The Only Jew In His Crew

This article was first published in The Jewish Daily Forward.

Michael Prosserman (aka Bboy Piecez) (photo credit: Selina Chan)

It seemed to Michael Prosserman (aka Bboy Piecez) as though his world had stopped spinning when doctors found three congenitally fused vertebrae in his neck when he was 18. Breakdancing had been his passion since he was 12, and his signature move had been to turn continuously on his head in slow motion. Now, his doctors were telling him that to avoid further injury, he would have to stop practicing the activity that had sustained him through stressful times as a teenager.

But Prosserman found another passion to keep him going — Unity Charity, an educational not-for-profit organization he started while in college to help high school students from disadvantaged neighborhoods. The organization teaches teens essential life skills like self-confidence, coping with stress and anger, taking healthy risks and becoming leaders, through four expressions of hip-hop culture: breakdancing, spoken word performance, graffiti art and beatboxing. And while empowering young people to surmount obstacles in their lives, Prosserman found a way to overcome his medical challenge and return to international-level competitive breakdancing.

Click here to read more.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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