When Steven Prescod, aged 22, performed his original spoken word piece based on his dramatic life in the inner city, he never could have imagined he would have ended up with the personal contact information and backing of Great Britain’s Prince William, but that’s exactly what happened to the New Yorker on December 9, 2014. Nonprofit organizations The Door and City Kids, hosted the Prince of Whales and his pregnant wife Princess Kate the Duchess of Cambridge for a day of their recent visit to New York City. The visit to both nonprofits is linked to the efforts of the royal couple’s own charity, The Royal Foundation, and it seems as though they were not only educated on the state of the youth that need help, but also impressed and inspired enough by the story of one particular youth (Prescod) to want to make sure that he has the ability to tell it to others.
The Door provides legal assistance, mental health counseling, reproductive healthcare and education, and other practical, real life solutions for the undeserved youth of NYC. According to the organization’s website, over 10,000 youth between the ages of 12-24 are assisted by The Door each year.
“The duke said, I’m going to help you take this everywhere, I’m serious about this.” – Laurie Meadoff, City Kids Founder on the exchange between Prince William and Prescod
City Kids, which is backed by names like Scott Campbell, provides arts education based services to youth throughout childhood and adolescence.
“I was incarcerated and this is my life, I had a low period in my life and never in a million years did I expect I would be performing for the duke and duchess…William said he wanted to help me put this together, he gave me his contact number and said to reach out to him.” – Steven Presod, Brooklyn based poet and writer
According to The Mirror, William and Kate spoke to other youth affiliated with The Door and City Kids that day as well. In all they viewed 28 original performances and had a private session with a group of NYC youth who shared their stories of growing up in the city.
See Steven Prescod on NBC’s The Today Show: