June 17

Inner-City Teenagers Benefiting from ‘Teens are Terrific’ Summer Camp

first_imgAdvertisements RelatedInner-City Teenagers Benefiting from ‘Teens are Terrific’ Summer Camp RelatedInner-City Teenagers Benefiting from ‘Teens are Terrific’ Summer Camp Inner-City Teenagers Benefiting from ‘Teens are Terrific’ Summer Camp UncategorizedAugust 27, 2006center_img RelatedInner-City Teenagers Benefiting from ‘Teens are Terrific’ Summer Camp FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Ministry of Health’s ‘Teens are Terrific’ Summer Camp is taking teenagers to a whole new level. This is the view widely expressed by teenagers and youth programme Co-ordinators from the six inner-city communities in the Corporate Area, who participated in this year’s one-week event.“We are especially proud of our young men,” says Director, Health Promotion and Education in the Ministry of Health, Takese Foga, who co-ordinated the camp.“Even though our ladies continue to impress us, the young men have really stepped it up a notch or two this year,” she tells JIS News in an interview.Speaking of the phenomenal achievement she has observed in young male participants, Miss Foga says that, “we know they have been faced with many things, some of them have been involved in fights and are face-to-face with individuals in their communities who may be reinforcing negative and aggressive behaviour, so to see them come to the camp and even hear them speak differently, trying to make a difference, we see where it has made a difference between when they came and when they left”.For instance, when 17 year-old Mikhail Wedderburn returned from the camp last year, he believed that he benefited from it so much that he hoped that more of his peers in Arnett Gardens could have the same “life changing experience” he had.This year he got his wish, as some 47 youngsters between 13 and 17 years of age from the Corporate Area, many of whom he knew, were selected to attend the all expense paid summer camp.“Before the camp, I never used to talk much, but afterwards, I realised I was much more confident talking before people and expressing myself more,” Mikhail says.Even more, he was crowned Mr. Terrific Teen at this year’s camp. Of this experience, he says, with a smile, that he “never knew he had the potential to win a competition of this kind, especially since it involved an interview on stage”. The young man says he was pleasantly surprised, and has come away with a wealth of new life skills, which he believes, will make him a better person.Outlining how the scope of the camp was widened, Miss Foga Tells JIS News that, “this year, we looked at persons from the different communities that our unit has worked with before, such as Hannah Town, Rose Town, Jones Town, Arnett Gardens, August Town, the Bay Farm Road area and Olympic Gardens”.The camp, which was held from August 13 to 19 on the grounds of the Knox High School in Spaldings, Clarendon, was sponsored by the Ministry of Health.Miss Foga says that she expected this kind of embracing reception to the camp, as over the last three years in the 21-year camp, “greater emphasis was placed on involving as many inner city communities as possible on a budget”. Some $1 million was allocated to the funding of the camp.“The goal of the camp was to provide a source of positive social influence primarily, but not exclusively, for inner-city youth from low income families that will enhance self-esteem, build self confidence, develop and improve relationships with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds, and lead to personal, social development,” she tells JIS News.She says that the camp is seeking to remedy issues affecting teenagers, who may lack community and parental support to stem societal problems daily.“Teenagers are impressionable and react rapidly to stimulus. As individuals, they need a general and personalized plan with their decision- making, to develop their inherent qualities. And, besides academics, children need to learn practical living skills, and spiritual practices, which provide a foundation for living in society as useful adults,” she adds.Miss Foga says she is impressed with the feedback from participants. “They are a lot more focussed and they appreciate who they are. They have better ideas of how they can impact their communities,” she says.Notwithstanding their backgrounds and daily experiences, “teens are capable of choosing healthy lifestyles and, through our many community partners, the ‘Teens Are Terrific’ camp provides the tools to foster a healthy transition into adulthood”, Miss Foga tells JIS News.According to Marlene Rowe, President of the Bay Farm Villas Citizens Association in West Central St. Andrew, there has been, over the 21 years of the camp, marked improvement in the behaviour of teenagers in the area and this year was no different.“They keep talking about it, especially how it will help as they start the new school year,” she tells JIS News.Miss Rowe says she believes that, “guidelines for teenage behaviour at home and at school should be set by the parents”, but since this is somewhat lacking in her community, the camp “was a ray of hope for them; it was very helpful and next year I would not mind if more of them can participate, because we see how it has impacted the young people who went”.“As adults, we have golden opportunities like Teens are Terrific to inspire and bring out the best in our teens who are the next generation. It would have been great to be able to practise much of what was done at the camp, to uplift our teens through our words and actions, but not everyone is equipped to do so,” says Miss Rowe, intimating that although this is a move in the right direction, she would appreciate more initiatives that involve parents.Meanwhile, General Manager of the Area Youth Foundation, James Bell, tells JIS News that he has benefited from the fact that some 20 young persons under his care were involved in the camp. He says that over time, he realised that non-aggressive means of enforcement was more effective.“When enforcing our rules, we do not always have to play the tyrant. We can give in on small points. Then when the big problems come, we can stick to our principles without the child feeling that we are never flexible. This attitude, a compromise, shows the teens that each event in life requires individual consideration, that one pathway will not be the wisest choice in each situation,” Mr. Bell says.Furthermore, Miss Foga says the unit intends to do follow-ups on this year’s participants to sustain the positive changes in the lives of the youngsters.”This will give us a better glimpse of how different they are now from where they started. This way we will be able to see that they progress beyond what they accomplished at the camp, growing every month, every year,” she tells JIS News.last_img read more

