William L Sayre High School is located
at 58th and Walnut Street in West Philadelphia and is part of the School
District of Philadelphia which has historically struggled with funding
despite this challenge students at Sayre continue to find ways to make the most
of their education through our filmmaking class at the University of
Pennsylvania we got the opportunity to speak to the high school students of
sayers after-school program lit lounge and learn more about not only how they
experienced Sayer but how these students use this enrichment program to foster a
stronger sense of community lit rounds is I guess honestly I guess
it’s just the place where people can get lit you know lit is that is the students
thing right now so I was like I’m gonna call Performing Arts lit lounge lit
launch is a performing arts program in which it’s a safe space for for students
to kind of discover themselves and learn how to showcase who they are first time
I got interested in art was because of my mom and I remember one night I was
trying to draw a scooby-doo in a great drawing
he was wearing an astronaut’s outfit it sounded like I was like mom I can’t do
it can you help me and she sat there even though she just like I woke her up
but she really sat there and drew it for me so it made me want to learn how to
draw my whole family’s been singing for a while and or anything they’ve been
quiet about that so just just caught one I just like seeing cuz I like hearing
beautiful voices especially like what someone else things like if it was
really beautiful I feel like I tear up a little bit oh my gosh I’m not crying no
I feel like their voice is beautiful actually I live with my grandfather my
grandmother my grandfather has a plethora of vinyls in the basement they
he he listens to occasionally but not as much as I listened to him I produce hip
hop instrumentals and I upload them to SoundCloud for anybody that wants to use
them yeah I just always had a really deep passion for music it’s in my blood
I like that lounge heck actually has me thinking about things I usually wouldn’t
think about on a normal day we did activity where we try to like try to
build a black queen and black King in an urban society through the negativities
and bring it as a positive like seeking like we actually talk about important
things like politics and feelings and we tell stories and we give actual real
advice like all relationships and stuff like that
one day the students came in just about every student was dealing with a
relationship problem mind you relationship problems was not on the
agenda for today anything can be communicated through art so just in the
space of sharing we talked about relationships and how that looks and you
know basically would do maybe some improv and some things to deal with
those issues yan he’s like us like he’s he comes from
basically the same neighborhood that we come from he’s a pretty young dude and
he likes the same things at least come from my perspective that I like hanging
out with the students is like um it’s like hanging out with my cousins or my
neighbors you know we are families I mean that’s why I listen to music you
know I didn’t have my dad but music a lot of the things that the artists say
that’s how I got a lot of that’s how I learned a lot of things that’s how I
learned how to meet decisions by their metaphors in their principles we looked
at poetry we did monologues and we just sat and talked about real stuff you
didn’t like be around a bush a little bit we talked about how we
we actually put some emotion and stuff so that’s what they’re teaching us
Mireille show our emotions aloud well-lit lounge it helped me be
confident because usually I don’t I will go on stage unless it’s the same for
light singing but that’s kind of that make nervous to anything but it helps me
like be confident and courageous and settle wonders a little bit I can
definitely see it’s bringing a lot of people out of their bubbles like their
little little shy bubbles it’s getting a lot of people to really express
themselves verbally through poetry through acting and that’s that’s really
cool it’s getting a lot of people to do a lot of things that they otherwise
would never have an opportunity to brings you closer to the school it
brings you closer more to you like your main Jermaine people they like they keep
quiet they give you full attention they show respect that’s like good questions
you know like it really early early made me feel like maybe these are my people I
came all this clade actually like treat me like a real friend everybody I met always saying the same
thing to me like you should be an artist you should go to art school like you
should actually do something what you doing with it because they see that as a
talent and they don’t want me to waste it and I agree I shouldn’t waste it you
need to give them space to tap into that art before I was just going to be a
music producer but now that I like starting this college application
process I started to look into music education so I can hopefully impact
students lives I’m very determined I really want to go far in life and I’m
willing to do whatever it takes to get there you put your whole heart into
another’s impossible and that’s my plan to do like put my whole heart into my
journey I really want becoming a superstar and that happens I wasn’t all
like happy the happiest men alive I’ll be I’ll live I’ll be able to live my
dream my name is John Mayer Frances I in the
10th grade my name is a severe equipment on looking
great I say high school my name is – Andy Brown and I am in the 11th 3 my
name is Nava Coulomb I go to the Sarah high school and I’m gonna talk great my
name is Donald Brooks I’m 18 years old and I’m a senior SS you