Project Karma is a Power Move for the Kids

| June 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

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There were a lot of smiling faces Monday morning at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Decatur, GA. Over 50 children between the ages of 8-18 showed up for Project Karma, a teen summit event which includes activities, food, and a “power panel” of celebrity guest speakers. The topic for this even was the concept of Karma and teaching kids the good they do to others and to themselves will later on be returned with great reward. Other topics of focus were solving problems children are facing today such as bullying, obesity and the drive to stay on the right path.

The day started out with motor activities to get the children awake and on the ball led by Anana Harris Parris of Afrisalsa, an organization that offers cultural experiences that are memorable and educational through the use of cultural tools like dance,  language, clothing, art and music (www.afrisalsa.com). During the dancing activities I asked a few kids what they had learned from the first activities. Dee Dee, 9, told me that she “learned that complaining is contagious and keeping a positive attitude in negative situations will keep you going in the right direction.” With that vocabulary from a nine year old I’m sure you are as impressed as I was.

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Lunch was provided by Panda Express and as you can imagine, all the forks were used and all of the chopsticks were left over. The meal was followed by some inspirational performances, one by Radiance, an up and coming group of girls ages 7-9 who have a professional work ethic in making music that gives hope and self-confidence. The song they performed “Mean Girls” focused on bullying, a common negative issue with kids in schools today. The young girls in the crowd were fans of the arsenal of dance moves and displayed a few of their own. Next to bat were 3 Girls and a Mic. The trio, who are between the ages of 18 and 19, host their own radio show at threegirlsandamic.com. Their presence was received well by the kids. Their message to the kids was to start their passion early and to follow their dreams as soon as they can.

Project_karma_3nmicBriana, Whitney & Charlotte(3 Girls and a Mic)

project_karma_trauma2Celebrity DJ Trauma speaks to the crowd of young hopefuls

After the performances from the young hopefuls, the “power panel” of celebrity guests arrived and brightened the room with every stars entrance. From the world of music DJ Trauma, Verse Simmonds (Konvict Music), K Michelle (Jive Music), and D. Woods formerly of Bad Boy Records, all shared their stories about their roads to success. K. Michelle and D. Woods both made tremendous points about finishing college on the path to your dream. Kanye West has achieved great success after dropping out of college to focus on his music career. D. Woods made it clear though that “everyone can’t be Kanye; “you need to finish school honey”. Other guests included personalities Honey B (V-103), Michael McFadden (Real Talk with Michael McFadden), and BET producer Tamara Gregory who shed some light on the meaning of Karma.

project_karma_celeb_panelCelebrity guest panel

project_karma_honeybkmichV103’s Honey B & K.Michelle listen intently

McFadden told a story of how doing unnoticed good deeds will bring you blessings. He also said that kids will make bad choices along the way but advised to  try to limit those choices due to the fact they catch up to you in the long run. The energy in the room gained momentum when 13-year-old Mary Pat Hector arrived to the panel table. She is an activist and founder of Youth In Action, a group of young activists planning on changing the world one day at a time. Her story was the most inspirational of the day partly due to the fact she was the age same as some of the children. Her story led to a wave of questions from the kids on how to become successful and how to start your own business.

Project Karma proved that their method of inspiration and guidance is one that is working based on the turnout on Monday. The kids had a positive attitude from the beginning and responded well during all of the activities and speeches. Between dancing, Panda Express, live performances and motivational speeches from the power panel, Project Karma was not only a success but an experience these kids will remember for a long time.

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project_karma_dmkinneyActress/ singer Demetria McKinney signs autographs for the kids

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D.Woods

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Verse Simmonds

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Hip Hop Historian and accomplished photo journalist

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