Results tagged “in the news”

Taking Learning To The Streets

Essentials: Taking Learning To The Streets

When you find out what happens to plastics in your community, when you learn the hazards of plastic consumption – and the environmental harm – you have to spread the word.

This was the experience of educators and youth at Government Urdu High School, Tank Garden, an Adobe Youth Voices site. For their documentary film project on the Recycling of Plastics, they interviewed pollution control officials and doctors. They also visited recycling plants and learned the process in depth.

Beyond making the film, American India Foundation Coordinator Chandan Nallal reports that educators thought they “had to give the project a new dimension that would result in some effect at least on the immediate vicinity of their school.” They came up with the idea for a small rally, where students would hold signs and shout slogans about reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics.

When the head of the School Development Committee heard of the plan, he pressed for local leaders to join in the event. Ultimately, on a sunny day in late February 2012, an enormous crowd – including local town and education officials, students and teachers from Tank Garden and neighboring schools – assembled to lend their voices and support.

“The team circumambulated the school through the small streets and caught the eyes and ears of all residents, traders, and laborers!” says Chandan.

The event was a huge success, a moment of community pride that was gratifying to the students and educators involved in the project – and a thrill for local leaders. The students also brought their message home to their families. “Many parents of the youth participating in the project stopped using plastics because the youth insisted on it,” reports Chandan.

From parents, to school officials, to policymakers and other members of your community, you never know who will be willing to hear and take up your message… unless you speak to them!

Welcoming Eastside Educational Trust To The AYV Family

Eastside Educational Trust

October marks the second month of Adobe Youth Voices’ partnership with Eastside Educational Trust. Last month, Miguel Salinas and I traveled to London to welcome the new organization into the AYV family, and make plans for training, outreach, and the 2012-13 program calendar.

Adobe Youth Voices chose Eastside Educational Trust as our newest partner because they have a proven track record in youth media, and are well connected in the arts education field in London. They are uniquely located in the “Silicon Valley” of London, Shoreditch, a working class turned hip/artist/industrial neighborhood with many start-up design and technology firms.

Patricia Cogley & Eastside Educational Trust

Eastside’s charge is to increase the participation in the next year by 20 educators (for a total of 35), strengthen external connections to the program, support innovative and outstanding teaching practices, host several super creative exhibitions of youth work, and to engage a very eager office of Adobe volunteers. If Rakhee Jasani, Executive Director of Eastside Educational Trust, looks a little and tired in the above photo, it’s because her to do list had turned into a book by the end of the week!

London is an exciting city for Adobe Youth Voices because of the thriving creative field, the many NGO’s and culture of social entrepreneurship, the thousands of talented youth, tech savvy educators, and a community-oriented Adobe office. For the past two years, AYV’s London partners have produced groundbreaking youth media, including Deaf Not Dumb in 2011 and Hoodforts in 2012. We are expecting even more great projects and impact in the year to come!

MACLA Open House In San Jose!

Are you in the San Jose area? Are you, or a young person you know, interested in youth media and community engagement? Join MACLA Arte next week for an open house to learn more about the great work they are doing, and find out how you can get involved!

August 29, 2012
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

500 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113

MACLA is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary, and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.

Parents, students and community leaders are invited to attend the Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy Open House at MACLA. Come and meet MACLA’s digital media, dance and spoken word/poetry instructors to find out about their free after school programming.

The Peapod Academy at MACLA provides free digital media classes to at risk and underserved 13-18 year olds in the local community who are interested in exploring new ways to express their creativity. Through these classes students are able to complete projects on Music Production, Video Production and Photography as well as incorporating a well-rounded learning environment.

MACLA also offers a Hip-Hop dance class and a spoken word/slam poetry workshop that allows students to express themselves through performance.

Take a tour of MACLA’s facilities, pick up a brochure and fill out an application to join this amazing program right in the heart of the arts district of downtown San Jose!

Pictured below: Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, Executive Director of MACLA Arte, speaking at the launch of the fifth Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy.

Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez

AYV Lead Educator Training in San Jose

Last week, Lead Educators from 13 countries around the globe gathered at Adobe Headquarters in San Jose, CA for a week of hands-on professional development training. The 27 Educators were split up into groups to explore topics that pose challenges for educators working with youth and media, such as promoting youth leadership and ownership, brainstorming and idea generation, and amplifying youth voice. Group members worked together for 4 days to create a video project addressing their given topic, sharing stories, experiences, and best practices with each other throughout the process. It was an intense week of collaboration workshops with excitement around every corner!

