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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Using music and lyrics to enlighten

Photo by || Vincent Fernandez || fernanv5@imail.losrios.eduIt’s the beginning of the spring season in March on the City College campus, as students prepare for the final week of school before spring break. Adam Freas — or Freas as he’s known by most — leans back in his office chair while Phonte from the rap group Little Brother is heard faintly in the background.

Fitted in a brown LRG (Lifted Research Group) track jacket, dark-blue designer jeans, fresh kicks, and topped with a clean haircut and shaped beard, Freas may be mistaken as just your average Sac City hip-hop head. But Freas is a City College counselor and an instructor who uses hip-hop in his classes.

“He was really cool and laid back,” City College student Helen Hunt says. “Usually you have to get a feel for some of the staff here, but with Freas I always felt comfortable speaking with him.”

Freas is a counselor in two campus programs that help disadvantaged students: Equal Opportunity Program and Services, known as EOP&S, for educationally and economically disadvantaged students; and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education, or CARE, which helps single parents.

He also teaches Human Career Development, with an emphasis on hip-hop. As an avid hip-hop fan, Freas remembers speaking with his buddies during grad school about ways to utilize
hip-hop in education.

“Being connected to the hip-hop culture I thought, What better median to give students a voice than through a movement built on giving a voice to the voiceless?” Freas says.
Beginning in fall 2008, Freas’ dream became a reality when he was given permission to utilize hip-hop as an emphasis for his course.

“A lot of staff backed the idea and were behind me all the way,” Freas says.

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Although the course uses hip-hop as a teaching tool, Freas happily invites students who are into other genres of music to enroll in his class. The first major assignment Freas asks his students to complete is to choose a song that is either their favorite or has motivated them.

“Freas’ class was always exciting,” says DeAndre Moore, who attended in 2009. “Everyday we gained valuable information without even realizing we were learning.”

Freas, who is a product of the City College system, has always had a passion for life and helping others achieve their goals. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling from Sacramento State University, Freas began working in City College’s EOP&S office, assisting students with college success.

“I love setting goals and achieving them, but the beauty of setting goals is using someone else’s success as motivation to improve yours,” he says.

Outside of teaching and counseling, Freas is a member of the Addict Merchants, a Sacramento based hip-hop group.

“I love music, but I don’t want to settle on just being an MC,” says Freas. “One of my favorite things to do is coming up with ways to put a hip-hop twist on everything I do. Recently my wife has gotten me to attend a few plays, so I thought about doing a hip-hop play or creating a hip-hop restaurant.”

Freas is a rare find at City College when it comes to counselors and professors. He’s not only a former community college graduate who went on to receive an advanced degree in counseling,
but he has used his passion for music as a tool to motivate students and assist them on their road to success.

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