He is an unassuming educator who uses hip hop as a conduit for transforming lives. Vernon Thompson devotes his life to working in at-risk environments, serving as the Assistant Principal of the Warren G Harding High School in Connecticut. As a child Vernon watched his father, then pastor of the Eastern Baptist Church, pour his entire being into community service. A stable and nurturing home environment allowed Vernon to recognise the gaps that are missing from his students’ lives. This also spurred his pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities.
Vernon’s podcast describes the precarious environments his students come from, and how hip hop music opens up communication channels. His unfiltered experiences take listeners to the very heart of gun violence, whilst sharing his heartfelt impact on students’ lives. He promotes the important role of father figures in his community, creating a special father’s day video that went viral thanks to TD Jakes. Vernon drops many insightful quotes in his interview, including “If all you see is what you don’t see, you’re not seeing anything at all.”