AWOL is registered 501(c)3 that provides arts and technology education for at-risk youth. The organization’s main goal is to successfully develop youth in an environment that encourages respect, education, creativity and most of all non-violence. AWOL strives to provide troubled youth with an outlet for their creative energy and frustration, while teaching them practical jobs skills, empowering them to overcome peer pressure and to make better decisions in their daily lives.
What began as a casual gathering of poets, musicians and emcees at Savannah State University in 1997 was incorporated as a non-profit group in September of 2004, a way for Founder/CEO Tony “Polo” Jordan, an emcee and probation officer, to compromise between his love of hip hop and his experiences helping troubled kids.
Juxtaposing hip hop culture and positive youth development though various artistic mediums, the organization has become one of Savannah’s premier youth serving organizations, impacting the lives of hundreds of youth every year through its unique programs.
With a mission “to promote and provide self-awareness through the use of poetry, hip hop and life,” the organization hosts a number of events including: a weekly television show called the Chop Shop, a monthly open mic night called Therapy Session, conflict resolution workshops, the theater arts program called Act Up, digital arts education programs involving film and music production, and an innovative IT Training called Goon Squad that teach youth how to refurbish old computers, which are then given to families in the community.