January 17

Wicked Stars Jackie Burns and Amanda Jane Cooper on Glitter, Getting Green & Their Every Night Halloween Party

first_imgPhotos: Emilio Madrid-Kuser | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artists: Morgan Blaul, Chanse Tong | Styling: Noa Bricklin Jackie Burns & Amanda Jane Cooper View Comments What did you think of Amanda? By that time, had you been through a bunch of Glindas?JACKIE: She was actually only my second because I had Chandra Lee Schwartz the whole tour. Then Amanda Jane came in and she was so sweet and cute and so excited because she had just graduated college. And she was so good. I was just sad that we only got to do it for a little bit together.AMANDA: Aww, so sweet. I remember we cried on your last night on tour. Hard.JACKIE: During “For Good.”AMANDA: Lost it.JACKIE: It was an ugly cry. But now we’re reunited.AMANDA: We get to do it all the time!Obviously a lot of great actresses have paired up as Elphaba and Glinda and always seem to make a magical connection. What is it about you two that really works?JACKIE: For me, why it works so well is Amanda is an amazing, generous actor who is always in the moment. Our show is so different every night because she’ll throw me a curveball, I’ll throw her a curveball and it’s always received and set back. It’s never stale. Every day is new and exciting and fun, and that makes my job so great.AMANDA: I was thinking about this earlier. If I could describe Jackie in one word it would be “electric” because there’s something that’s always alive in her. It’s so in the moment and yes, it is like a tennis game. It’s just electric. And your voice, obviously, is out of this world.JACKIE: [Whispers] She’s so nice.AMANDA: And you’re very present and giving and it’s so fun.JACKIE: Her comedy as Glinda is based in real emotion, which makes it so funny for me. And touching.AMANDA: Stop, girl. Stop right now.JACKIE: It’s true! She’s very funny.AMANDA: Just everything’s very honest with Jackie. It just cuts to the core of what is the scene. Oh! We’re talking like actors…JACKIE: Yeah, it’s gross. Move on, move on. Wrap it up. View the Gallery Here Star Files So when you first met her, were you intimidated at all by the great Jackie Burns?JACKIE: [Laughs.] You have to tell him the story, if it’s OK.AMANDA: Oh, my gosh this is bad. I was very awestruck. Jackie was so kind and welcoming. And her talent was just overwhelming and getting to sing with her on stage every night was just, like, the greatest gift.JACKIE: I’ll pay her later.AMANDA: We did tour together in Buffalo in the middle of the winter. It was really cold out, and she had a lot of layers on as well as a backpack. And it was between shows and I perhaps…JACKIE: She saw me in the street and she thought I was homeless.AMANDA: But I…JACKIE: And was going to give me money.AMANDA: Because you should always!JACKIE: And then realized it was me. She was truly prepared to give me money.AMANDA: I wanted to help! I just made a little mistake. Middle of winter Elphaba is… JACKIE: Homeless. [Laughs.] Jackie Burns Related Shows from $95.00center_img Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda and Jackie Burns as Elphaba in the Broadway smash Wicked (Photo: Joan Marcus) Are there any rituals between you two? JACKIE: She always stops by before the first act and the second act and tells me “Good show,” and I say, “See ya on the ice!”AMANDA: “See you on the ice!” And I always—we call it trick or treating—I go around to all the doors on our floor and just say, “Have a great show!”>JACKIE: She’s so sweet and thoughtful. I don’t.AMANDA: Girl, you gettin’ green. You can’t! You don’t have time.JACKIE: Also, I’m not as nice.Speaking of Halloween, when you’re in a show like Wicked, you’re basically doing Halloween every night. Does that take away the fun of the holiday? JACKIE: Yes.AMANDA: Does it? I don’t know.JACKIE: It does for me. I have never been into Halloween. But that’s just me. I don’t get dressed up for Halloween ever.AMANDA: You know what I like doing for Halloween? I like a low-maintenance, clever costume. Such as, wear a black long sleeve shirt, go to the pharmacy, get some candy, buy some safety pins, safety pin the candy onto your