the power to direct our lives with their negative influences."

His positive example has even rubbed off on his son/rapper Romeo, who -- despite having a successful music career -- has gone on to attend USC where he plays basketball for the Trojans. P says he sent his son to college because he believes "...Education is the key to success in generational wealth. Without education, some of us may reach our financial goals, but never truly benefit from its longevity."

"It's this knowledge that only education can bring you," claims P. "Thanks to the overcrowding of jails, school attendance dropping, and the slump in the economy, people are afraid and again, it's credited to a lack of knowledge."

"It's time to get involved because we as a culture are dying," P. Miller exclaims. "...As a grown man, I still seek information because education is changing every day. But we, as teachers, need to be willing to spread that knowledge to others. If I could sit down with Bill Gates or Warren Buffet for five minutes, I wouldn't talk about money. I would want to pick their minds to understand their frame of thinking because with the proper knowledge, the money will come. If I had a chance to talk to Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, or Quincy Jones about the TV business, I would be up and running right now with my television network and not have to experience the bumps and roadblocks that I've encountered. If Will Smith taught or even talked about his past tax situation, many of us wouldn't have had to experience similar situations. If Halle Berry spoke out about her past abusive relationships, maybe the Rihanna and Chris Brown incident would never had occurred."

Master P does have a point too. He recalls a moment in the past, where he spoke to a young T.I. about growing up. While the Atlanta rapper didn't quite get the message then, he's a culmination of it today. Learning from his own mistakes, T.I. has matured tremendously.

"As parents, if we were more open about our past mistakes, our children would be victors not victims. I sit back and think about the time I sat on the panel with T.I. called 'America vs. Hip Hop.' I remember telling T.I. that we can't be afraid to grow up and be responsible. He didn't get it then. But I am a strong believer of 'If people are exposed to knowledge, they can change. Therefore, we deserve a second chance,'" said P. "If God forgives we should be forgiving as well. I'm proud of T.I. for growing up. With this mentorship program, we could help save other young brothers and sisters by helping them get a good start in life without having to make the same mistakes that we've made."

For more information on P. Miller's Mentorship Program, visit



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