Our Staff

Max Kline

MA, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director

Max graduated with his Master’s degree in counseling psychology from John F Kennedy University with a specialization in Transpersonal Psychology in 2014. There he lead collaborative poetry/rhythm workshops and wrote his thesis on Hip Hop Therapy. Since then he has worked as a mental health clinician with at-risk/at promise youth in various elementary schools, middle schools and high schools throughout the bay area. His work in these schools has included developing and leading Hip Hop Therapy groups/workshops as well as providing various trainings to staff and parents around the areas of mindfulness, trauma and suicide prevention. Before attending graduate school Max worked for several years with an organization called The Beat Within, where he led poetry/rap and creative writing workshops with incarcerated youth in Juvenile Halls in Alameda and Santa Clara counties. Here he truly discovered his passion for working with youth in a creative capacity and witnessed the raw therapeutic power of hip hop, and it’s potential to engage, deeply impact, and transform the lives of these youth. He has since made it his mission to effectively bridge the gap between hip hop and therapy. During grad school he met fellow JFK student Jonah Scott and the assemblage of this vision became clear. Ever since Max was a young teen hip hop has always been his first love and passion and was his refuge and source of strength through many challenging periods of his life. This supportive and developmental relationship with the art form has been as both a listener as well as a creator. Max is an MC and producer who’s creative expression is often informed by his strong passion and hunger for social justice. Part of his motivation stems from a rich family history of social and political activism that goes back many generations. Max is actively involved in various Oakland hip hop collectives and brings this artistic perspective into his work with youth.

Jonah Scott

MA, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director

Jonah is a Bay Area native with a strong family lineage in social justice and sociopolitical activism. As an undergraduate in the Peace and Conflict Studies department at UC Berkeley, he focused on exploring links between creativity and health, and how these could be implemented in areas such as violence prevention and conflict resolution. He then went on to obtain his MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2013, where he wrote his thesis on hip hop as a therapeutic medium. It was here where he began to connect the dots between his life-long love and passion for hip-hop, his instilled understanding around structural social and racial inequalities, and his innate drive to be of service. It was also here where he met Rhythmic Mind co-founder Max Kline, and began development of the program model and curriculum. With over 20 years creating original hip hop music, he has experienced first hand its therapeutic capacity, and is greatly motivated by the desire to share this with others. Since 2014, he has worked passionately as a therapist with at-risk/at-promise youth at numerous middle and high schools throughout Oakland, CA. This work has included designing and facilitating Hip Hop Therapy groups and utilizing the creation of original hip hop music in individual sessions with youth.