In urban schools across the U.S., kids fail to reach their potential because they’re disinterested in academic coursework offered. Youth Music Exchange combats this by linking learning with student interests and increasing student motivation to achieve. Youth Music Exchange provides students in schools and after-school programs with the opportunity to create and manage their own record labels. Students learn to become better at reading, writing and math by writing and recording music, developing marketing plans, designing CD artwork, creating business plans and selling their music in the community. Fellow Michael Bitz, who served as an Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, started the initiative.