“The stone that the builder refuse, will always be the head cornerstone.” – Bob Marley
February 5, 2020, on the eve of Bob Marley’s 75th Birthday Celebration, the Ghetto Youths Foundation (GYF) opened the Cornerstone Learning Center to the greater Trench Town community. The center is a project of great significance to the GYF Board of Directors, Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley, designed as a facility in service of the larger community, offering free learning opportunities for young people ages 8-18. Created as a center for learning and educational support, mentoring and guidance — an oasis in the Trench Town community where Bob Marley was raised — this brand-new facility will support young people on a pathway to educational success and self-reliance.
The Cornerstone Learning Center offers opportunity to hundreds of young people from the surrounding Trench Town communities, including access to computers, printers, reading and test prep, programming classes, and overall academic support. Currently, the center has more than 100 registered students, eight teaching faculty with various areas of expertise, and a formal partnership with the Jamaican Minister of Education, Youth and Information.
Designed as a flexible learning space, the center features an Academic Study Hall, Computer Lab, and Learning Library. Thanks to the incredibly generous sponsorship of Florida-based Hotwire Communications, the Cornerstone Learning Center is outfitted with high speed internet and 40 laptop computers, creating a new infrastructure within the Trench Town community to provide critical access and opportunity to young people in the areas of computer literacy and online learning. The Learning Library, generously sponsored by the Alacran Foundation and directors Alessandra Lo Savio and Rohan Marley, provides a unique space fully outfitted with creative learning tools and student-ready adventures to enhance literacy at every age.
A highlight of the Cornerstone Learning Center campus is a detailed portrait of reggae legend Bob Marley reading to children on the steps of his home at 56 Hope Road. The mural was painted by Miami-based muralists Claudio ‘CPWON’ Picasso and Daniel ‘KRAVE’ Fila, who donated this brilliant art in honor of the opening. The mural is open and currently on view to the public at the center, and is just the first of several inspirational murals planned to grace the space.
“Education is the pathway to freedom, and every child deserves the opportunity to walk down that path.” — Stephen Marley