AYV Lead Educator Training 2012

Day One kicked off with dinner, introductions, and an overview of the Lead Educator program and goals. A full day of brainstorming, software training, planning, pre-production, and pitch was laid out on Day Two. It wasn’t until Day Three that teams gathered their equipment and ideas to begin shooting on location, but not before a group of local Lead Educators came in for an inspiring and informative panel discussion.

AYV Lead Educator Training 2012

Knowing that all work and no play can make for an unhappy crowd, the teams were dropped off in beautiful San Francisco later in the afternoon to explore the sights and sounds of the city—for pleasure or for work—the choice was theirs! The night ended with dinner in San Francisco’s Chinatown and a bus ride back to the hotel for some rest before another full day of work ahead.

AYV Lead Educator Training 2012

A Lead Essentials Training followed by post-production and a rough cut review was the focus of Day Four, before heading off to dinner at a local Lead Educator’s home. A big thanks to Gregg Witkin for the hospitality! Finally, the groups screened their final projects on Day Five before saying their farewells. Each group did a phenomenal job on their projects, creating some really inspiring, thought-provoking, and entertaining pieces for their peers. Heart-warming speeches followed and it was evident that the Lead Educators had fun, learned a lot and meaningful connections were established during this training.

To view a slideshow of photos from the week, visit AYV’s album.

To all the Lead Educators who joined us at the training, the AYV Team would like to say thank you for the inspiration and dedication! We can’t wait to follow your future successes!

Warm wishes and happy teaching and learning,

The Adobe Youth Voices Team

MACLA Students Compete At Brave New Voices Poetry Slam

This weekend, four students from the Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy at MACLA Arte represented San Jose at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam.

The festival started on Wednesday, July 18th with writing and poetry workshops open to young people ages 13-20, held at John O’Connell High School in San Francisco. Thursday and Friday, the UC Berkeley campus hosted young people competing with their peers through quarter- and semi-finals, concluding with the final round of poetry slam competitions on Saturday.

Amanda Pe'a

“Poetry has helped me find my voice that I was always afraid to share. I used to cower away from confrontation, but now I seem to face it head on without fear. Poetry has opened a door inside of me and has allowed me to be free,” says Amanda Pea, who at 14 years old was the youngest student to compete from the MACLA team.

Empowerment is a theme that features prominently in the poem that helped Amanda move on to the semi-finalist round:

Finding your voice is the most important thing
and when someone says your voice means nothing
remember to breathe then SCREAM

Noa Tia

Noa Tia also joined the MACLA team, placing well in the slam with a personal poem about body image in society. “At times it was hard because we wanted to win, yet we had to remember that win or lose we had to leave our hearts on the stage,” says Noa about his experience at the competition.

Now in 11th grade, Noa says that writing has been a passion of his since he was a child. “Writing is important to me because it is the best way I can speak my mind.”

Watch this video of Noa performing his poem, “I Got That Body”, at the Brave New Voices competition:

Adobe Youth Voices News Roundup

Adobe Youth Voices participants have been making headlines around the world in the last few weeks!

Recently, the San Jose Mercury news ran a profile piece about Dantorie Reeves, a student at Mt. Pleasant High School who, along with his classmates, won an Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Award for the creation of Martha’s Soup Kitchen. Dantorie’s teacher Will Cavada and media mentor Ja Shia were also interviewed for the article. You can read the original article on

Adobe Youth Voices also made headlines in India, where Naresh Gupta, Managing Director of Adobe India, was interviewed by OneWorld South Asia. Dr. Gupta shared at length about the impact of the program on communities in India, and the power of digital media training for students in developing countries. The interview also discussed the recent partnership between Adobe Youth Voices & Discovery Education. The full interview is available on

Akshay & Hema

This most recent article follows closely on the heels of two features about Stop The Drop, the Aspire Awards winning video produced by students at Christel House India. You can read coverage in The Hindu and The Deccan Herald. Congratulations, Dhanaraj, Akshay & Hema, we love to see students and educators recognized for their hard work!

