By: Shaneka Smith
The collaborate efforts of AfterSchool Matters, DMI Youth CanProject V.O.I.C.E. and Studio 5090 provided 30 local teens from Michele Clarke, Christ the King, Chicago Academy for Advanced Technology and other Westside schools the opportunity to visit WGCI Studio through Project V.O.I.C.E program. Program instructors Clarence Clayton and Valencia Lake describe Project V.O.I.C.E as an audio and visual program, at 5090 W. Harrison, documenting youth voices as they consciously identify and address social issues to promote change within themselves and their communities. Teen participants work directly with professional studio equipment and software to gain transferrable skills to use in alternative settings such as higher education or internships.
The WGCI studio tour showed teens the various careers available in the communication field and ways their passion can be translated into sustainable careers. Clear Channelâ€™s Group Promotions Coordinator Astin Hayes introduced youth to her backstage team of sales representative,graphic artist, promoters and interns who all play a pivotal role in studio operations.
Teens learned about sponsorship and product placement as they sat in the Coca Cola Lounge where an interview with T.D. Jakes was scheduled to take place within the hour. On-air personality Loni Swain and UB Rodriguez spoke with them about the importance of a college education and pursuing their passion. Loni Swain followed her advice with a live shout out to the youth for all the WGCI listeners.
DJ 33 1/3 mixed and played tracks as DJ Dimepiece, prepared for the next on-air set. DJ 33 1/3 told the teens to be ready for any opportunity that presents itself and called out teens Faizon Lewis and Darius Johnson to perform on the spot to a beat he provided. Johnson gladly seized the opportunity and rapped to the entire track without hesitation impressing both DJ 33 1/3 and Loni Swain.
The tour finalized with audio engineering as seen at Studio 5090. Participant Tiffany Williams read a product commercial script as the engineer showed the teensâ€™ ways to edit voice to match mood, tone and time restraints. They were shown familiar programs such as Pro Tools HD and introduced to new ones by Adobe. Overall the tour gave the teens a real world experience of the skills they have acquired at Project V.O.I.C.E.
DMI Information Processing Center, Inc has operated programming in Chicago, Illinoisâ€™s Austin community since 1984. DMI Youth Can began as a program of DMI Information Processing Center, operationing as an educational center providing after school and summer programming year-round.
DMI Youth Canâ€™s mission is to intervene in the lives of disadvantaged youth in the community by enriching their academic, cultural and social development through academic assistance, computer technology, art and music programs. They provide a safe environment where young people, ages 8 through 18 years old, can engage in creative learning to enhance their development and build viable 21st Century skills to make them lifelong learners. DMI Youth Can program is supported by Windy City Word, Department of Family and Support Services, After School Matters, World Vision and Studio 5090. At DMI YOUth CAN you can discover the potential in YOU!