Baltimore is Powered by Service! UNL Certifies 45 New Students

The city of Baltimore had a rough year. They heard about Usher’s New Look, so we partnered up with one of their high schools to bring hope back to the students through our Music Industry Leadership 101 curriculum, which shows youth future career possibilities through a behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment industry. Then we took it a step further. We certified 45 of the students taking our course in Powered by Service leadership training. Like all PBS students, each student received a local leadership certification backed by Emory University. We “exploded” issues in the community, we talked about music, we saw students show off their talents and songs they wrote, but most of all, we saw students step up and become leaders. This is the New Look Effect.

August 29th and 30th, Usher’s New Look, COO, Gavin McGuire, Program Strategy Manager, James Harris, and MITs, Larnell Ellison, and Rashad Cain facilitated a Powered by Service Training for 45 high school students at Excel Academy at Francis M. Woods High School in Baltimore, MD, a site of UNL’s Music Leadership Industry 101 Curriculum (MIL101).

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The Usher’s New Look staff and students were met with enthusiasm by Principal, Tammatha Woodhouse and her administrative team who visited the Washington, D.C. PBS that took place in June.

The day started with an impromptu ‘Expressions’ session. Everyone was surprised when they heard a deep soulful R&B voice harmonizing and scatting to the instrumental that was playing– It was the school police officer! The officer introduced himself and shared the importance of passion and explained that the youth involved in MIL101 were excited about being able to display the songs they have been working on as students of the program.

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When the students arrived, the UNL peer-trainers kicked off the training with the ultimate ice breaker: A freestyle hip hop cypher hosted by MIT Larnell Ellison (obviously).

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In conjunction with the students’ enrollment in the MIL101 digital curriculum, the group formed two music label teams.  During PBS, the students had the opportunity to share about their record labels. The opening was followed by break-out sessions where students engaged in the PBS activities related to Networking 101, Branding, Leadership and Exploding the Issue. The modules complimented the concepts that the students were learning from the Music Leadership 101 curriculum.

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The following day, the students collaborated to complete activities related to the music industry.  They were given the opportunity to conduct 60-second pitches to “A & R Executives”, participate in mock media interviews and discuss branding and media as artists. Additionally, they completed a series of challenges that promoted creativity and public speaking.

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The winning group was awarded a free logo graphic created by MIT Larnell Ellison’s design company, Cooler than Dope.

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The two-day PBS session left an impact on all students involved.

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