Lastly, the Staten Island Advance ran a great feature about Michael Jacobson, creator of the Aspire Awards winning radio broadcast, Nothing’s Ever Permanent In Foster Care. Michael’s audio documentary tells his personal journey through ten foster care homes in five years, beginning at age 13. Now living on his own, he is planning to enroll in college in the fall and study psychology. Michael says he’d like to become a child psychologist, “to help another kid who grew up like me.” Read more about Michael’s story on

Michael Jacobson

AYV Aspire Awards Prize Patrol Kicks Off In New York City

To celebrate and congratulate the student and educator winners of the AYV Aspire Awards last June, we have embarked on a “prize patrol” that will tour the US and other countries to deliver prize packages in-person to our winners! These young people and educators have worked hard and we’d like to celebrate their win with them.

Propaganda Posters

The first stop of the prize patrol is in New York City. Yesterday, we visited urban Arts Partnership, where the creators of “Propaganda Posters” are participating with their fellow classmates in a film camp. Today the prize patrol moves on to MTV, where the producers of 20/20 Vision will be presented with their MTV Act award, which includes a tour of the studio – the students are crossing their fingers in hopes of a celebrity sighting!

The next leg of the tour will take the prize patrol through Colorado, Utah, Mexico and London and back to San Jose, CA. Stay tuned throughout the summer to see more of the amazing youth media winners of this year’s AYV Aspire Awards!

AYV Essentials Partners With Discovery Education Network

Adobe Youth Voices unveiled two exciting announcements this week!

Firstly, we are proud to invite you to visit our new Essentials online community, where we have expanded our offering of free creative curriculum, and launched a set of community features to inspire and connect educators from around the globe. Essentials now features news updates, an educator directory, and the opportunity to contribute and review creative media projects within the Essentials site.

If you haven’t already registered for Essentials, visit the new site and sign up today!

Introducing the new Essentials

Building on this expanded offering, today Adobe Youth Voices announced a partnership with the Discovery Education Network (DEN), giving us the opportunity to bring Essentials curriculum to the vast community of DEN educators throughout the United States and around the world. Discovery’s long track record of empowering educators with best-in-class technology and teaching tools makes DEN a powerful partner for expanding access to Essentials curriculum.

In coordination with the 2012 ISTE conference, Adobe Youth Voices and Discovery Education hosted a “Day of Discovery” at University of San Diego, providing workshops and professional development for over 100 educators. We kicked off the event with a preview of the new Essentials community, providing a first look at the free media making curriculum and resources for educators.

“I love what Adobe Youth Voices does and the opportunity with Adobe Youth Voices Essentials,” said Lisa Linn, a DEN STAR educator from Oceanside, CA. “Anything that will help me spark creativity in my students is something I want to pursue.” Lisa says she is excited to pursue creative approaches to her lesson plans. “What I saw of AYV will help me explore this more.”

We look forward to seeing the amazing ways DEN educators use Essentials curriculum, and how the community continues to grow!

Discovery Partnership Announcement

Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards Winners Announced!

It’s been a whirlwind spring for everyone who has participated in the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards, and we’ve been amazed and humbled by the impactful media submitted by youth from around the world.

This was the first global youth media competition of its kind, and we are honored that we had the opportunity to provide a forum for young people to demonstrate their creativity and skill, and to share a message about the issues impacting their lives and communities. Award winners stretched from coast to coast and represented nearly every continent on the globe, making this a truly international experience.

It’s also been a pleasure to work with a panel of talented judges, which included educators, visionaries, and youth media peers. As supporting partners, Samsung, Dell & MTV Act contributed generously to our prize packages and added tremendous excitement for our participants.

And now, at long last, we’re proud to announce the winners of the AYV Aspire Awards!

Gold Award: Cambio Jovenes
Fermin Martinez, Puerta Joven (Mexico City, Mexico)

Silver Award: LOOK
Janice Lee and Anny Liu, Balboa High School (Redwood City, Calif., United States)

Audience Choice Award: Change Starts With Oneself
Jeanvier Janga, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (Kralendijk, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba)

Gold Award: Hoodforts
Mile End Community Project (London, United Kingdom)

Silver Award: Small Dreams
Paola Bacialli, Alexis Barnes, Queenie Chan and Ally Moore; New Technology High School (Napa, Calif., United States)

Audience Choice Award: On Moroccan Women’s Condition
Mohssine Azzouzi, Amina Ait cheikh, Hamza Hassnini, Mohamed Kassemi, Ghizlane Mhindat, Hajar Nabachi, Zineb Sebbar, Asma Tahir and Abdelhadi Zaatari; the Dounia Project (Casablanca, Morocco)

Gold Award: Keep Pushing
Tyler Gil-Contrearas, Roberto Guzman, Diamante Horton, Richard Kaho and PJ Poloai; Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., United States)

