Last week, Usher’s New Look took to Cincinnati, Ohio to train over seven hundred 7th through 12th grade students in our Powered by Service leadership training! Next Fall, some of these students will be eligible to take our Music Industry Leadership career course at their high schools, which teaches students about various entertainment industry related career pathways.
Program Strategy Manager, James Harris, Atlanta Coordinator, Tommy Springer, MIT, Larnell Ellison, Detroit Program Manager, Jarvis Brown, MIT, Brandon Hamilton, MIT, Rashad Cain, and Academy Student Dante Hollis facilitated the trainings at the Sharonville Civic Center. Students came from Norwood Middle School, Deer Park High School, and Finneytown High School. The trainings included special guest speakers like Lincoln Stephens, co-founder of Marcus Graham Project, an advertising firm. Lincoln talked to the students about advertising as it relates to building their own personal brands.
He was followed by Mark Galbo from the Rock N’ Roll Academy. Marc invited the youth to participate in Expressions, a New Look activity where students share their talents in a comfortable environment, teaching them how to turn their fears into courage. He had students try out instruments they had never touched before to show them the power they have when they step outside of the box. Our next guest speaker, Terrence Maiden of iRise Clothing Company, spoke about leadership. All speakers’ messages centered around being courageous and not being afraid to go forward in life, hard work, and being authentic leaders.
Each day, the students were divided into groups to participate in New Look Powered by Service activities and discussions including Networking 101, Personal Sparks Assessment, Leadership 101, Branding 101, and Exploding the Issue. Trainers led icebreaker games such as Zip-Zap-Zop, Human Knot, and Um-Like-Ah. There was also a fun critical and analytical thinking activity called Newspaper Tower.
Before we closed out our last day in Cincinnati, we had a long line of students inquire on how they could be more involved with our program. One student Dalton was highly determined to get a job with us in hopes that she could learn how to reach her older brother. Dalton told us, “I really feel like I’ve grown as a leader today… I want to build more leadership skills with New Look so I can help my older brother get on track.” Thank you Cincinnati students, teachers, parents who made the week such a great success! Check out these powerful quotes we received from youth after the training stating what they learned.
“If I could tell one person in the generation before mine anything from today, it would be to ‘find your spark to become a better leader” -Bailey, Norwood Middle School
“I really appreciate what you did today. It really showed me that you can go places in life.” – Shaquan Canady 8th grader
We received tons of excellent student feedback! Students were provided with a sticky note to writer their most salient learning for the day and post it on the relevant poster. Below is a compilation of their thoughts. What I learned about leadership…
- I learned that it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Being positive and courageous can lead to great things.
- I learned that being a leader does not mean I have to be a scholar – I just have to be me and do the right thing.
- I learned not to be scared to express myself.
- I learned how important passion can be; not only to you but also to others.
- I learned to always look into a person’s eyes while talking to them. Also to greet them with a firm handshake.
- I learned that a strong leader has certain characteristics such as determination, charisma, and courage.
- I learned that I can do all things – if I believe and behave then I will become.
- I learned the four pillars: Talent, Education, Career, and Service.
- I learned how social media could damage your reputation.
- I learned how leaders can influence the community.
- I learned that I need to be determined to accomplish great things.
- I learned that you can come up from bad choices.
- I learned that you can do whatever you believe you can do.
- I learned to how show respect and that I deserve respect.
- I learned to respect everyone equally.
- I learned that I should always be confident in what I believe and that most people will accept me.
- I learned what it takes to be a true leader in this society – you have to stand up for what you believe in, have a goal of pure intent, and have a passion for it.
- I learned that I can do whatever I want in life if I believe in myself and are determined.
- I learned how to express myself.
- I learned how to stay focused.
- I learned the qualities of leadership.
- I learned to always have a positive attitude.
- I learned my type of leadership style.
- I learned that everyone can be a leader.
- I learned that leadership is setting positive goals for you and for others.
- I learned that I can be a good influence on others.
- I learned that you have to strive and have determination to be a leader, and that you should set an example for others.
- I learned to be myself.
- I learned the characteristics of an influential leader.
What I learned about my “brand”…
- I learned how to identify my brand.
- I learned that once I know my brand, I can make an impression and be confident.
- I learned how to network.
- I learned that everything I post on the Internet is a part of my brand.
- I learned that everything I do has an impact on how people perceive me.
- I learned that you have to properly brand yourself for school and jobs.
- I learned that your brand is something that represents you and should be something positive.
- I learned that it is important to portray your brand successfully so that people know what you stand for.
- I learned that brands need to be clean and focused on what you want to do.
- I learned that networking and meeting new people can open new doors.
- I learned that personal branding is how you define yourself.
- I learned that social media sites can brand you.
What I learned about my “spark”…
- I learned that it is important to be unique and identifiable to others.
- I learned not to hang out with bad people, to never give up.
- I learned that I need to know what strengths and weaknesses.
- I learned the true meaning of determination, not to give up on my dreams, and not let anyone stop me.
- I learned to not be so hidden with my talent.
- I learned that my spark is based on my determination to succeed in my talent.
- I learned that everyone has a talent, no matter who they are.
- I learned that I can use my talent to support and influence others.
- I learned that my spark will be fueled by continued practice.
- I learned that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my talents because they are mine.
- I learned that there are a lot of people like me.
- I learned that I can be whatever I want to be, and that everyone has a talent – all you need to do is find it.
- I learned not to be scared of what I love.
- I learned that branding is a way for a business to get recognized easily.
- I learned that your spark is something that you have a passion or talent for.
- I learned that my spark will ignite my future.
- I learned that I have talent and everyone has talent.
- I learned I can be something.
- I learned that my spark is being able to figure my talent and be determined to follow through with it.
- I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I learned that even though you may nit think you have a talent, you have something special that nobody else does.
- I learned that sparks are things that make people come alive.
- I learned that no matter what happened in your past, you can still turn your life around.