arm. Guess what? You’re arm candy!JACKIE: That’s genius!AMANDA: You’re welcome, everybody.JACKIE: My friend taped a tissue to his shoulder and he was a shoulder to cry on. And he won the best costume contest.AMANDA: As he should! That’s so clever! Amanda Jane Cooper Wicked You both have a history now with these characters. I’ve heard from other actresses that it can be interesting to revisit them after a break. Have you experienced that? Have you grown with them?AMANDA: I have grown with Glinda and Glinda has grown with me. I was away from her for almost five years. I’ve just learned so much and I’ve come into the fullness of who I am as a woman so that journey that we see Glinda go on is certainly one where she also steps into the fullness of who she is and learns about what’s important in life. I’m very grateful to have gone on a journey similar to hers over the past five years so bringing that into her gives me a deeper understanding of the character and what she’s going through.JACKIE: Similar. I finished Wicked about four years ago and I never, ever thought I would come back to it. I had my time and it was amazing. When I got the call asking me if I would come back, I was like, “Oh goodness!” I was really scared, honestly. But I’m so honored and happy to have this opportunity because I feel like last time I played her, I felt like a did a good job. But this time, I feel rather than just getting through the show—last time, I was almost like, “Good, I got through ‘Wizard and I.’ Check, done. ‘Defying Gravity.’ Good, done.” You know what I mean? This time, I’m older and I’m a better singer and I know my voice and my abilities better so I can actually sing the show and enjoy it! And get immersed in it, which is so much more fun and gratifying. I’m having a great time. I get to go out, I can still have a glass of wine. I can still have a life! Before I wouldn’t talk and it’s like, I’m not like that this time and it’s so much more fun.AMANDA: [Nodding.] It’s a huge gift to be back.So many young actresses dream about playing these parts. What should future Elphies and Glindas know about the reality of life in Wicked?JACKIE: Green zits. [Laughs.]AMANDA: Glitter everywhere. [Laughs.] No. Really though.JACKIE: It’s glamorous.AMANDA: Yeah, glamour. I don’t know… Everything about this show…JACKIE: It’s just so perfect.AMANDA: It’s a dream. And anybody who is coming to it can bring themselves and their own thing and it’s different and beautiful.What about life backstage?JACKIE: So fun. We keep our doors open and we have adjacent dressing rooms, so while I’m getting green and she’s getting Glinda-fied, we can have conversations back and forth.AMANDA: We can see each other perfectly in each other’s mirrors.JACKIE: “Hey, girl!”AMANDA: So we can just literally talk to each other while we’re sitting at our stations. I also have a little Amazon speaker that I bought so sometimes we have dance parties in my room.JACKIE: Super fun.What are you dancing to?AMANDA: Recently it’s been a lot of Mariah Carey, but it’s a wide variety.JACKIE: I do like T-Swift. I like her new song a lot. [Sings.] “Look what you made me do, look what you made me do…” So good.AMANDA: We’ve got options. For close to 14 years, the blockbuster Wicked has been bringing together big-belting divas and funny ingenues in its leading roles, creating magic with the power of two. Current stars Jackie Burns (as fiery Elphaba) and Amanda Jane Cooper (ever-popular Gliinda) first found that power when they were brought together for a brief run on the show’s national tour in 2011. Although they were tearfully pulled apart when Burns was pulled off the road to join the Broadway production, the duo is now reunited at the Gershwin Theatre. Broadway.com got the stars glammed up for an exclusive photo shoot and chat about their love of all things Wicked.  Hey ladies. How’s Oz? JACKIE: Oz is Ozzzsome!Amanda, after doing the tour, you’re finally at the Gershwin. Is Broadway Oz everything you wanted it to be?AMANDA: It is! It’s a dream come true. And to be doing it with this one! Jackie Burns is amazing. She was my first Elphaba back in 2011 on the tour, and so we’re reunited. Jackie Burns Amanda Jane Cooperlast_img read more