By John Lynds
The East Boston High School program that was earmarked in the state budget and criticized by the state GOP as an example of wasteful spending is proving the naysayers wrong.
The National Youth Development Council (NYDC) Youth Work Force Development Initiative designed to provide comprehensive training and job readiness counseling to high school students for technology positions in the music industry has become a hit at EBHS.
NYDC Director Richard Smith said Eastie High students in the program are gaining a strong foundation of job preparedness to qualify them for paid internships and entry-level job positions in music production environments.
The pilot program at EBHS, called the NYDC EnterTech Program for Careers in Music, has been designed to provide professional level instruction in the recording arts. The program includes two semesters of “after-school” classes and an eight-week intensive summer school program. The program is designed to extend the skills acquired during the after school program into a succession of recording projects during the summer months.
The elective course at EBHS began after Christmas break and has been providing hands on professional-level work experience since January. Smith said this will help students at the High School to build resumes and give college bound students opportunities to qualify for advanced placement if they decide to go into the music production field.
“NYDC’s immediate focus is on Youth Workforce Development, to help young adults at EBHS, prepare for jobs and employment in the fields of entertainment tech and high tech,” said Smith. “Also, we provide high school aged youth with skills sets in technology to qualify them for entry level jobs and internships in the industry. In addition, the NYDC EnterTech program prepares participants to take advantage of higher learning and entrepreneur opportunities, by teaching them advanced “real time”knowledge.”
Smith said the two instructors at EBHS, Tony Shultz and Kavayah Wright, are professionals who currently work in the music industry in key positions. This dynamics, explained Smith, lays a foundation for students to receive guidance and connections as they make their transition into the workforce.
At the end of the one-year program, selected graduates will be invited back the following year to serve as role models, coaches and adjunct instructors for the next incoming class. This program will also equip participants with classroom instruction in basic business and management skills that will enable them to become entrepreneurs and consultants in the technical aspects of the music business.
“The EBHS Headmaster Phil Brangiforte along with officials like former Sen Petruccelli, Rep Adrian Madaro and City councilor Lamattina, all have the vision and understanding of how important the EnterTech Initiative is by addressing the critical unemployment situation among youth in Boston,” said Smith. “East Boston is fast becoming the flagship school for innovative and advanced learning of Entertainment technology. It is a most gratifying feeling for me, to witness students and faculty members, highly energized, engaged and excited about the learning process and preparation for career opportunities in entertainment and advanced technology at the high school.”