Meet UNL Milwaukee Youth Leader Erick Perkins!

Erick Perkins joined New Look Milwaukee in 2010 when he was in the 10th grade. Today, he is a 22-year-old alum who works alongside Milwaukee Coordinator, Percy Eddie, to help lead our high school Leadership Academy students. Erick’s passion is music, and he is currently working while pursuing his talent of songwriting and performing. Erick uses music to relate to younger students in the New Look program and inspire them to be #BIGGERTHAN their circumstances just like him.

“My mother and her husband, who was my stepfather, passed away. My biological father is an addict who I haven’t seen since the age of 12. Usher’s New look gave me an opportunity to help others like me in the poor community become somebody. One time in my life I was down. I didn’t have too much, but New look showed me there was a bright future. If I am devoted to whatever career path I want, I can achieve it. Sometimes you have to go through the darkness to get to the light, and there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Usher’s New look give me a chance to see that light.” -Erick “EP” Perkins

Check out this rap he wrote and shared with our Academy students:

“Me and my brothers slept in a car for two months, clothes in a bag, it was all in the trunk

He took me to school and I ain’t get free lunch.

I was so young, no money or none,

My third eye in mind saying pick up a gun,

but I picked up a pen, ever since then, I hustle alone, because I didn’t have friends.

I was a bum homeless teen. So much on my mind, I can’t really dream.

No one open the door, pretending they sleep, knowing they home through the blinds they peek.

He said lil bro don’t cry, we gotta stay strong, since our mom is gone, we never been home.

All of my anger, went right in my song, all of my anger went right in my song.

That’s why I go Ham, I go Ham on the beats, I go Ham in the streets,

Yeah my name EP.”