Digital Media Career Pathway Partnership Overview
As we discussed, Dakar Foundation for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3). Our mission is to provide opportunities to those in under-served communities.
One of our key initiatives is our partnership with the Compton Unified School District. Within this partnership, we are developing a media academy that will keep students interested and engaged in school while providing to them valuable jobs skills in the entertainment and media industries. The Media Academy will also have significant secondary benefits:
To the students in the program, their completed projects will effectively create a portfolio of their work that will be useful when applying for jobs or to colleges. To the students in other programs of study (biology, engineering, etc), the media created by students in the academy will give them the ability to show to others the nature of their project and how it was completed. To other students in the school, the media will show their school in a new and better light. Right now, the negative stories get so much attention in the news. To the community, the media will demonstrate the good in the community and the potential that lies so close to the surface and is now being more fully realized. This is particularly true for Compton because the community access channel is located on the campus of Compton High School and student content can easily be broadcast to the larger community.
Not to be overlooked is the sense of empowerment that the academy can provide to students. While many of the stories will profile the work of other students, some projects will take on issues important to the school, the community, state or nation. By helping students understand how to tell their story and by giving the means to do it, students (and possibly by extension the community) can realize the power of their voice. Students can then become active change agents in the community and hold those in power at all levels accountable.
While we understand that this is well and good, these students often face additional hurdles. We, therefore, have qualified for support from mentoring.org and have relationships with REVOLT TV, Digital Hollywood and other well connected organizations that can help us bring the right people to the students to provide to them both the career and life skills they will need.
This is just one initiative. While we are a performing arts organization, the line between the arts and science has blurred. We, therefore, are assisting others in areas of science and technology – again with the mindset of providing opportunities to those in under-served communities.
While we understand that Compton is not one of the Endowment’s Community Partners, much of our work and many of our goals align remarkably well with Endowment’s Drivers of Change: People Power; Youth Leadership, Development and Organizing; Enhanced Collaboration and Policy Innovation; Leveraging Partnerships and Resources and Changing the Narrative.
We would sincerely appreciate any support you could provide to help us achieve these goals and to help us build a healthy community in Compton.