My name is Nosa Kenny Timon. I am a sophomore studying music education at California State University, Northridge. I have been listening to, playing, and learning about music and all the wonders it holds from the moment I picked up Ben Ede's electric guitar seven years ago.
When I reflect on my childhood, I realize I was somewhat sheltered; I had a talent for academics, but not many friends or hobbies to pursue. Come middle school, I managed to create a kind of friendship/brotherhood with Kobi, Kofi and Kwesi Essilfie, (who I met at the laundromat) which would develop into an ever-expanding chain of community and friendship that included the likes of Ben Ede, who played music at the church we all attended. Together throughout the years we played video games, skateboarded, and shared an interest and a knack for music. We spent most of our time together listening to songs and trying to recreate them, which we did. It started out as us playing "Fighting Dreamers" at our local church. People loved it and so did we, and with Ben as the leader we officially became BAWD, the house band for First United Methodist Church Los Angeles. Throughout all of high school we played for fundraisers, gigs, and for fun, sampling styles that ranged from gospel choir to gypsy jazz. We eventually watched each other graduate from high school and go to college to face the world head on. Throughout our adventures and hijinks, there was a central theme that seemed to facilitate and inspire all of the great things that happened: Kid City.
Kid City wasn't just a place to get work done or hang out; it was a second home to most, a place where you could go and feel welcomed and appreciated. We shared laughter, tears, sweat, and studies at Kid City. It was a place that reminded us of how much there was to all of us, besides the aspects one would find at school or at home. Kid City was magical in the sense that it could bring all of those factors together. Looking back, I realized that Kid City gave me the opportunity to not just have a fantastic childhood, but the self confidence, ambition, and support I needed to effloresce into an involved, engaged member of today's fast-paced fluctuating society. I've volunteered for Splash of LA, helped plan Anime Day, and even done charity work. I had a blast doing it because I was with my friends. Ben was the musical director, so we often found ways to incorporate tunes into our various accolades. Kid City instilled in me some of the values I hold true to today: a desire to achieve, a willingness to learn, an insatiable curiosity, and a sense of hard work and community that I still find demonstrated remarkably by all the staff and volunteers that pass through Kid City's doors.
Kid City has always been a cornerstone of my life, as I'm sure it was for many people. There's something inspiring about witnessing a program that you helped create turn into something amazing; something that helped you throughout the years now gives hope and opportunity to those who never had it. Rooms that created timeless memories with just a computer and a deeply generous ingenuity have been cultivated (and vigorously painted) into mini-institutions for others to flourish and grow. Kid City is a not-so-hidden urban foundation for community, creativity, and the curation of one's path in life. Most of us are always trying to find ourselves. Maybe we just need a place of hope.