WSVN — From guitar playing, to singing, to rapping, kids at this after-school program are encouraged to express themselves through music.
“I really saw a need for more artistic based programs in the classroom both music and visual arts.”
Ian Welsch is the founder of The Motivational Edge.
The former Miami-Dade teacher saw a desperate need for students growing up in the inner City of Allapattah to have a chance to express themselves in a positive way.
Ian Welsch: “If we can give them that outlet, that creative outlet which breeds a sense of self-confidence”
So he opened this center and started the lyrical expression and audio recording program.
Ian Welsch: “It could be songwriting, it could go into instrument instruction, it could go into rapping, so they learn to do 16 bars.”
Seventeen-year-old Eduin Turcios, known to his friends as ‘Smilo,’ grew up in Allapattah. He says this program gives teens a positive place to hang out and learn.
Eduin Turcios: “It’s really cool for a place like this to be in this type of neighborhood, especially where kids could come and actually feel safe.”
He says his love of music and poetry has allowed him to channel his emotions in a creative way.
Eduin Turcios: “For me, I could have been another statistic but I found a passion, I found something I could release all my feelings, all my anger, all my emotions.”
Students also have to keep their grades up to participate.
Ian Welsch: “So any youth with a “C” or below in any major course subject has to accept free tutoring from us if they want the motivational based programs.”
A 10-year-old girl wrote a song after coming in one day feeling sad.
And that’s the point of this program, to give kids something most of them never had… a voice.
Ian Welsch: “It lets them be heard, because so many youth in the inner city, they’re not given that opportunity to be heard.”
Lynn Martinez: “The Knight Foundation was impressed with the program and awarded them a grant. It will allow them to expand with more studio space and new equipment.”