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Western Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of neighborhood, personal and community commitment. Our pride in pulling together goes far beyond supporting our deep-rooted sports teams. 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference honors the individuals that are making a difference in people's lives on the ground level and reminding us we are all truly a part of each other's lives.This special series, supported by UPMC, will highlight, honor and celebrate Western Pennsylvanians who are unsung heroes daring to make a difference to others in our community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770c8000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770ca000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cc000090.5 WESA PA listening area counties:Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fayette, Indiana00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cd0000This project is made possible by a generous contribution from UPMC.

How Emmai Alaquiva Is Giving Back Through Music

The Sprout Fund

Read and listen to a story about Emmai Alaquiva as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

Emmai is an award-winning  music producer and entrepreneur and has parlayed his accomplishments into mentoring kids, through hip hop music.

He has found a way to infuse positive hip hop with education to get teens excited about music and learning.

“Growing up, life sort of gives you the moves that you need to dodge,” Emmai said. “I was hit with adversity, homelessness, death. It really had me down a valley, but I realized there were mountains ahead. Hip hop spoke to me in a way that nothing had the ability to speak to me.”

After years of homelessness and selling drugs on the streets, Emmai turned his life around and put himself through college, working any job possible to purchase a small recording studio on Highland Avenue. Years later, at the zenith of his successful Emmy-award winning music career, he knew it was time to give back through music.