Silver Award: A Trip to Heaven
Mohammed Al Barghothy, Ahmad Kurdi and Zaid Negresh; PBYRC Computer Clubhouse (Amman, Jordan)

Audience Choice Award: Stop the Drop
Students of Christel House India (Bangalore, India)

Gold Award: Angel In My Sky
Fabio Aguilar, Edward Flores, Tyler Gil-Contreras, Ruby Gonzalez, Roberto Guzman, Diamante Horton, Richard Kaho, PJ Poloai, Jose Saavedra and Junior Tupou; Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., United States)

Silver Award: Gone
Jaley Bruursema, Anna Gould, Teagan Letscher, Elyssa Saldana, Avery Weiland; Burley Elementary School (Chicago, Ill., United States)

Audience Choice Award: Finding Home
Mair Maher and Justin Santos, Father Henry Carr Secondary School (Etobicoke, Canada)

Gold Award: Dream
Chase Bortz, Warren Tech Career and Technical High School (Lakewood, Colo., United States)

Silver Award: Awareness
Edward Flores, Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., United States)

Audience Choice Award: Let It Go
Meralney Bomba, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (Kralendijk, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba)

Gold Award: Big Feet
Mystique Musicology: Vinny Cavalcanti, Austin Wolfe, Nick Miller, Emme Nelson, Angel Nolazco and Liam Elkington; Spy Hop Productions (Salt Lake City, Utah, United States)

Silver Award: Nothing’s Ever Permanent in Foster Care
Michael Jacobson, WNYC Radio Rookies (New York, NY, United States)

Audience Choice Award: Change K(NOW)LEDGE
Ioane Vaioli, Boys & Girls Club NSMC (South San Francisco, Calif., United States)

Gold Award: I’m a Woman and I’m Proud
Javier Esquit, Asociación Acción Por La Paz (Quetzaltenango, Guatemala)

Silver Award: Missing
Yisheng Pan, Boston Latin School (Boston, Mass., United States)

Audience Choice Award: Alone
Vanessa Pena, Summit High School (Fontana, Calif., United States)

Gold Award: Propaganda Posters
Christian Ogando, Urban Arts Partnership (New York, NY, United States)

Silver Award: Bullied
Sadie Shephard, Hood River Valley High School (Hood River, Ore., United States)

Audience Choice Award: Occupy Wall Street: The 99%
Sophie Schwartz, Laurel School (Cleveland, Ohio, United States)

20/20 Vision – Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., USA)

Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards

Planning Pathways to Success With Clinton Global Initiative

Late last week, Miguel Salinas, Program Director for Adobe Youth Voices, traveled to Chicago to join a working group on youth development hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative. The working group, called Reconnecting Youth: Empowering America’s Untapped Talent, was attended by representatives from several major companies across a variety of economic sectors, and focused on exploring ways that organizations can come together to provide opportunities for young people to reengage in education and the workplace.

The working group brainstormed ideas to connect young people with skill building opportunities, and discussed the importance of making a clear connection for young people between the skills they acquire in an educational setting and real life work experiences and opportunities.

“When you think about the youth we are reaching through Adobe Youth Voices, we really want to figure out opportunities and work experiences to set them on a path for college or a career,” said Miguel, connecting the dots between the working group and the priorities that Adobe Youth Voices will continue to set as a program in coming years.

One of the issues the working group discussed was the necessity of encouraging young people to understand the role that internships play in professional development, and of finding ways to make internships a realistic option for young people. “Many corporations have a focus on internships with an eye towards nurturing talent, and eventually will offer permanent positions to their interns who demonstrate professional aptitude and promise,” observes Miguel, who believes the internship experience can be a crucial stepping stone towards building a career. Making internships a possibility for young people from all backgrounds is one of several methods of creating parity in the workforce.

Another outcome of the discussion was a growing awareness of the importance of creating “multiple pathways” to professional opportunities. The group explored the ways in which community colleges and certification programs can play a role in preparing young people for the workforce, in addition to the traditional emphasis placed on four year colleges and universities.

By attending the working group, Miguel says he not only received a better perspective on contemporary beliefs regarding workforce development, but also on what other companies are currently doing with career readiness programs. “Adobe Youth Voices is always looking for ways to reach young people who want to take their skills to the next level,” says Miguel, and participating in this national dialogue was an opportunity for thought leaders in the field of youth development to build on each other’s ideas and chart a pathway towards an enriching future.

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