One of the nation’s first programs to bring full-time hip-hp education to high school students seeks new partners after financial crisis terminates its five-year run.

Since 2006, The Global Awareness through Hip Hop Culture program has been at the forefront of legitimizing the use of hip-hop culture in mainstream education. Based at a charter school in South Los Angeles, it has been one of the only educational hip-hop programs in the nation offered as a regular class to middle and high school students. Due to budget cuts, the program will no longer have a home as of June.

Sebastien Elkouby, the program’s founder, created the class to address the educational crisis that affects about 50 percent of inner-city students across the U.S. “For a variety of reasons, many students feel completely disconnected from the traditional educational process,” said Elkouby in a press statement. “This class uses the positive elements of Hip Hop culture that aren’t usually promoted in mainstream media as a medium to develop critical thinking skills while teaching them language arts, social studies, and life skills.”

According to Elkouby, the program experienced great success during its run and allowed inner city children opportunities they’d likely miss out on. “We’ve achieved a lot. We’ve had Hip Hop legends like MC Lyte and KRS-ONE as guests. We’ve sent kids to DJ retreats. We’ve been awarded state-of-the-art studio equipment. We’ve received international media coverage and been featured in documentaries … and this doesn’t even cover a third of what we’ve achieved…”

In 2007, Elkouby began working with the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, advising educators from around the world on how to use Hip Hop culture as an educational medium. The following year, the National Society of High School Scholars selected Elkouby as “Educator of Distinction.”

He is hopeful the program will find a new home.

“It doesn’t even have to be offered at a school,” the program’s founder added. “I’m open to bringing the program wherever the need is. I know that there’s money available to fund creative programs. We just have to find it. Who knows? It may even come from someone in the Hip Hop community.”