February 12, 2014

SaulPaul, a Texas-based musician and motivational speaker, partnered with the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice to host two events for young people and juveniles in detention during his recent visit to the Portland area.

Speaking to a standing room-only crowd in the Multnomah Building board room on Feb. 5, SaulPaul told the crowd his story of being arrested by the FBI at 16, serving prison time, and later turning his life around by graduating from college. The event was co-hosted by the City of Portland Office of Youth Violence Prevention.

His goal for the visit was to “inspire you to be the best that you can be,” SaulPaul said to the crowd of mostly young people, many of whom raised their hands when he asked to show they knew someone who was in prison.

SaulPaul used his journey of figuring out he was naturally gifted to rap and write and perform music to ask the audience to think about their purpose. The musician performed acoustic hip hop songs while playing a guitar and did one freestyle where he made up a song using words from the audience.

“Start recognizing the gifts that you have,” he said.

Local nonprofit organizations and agencies brought young people to the event, including the Oregon Department of Human ServicesMt. Hood Community College,Portland Opportunities Industrialization CenterLatino NetworkSelf Enhancement, Inc.Washington County Harkins House and Inn Home for Boys.

SaulPaul also volunteered to spend an afternoon speaking with juveniles in detention at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Justice Complex on Feb. 6.