A 2013 count of the homeless in Los Angeles found 5,737 transitional age youth ages 18 to 24, plus another 817 unaccompanied youth under age 18 living on our streets. The numbers have increased greatly since then.
The majority of these kids are homeless due to family breakdown and conflict, system breakdown, and poverty. 20%-40% are LGBT. These kids have suffered from tremendous challenges and they need our support!
Create Now is collaborating with Creative Director Rebecca Reese's full-service creative agency RCreative to launch "MediaMavericks." Our program is helping 10 homeless youth to learn about Entertainment and Corporate Marketing. They've come to us from S.P.Y. (A Safe Place for Youth), which is a drop-in center in Venice, and the LGBT Youth Center on Highland in Hollywood, a transitional living facility.
Our workshop is proving to be a great success. Rebecca commented, "MediaMavericks has been a life-changing program. These students are incredibly talented!"
The youth have been divided into two Agencies ("Insidious Scenes" and "Meaningful Miscreants") that are producing content for one-minute corporate PSAs (Public Service Announcements), which their Clients (mentors) have tasked them to create. They're learning skills in Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production from pros in the entertainment industry who are volunteering their time.
Rick Giannelli is the Lead On-Air Promotions Staff Editor/Producer at CBS. He expressed, "They've taught me just as much about life as I've taught them about the industry." Other mentors include Lead Editor/Writer/Producer at Bravo, Scarlet Perez, Social Media Expert Megan Westerby, Owner of WolfFilms Lara Wickes, Owner of Digital Spatula Steve Taylor, Create Now Founder and CEO Jill Gurr, and Program Developer Wellington Moreno. These experts bring decades of experience to the table and are passionate about growing the next generation of talent.
Alex from S.P.Y. remarked, "I really appreciate the time you guys take out of your day to help children who are poor. It makes me want to give back."
Our eight-session program has been taking place at a variety of locales, including General Assembly, Studio71, and West La College. The students are engaged in all aspects of the process, from conception to completion. The premiere will take place at USC Annenberg in September.
Bernard from the LGBT Youth Center on Highland stated, "I've learned so much. I want to use this knowledge to brand myself and to put myself on the map."
Once MediaMavericks has wrapped, students will have the opportunity to pursue a career in physical production through West Los Angeles College where they can learn the below-the-line crafts of the entertainment industry.
Vivian from the LGBT Youth Center shared, "I'm looking forward to getting an internship. A couple of us are already working on setting up another project when this one is done."
Create Now brought some of our students to see the iPalpiti Youth Orchestra at Disney Concert Hall and they'll also be going to the Hollywood Bowl. We'll continue to support these talented young adults so they can become leaders in our community, instead of depressing statistics about L.A.'s homeless population.