Hasan “Dj Maestro” Stephens

Founder and CEO of Good Life, Hasan has dreamt of using his talents in Hip-Hop culture to help shift youth culture and it’s perspectives since his days as a youth. For him, Good Life is that culture change agent.

A leading youth advocate, mentor, entrepreneur and educator, Hasan A. Stephens is the Executive Director and Founder of The Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation in Syracuse, N.Y. During his career and work with young people, Stephens recognized that many of the same people continued to revisit youth detention facilities. In response, he started the Good Life Foundation to help prevent youth recidivism, violence, poverty and incarceration. The Good Life model was designed based on his own personal life experiences as an impoverished youth growing up in the inner city, Bronx, NY. He also fashioned the model after personal mentoring work he did with the first youth of Good Life, Ron Funderberg. After seeing what was successful and worked with Funderberg, Stephens knew it needed to be scaled.

An educator and co-contributor of the book, “Rebel Music: Resistance Through Hip-Hop and Punk,” Stephens currently serves as a professor of Africana studies and hip-hop at The State University of New York College at Cortland, teaching the course, “Evolution of Hip-Hop Culture.” He also is an active member of the County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Steering Committee, the Central New York State Regional Youth Justice Team, the County Racial and Ethnic Disparities Work Group and the School – Arrest Diversion Workgroup for Onondaga County. In addition, Stephens is a leadership consultant for the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Before establishing the Good Life Foundation, Stephens first began engaging youth in New York State through his career as “DJ Maestro,” a radio personality with Clear Channel Communications (Power 106.9 FM and Hot 107.9 FM) and an Emmy Award nominated TV commentator with News Channel 9’s “Coming Together for a Safer Syracuse.” Currently, he is the “New York’s College Team” official DJ for Syracuse University basketball and athletics. Stephens also has worked with MTV and has made national appearances as guest host on BET’s Rap City.


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