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Michael, Jordan, and Kailah excitedly waited their turn as Jim Reynolds, Dr. Jackson, and Dr. Irving and Alderman Emma Mitts walked into their media lab. As usual, they were last on the list for the tour of the META24 labs.. By this time most people are ready to move to the MZUZI store or to go and so often they feel they are ignored, but today they were prepared to grab and hold these visitors’ attention. They showed the adults, representing Get In Chicago, prior videos and current projects. Dr. Irving asked if they could complete a video for GIC showcasing the various initiatives they support. The students all looked at her and nodded yes though they did not write anything down. They were finally getting the attention they always felt that they deserved. They scurried for pencils and paper and wrote down her requests and then they exchanged information, shook hands, and skipped around the school the rest of the day.

What others may not realize is how much this validated these particular students.

Typically for our demographic, any school related contact was negative, and nobody in the real world asks them to complete such an important task. Visits like this prompt them to take their business seriously, and get to work.

Michael, who runs his own production company out of the school, spent 12 hours in one day working on the video. They wrote the song, they created the beat, found footage around their school, put it together, and sent it with a feedback form.

GIC helps to fund the META24 and Banner vision which is to break the cycle of dependency. Working for hours on end on projects where they have the best equipment, industry facilitators, the space, and actual business is the real impact that changes the lives of our most vulnerable students. So we salute partners like GIC in the fight to help change the lives of our students.




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