This month, Atlanta Academy Youth, Tony Betton, graduated with a 3.7 GPA from the Fine Arts Magnet Program At Mount Zion High School. Way to go T-Rep! We are so excited to see what incredible things you do next as an MIT at Georgia State. Check out Tony’s blog below to hear how participating in Usher’s New Look since 2011 has helped guide him to college readiness.
“I officially joined UNL in October 2011
. I have always been a huge Usher fan so I always kept up
with his music, philanthropy, etc. I began to see him highlighting his foundation and I was very impressed with what he was doing for young people. I began to do research on UNL Youth Academy. A friend of mine, who was already in the program, invited me to attend the World Leadership Conference as an active member and youth leader of her very successful youth movement. The invitation was such a blessing because not only was I able to represent our movement, but I was also able to participate in the most exciting conference of my life, with an artist and role model who I have always looked up to. It was a true honor to meet Mr. Usher Raymond, IV and I’m so proud and blessed to be a student and certified peer instructor of UNL
, as well as a Rising Star, Youth Leader and Ambassador for the program.
My “New Look”
Without New Look, I would not be the young man that I am today. New Look has instilled morals, values, wisdom and knowledge that has impacted my life forever. My high school years were both the toughest, most challenging years of my life and thanks to New Look, has also been the most rewarding. Coming from a single parent home, with no father figure living with me, and also as an only child, my world was confusing, difficult and sometimes somewhat lonely. I became an entertainer at the age of 10 to express myself as well as to have opportunities to be around other positive young people who were talented. However, it was when I joined New Look that I learned how important it was to use my many versatile talents to impact my generation and to make a positive difference worldwide. New Look gave me the training, tools, and experience in many high profile activities, events, workshops, field trips, job shadowing opportunities, training sessions, and conferences to become a nationally known multi-talented award winning entertainer and professional recording artist, actor, youth leader, community service youth advocate, motivational speaker, honor student/scholar, youth leader and ambassador. Without New Look guiding me in how to take the reach of my talents to a level that I would never have imagined, I definitely would have most likely have just been…’a local rapper’, but with Usher’s New Look…I’m worldwide game changer.
I have BIG plans for next year and I will definitely have a busy and jam packed schedule and I am so excited about it. I am so honored to have been excepted into the 8 universities, in which I applied for, including Morehouse College, Georgia State University, Georgia College & State University, University of Georgia, Texas A&M University and more. After careful consideration and evaluation of my financial aid packages, I decided to start college in the Fall as a Georgia State University Panther as a scholarship recipient. I will major in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and minor in Business. Of course, I’ll take elective classes in acting and theatre. I will also continue my current employment with Truett Cathy’s Chick-Fil-A organization, as well as work study, internships, etc. In the extra curricular arena, I plan to hit the ground running. I have already been communicating with key players to work with Georgia State University’s Special Campus Events Planning Committee, the Spotlight Events Planning Team, the GSTV and WRAS Radio stations, honing my acting skills with The GSU Players Theatre Company and more. I will also continue my long time relationships working as an Ambassador with Usher’s New Look and as an M.I.T., my Ambassadorship with Claes Nobel’s National Society of High School & Collegiate Scholars as an intern, alumni and hopefully the student council, the Fox Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Hosea Feed The Hungry & Homeless and The Historic King Center. And not to leave out my community service and entertainment and acting career will still be in full force. Yes, I’ll be extremely busy, as always, but because I love what I do, it will all be nothing but excitement and fun. Drive and enthusiasm is part of what I am and what I do. It’s in my DNA. Why? Because hard work pays off and also because I’ll be pursuing my dreams while enhancing my ‘Spark’.
In 5 years, I see myself with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications/Public Relations and a minor in Business Managerial Science. I plan to already have begun pursuing my Master’s Degree (part time), while working full time in my dream job in some aspect of Broadcast Communications, such as with CNN, Turner Studios, Fox Network, Ryan Seacrest Studios, Steve Harvey organization, Tyler Perry Studios, Pinewood Studios, Radio One, a Major television, radio or film network, etc. Right now I don’t know which awesome organization I’ll be working with but I can see ahead that it will be BIG! I see myself working in a higher level of leadership in expanded roles with my community affiliates, such as Usher’s New Look, as well as enhancing my entrepreneurial skills with my own company, non-profit foundation and youth movement projects.”