Cogswell College is pleased to announce that three of its students have created award-winning projects for the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards, including the prestigious Adobe Youth Voices Aspire MTV Act Award.
Keep Pushing, a video written, directed and produced by José Saavedra, P.J. Poloai and Diamanté Horton, received the Gold Award in the Music Video category in the 2012 competition. Their moving narrative, Angel in my Sky, received a Gold Award in the Narrative Category of the competition. 20 20 Vision, an inspiring call-to-action music video, received the MTV Act Award and the students were flown to New York’s MTV Studios in July for the official presentation. The Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards, introduced in 2012, is the first-ever online global youth competition from Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), the signature global philanthropy initiative of the Adobe Foundation. 2012 prize packages included Adobe software, laptops, HD camcorders and Flip Mino HD video cameras for the Club as well as a donation to the students’ charity of choice.
“These young men inspire my staff and are amazing role models for the younger kids,” said Peter Fortenbaugh, executive director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. “Their energy lifts everyone and provides leadership-by-example as they create these amazing works. José, P.J. and Diamanté remind us why we do the work we do for the Boys and Girls Club.”
Saavedra, Poloai and Horton met at the Redwood City Boys & Girls Club while in middle school. The Club houses a state-of-the-art production studio and provides guidance from Adobe industry professionals who donate their time to teach audio engineering, video editing and production. The Club also provides mentors who help foster the creative process.
“Adobe Youth Voices was established to provide young people with the tools to creatively express themselves through digital media,” said Miguel Salinas, program director for the Adobe Foundation. “We’re thrilled that our work with organizations like the Redwood City Boys & Girls Club provides a voice for students like José, P.J. and Diamanté, and has inspired them to pursue the digital arts.”
“We wrote Keep Pushing when each of us was going through hard times,” Saavedra said. “We kept pushing ourselves to keep coming to the Club to write, record, and one day the video was done.”
“When you can create music for the youth of today without any type of profanity, it makes you feel good,” said Poloai, who says he went through some rough times in his earlier years. “I never thought I could do anything like this before until I got into the Club’s studio.”
Horton, who provided the voice-over narrative for Angel in My Sky, is a new, incoming student to Cogswell College and is looking forward to learning music theory and other skills alongside Poloai and Saavedra in the college’s Digital Audio Technology (DAT) program.
“I know that most of our material will never be commercial because it’s not gangster rap or misogynistic,” Horton said. “That’s alright. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that other music, but it’s not what we’re about.”