“Shoot for the Stars” is the phrase that Bashar Barakah Jackson who became known to the world as Pop Smoke, lived by. He was shooting for the stars, but he was aiming for the moon. This mindset is the platform which sparked his mission to share his passion and determination with other young people in his community. He wanted to inspire them to work towards and manifest their dreams. As he began touring and performing around the nation and the globe, he began developing a plan for giving back. He reached out to local educators and administrators to donate computers and technological resources to community schools; creating a blueprint for community youth programming and educational assistance for all youth. He wanted to secure opportunities for those who were not enticed by the traditional school model. His goal was to make sure young people had access to resources, opportunities, and inspirational mentoring to achieve their full potential. Sadly, on February 19, 2020 Bashar’s life was taken. Shoot for the Stars Foundation is that vehicle which will ensure his vision is realized and his legacy continues as a community builder and a steward for youth who dare to dream.
Bashar was in the process of becoming. I have heard it said that African-American males are not allowed the mistakes of youth that young men of European ancestry are. He seemed to have identified a foundation formed by his spiritual upbringing and the streets. This forum is the beginning of creating sacred space for young people to come together and start the conversation around the shift that they bring to the global stage.
― Audrey Jackson