Friday, November 21, 2014

NJ Youth Corps volunteers for HOT 97's Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation's "Lift 'Em Up!" Community Service Event

Yesterday, NJ Youth Corps traveled to Queens, NY to give a helping hand to Hot 97 FM and the Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation. It was for their annual "Lift 'Em Up" event at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. Our students under the direction of Crew Leader Doug Bailey helped put together gift bags for families that are less fortunate. 
In addition to the items being donated which included Reebok sneakers and Trukfit clothing, NJ Youth Corps in collaboration with the Bridge Of Books Foundation, donated over a hundred brand new books to the cause.
Our students had an excellent time behind the scenes working with radio professionals and were truly humbled by the experience. They volunteered for nearly two hours before heading back to Jersey City. We are looking forward to continued community service efforts! Check out the official press release below regarding the event as well as pictures taken while our students worked. Special thanks to the whole Emmis Communications staff for welcoming us!
 Last year, Lift 'Em Up provided those less fortunate a first class experience and dignified evening of gourmet food and holiday entertainment. HOT 97 on-air talent, behind-the-scenes staff, friends in Hip Hop, including Ja Rule and Sevyn Streeter, and partners came together to provide an outstanding feast, entertainment, and holiday market for New Yorkers in need. The motivation was simple: to uplift others and provide the community an extraordinary evening, full of food, festivities, and fun! Catch the complete video recap from 2013's event here
 HOT 97's Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation and Incite, Emmis' cause marketing division, will host 150 people, invited by local churches and community representatives, for the second annual Lift 'Em Up celebration on Thursday, November 20, 2014 in Queens, NY. The event will include a special visit from Hip Hop artist Maino and R&B singer Justine Skye, gourmet food provided by Two Fish And Five Loaves, music by HOT 97's legendary DJs, and the return of the Holiday Market, where families will be able to take home food for the own Thanksgiving meals the following week.
"The Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation has led the way in assisting the Hip Hop community, and Lift 'Em Up is a wonderful way to give back during the holidays" states Koren VaughanPresident of the Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation. "Together with Incite, which uses entertainment to connect brands, we hope to bring many deserving families some holiday cheer!" HOT 97's Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation would like to thank its partner, Dello Russo Laser Vision, for contributing to the Lift 'Em Up night of service and inspiration. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Please Judge Me" Film Shoot (Part 1)

On November 6th, filming began with our NJ Youth Corps students who are working on short project titled "Please Judge Me". The short film will deal with stereotypes and the way they negatively effect people. In this case, a high school student is profiled by a substitute teacher who wrongly makes assumptions about the student based on the way she is dressed. NJIT's Capstone team was on hand to assist in directing and shooting the project, which should be fully completed by the end of the month. The Capstone team was instrumental in writing the script and developing some very intriguing characters.

Jeffery (played by Jacob) is dressed in clothes that are well fitted. He is a well-spoken individual that doesn't take any sides and keeps a good distance from all the other students. He is not smart but he sucks up to the teachers.

Will (played by Ashraf) is dressed in an expensive polo and wears dark shades at all times. He is full of himself, he is loud and isn't afraid to speak his mind. He has a very controlling attitude in which everything has to go his way.

Erika (played by Valerie) is dressed in very baggy clothing. She has a black snapback hat on worn backwards with a bandanna. She is somewhat quiet and does not have many friends. She is extremely intelligent and is often prejudged or misunderstood.      

There will be behind the scenes and blooper footage as well. This project will also be accompanied with a lesson plan and discussion session speaking about the ills of discrimination and the need for more tolerance to individuals differences and preferences. It is also designed as  additional training to teach our students how to become better presenters and performers at the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum, which is the Jersey City, NJ Youth Corps work-site. In addition, our students will learn about shooting, editing and producing short video projects. Below are a few shots from the shoot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

East Orange, NJ Great Pumpkin Carving and Haunted House (Part 1)

Saturday October 25th, the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum hosted a wonderful community event -  The Great Pumpkin Carving and Haunted House spectacular! The brand new staff and students of NJ Youth Corps did an amazing job working countless hours in support of this function. Councilwoman Andrea McPhatter in collaboration with the Powerzone Foundation, First Friday Youth Commission and other valuable supporters brought together families in Essex County for a theme of spooky celebration and fun!

NJ Youth Corps were dressed for the occasion with scary costumes and eye popping makeup to match! Over a hundred guests attended the festivities and had a glorious time. There were guided tours through our popular exhibits such as the Ancient Tomb and Jukebox, all specially decorated with a Halloween twist.  Special thanks to all of our volunteers and attendees! Our pumpkin carvers were extremely creative with their designs. Check out some cool pictures below. 

NJ Youth Corps Service in the Community (Part 1)

On Wednesday October 9th, NJ Youth Corps worked locally in the Jersey City community servicing a resourceful food pantry as well as the historical Loews Theater.

"Lets Celebrate" is a non profit agency that works to help people in need with donated groceries and other social services such as financial education and affordable housing. NJ Youth Corps worked as a team to help stock their pantries and prepare bags of food for the clients stopping in. It was a very humbling experience for our students, especially the few that lived right up the street and recognized some of the people in need. Unfortunately, issues such as hunger effect many individuals and families regardless of race, gender and even career status. Even some of those that have jobs, struggle with low wages or lack of full time employment and find it difficult to afford three square meals a day. NJ Youth Corps engaged with some of these individuals and families by serving up hot lunch meals for them.

At the Loews Theater, the staff assisted in organizing and cleaning efforts. They swept, mopped and moved various items to different locations in the theater. The management was very appreciative of Youth Corps efforts. These community service projects will continue throughout the finish of 2014 leading into 2015.