H.S. Students Speak Up and Speak Out

“High School Students ‘Speak Up and Speak Out’ About Today’s Timely Issues”

Click Here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/user-848078426/youth-bureau-community-college-psa-project

Long Island Youth connected to the Town of Smithtown’s Horizons Counseling and Education Center, The Smithtown Youth Bureau, and the Smithtown Youth Alliance had some things they needed to say to other youth. However, they needed a vehicle to be able to get those messages to as many young people as possible. They were encouraged to find their voice and use it to spread positive messages of hope and help regarding critical issues plaguing today’s youth. The issues they passionately wanted to talk to young people about were: “Vaping”, “Under-Age Drinking”, “Peer-Pressure” and “Marijuana Use. These are issues they and their peers face on a daily basis. Many of their friends have fallen victim to these problems. These youth wanted to do something about it.

Several Staff and Administrators of the agencies reached out to Staff Member, Silas W. Kelly, LMSW, current NASW-NYS Board Member and Self -Titled “E-Journalism Social Work Advocate”. Silas came up with the idea to reach out to his Alma Mater, Suffolk County Community College. Kelly studied Radio and TV (RTV) Production there many years ago. He pitched his idea to one of his former professors from the college, Alan Bernstein, recently retired Director of the RTV program, and one of his former Program Director’s from Kelly’s earlier radio days, and current College Radio Station Manager, Bill Terry, a 40-year radio veteran. Silas explained that students from the Youth Bureau wanted to produce PSA’s and the possibility of current students of the college’s RTV program handling all the technical production aspects of the project. The proposed collaboration was agreed upon. The Youth Bureau Students wrote PSA’s to address the four issues they identified and selected music beds to be used for each one as well. Arrangements were then made to take the students to record the PSA’s at Suffolk Community College’s Broadcast Facilities on August 1, 2018.

Current SCCC students Joe Adleman and Kevin Nessler of the Radio/TV Program handled all of the technical production of recording the PSA’s and doing the final mix-downs. Through a major collaborative effort the Youth Bureau students, with the support, guidance, and encouragement of Administrators (Matthew Neebe, LCSW– Director, Drug and Alcohol Counseling Services-Town of Smithtown-NASW Member), Stacey Sanders, BA – Smithtown Youth Bureau Director, along with Staff Counselors: Kelly Devito, Alexa Stern, Madlyn Makboulian, and Cynthia Grimley – Staff, and Counselors of the Town of Smithtown’s Horizons Counseling and Education Center, The Smithtown Youth Bureau, and the Smithtown Youth Alliance.

The students put together a masterful PSA project. These are the topics of the PSA’s in the order they are played and the students that voiced them:

1.) Vaping PSA: Alexa Grimley, Alexa Rand, and Sydney Rose

2.) Underage Drinking PSA: Abi Anand, Alexa Rand, and Vaishnavi Ravichandar

3.) Peer Pressure PSA: Alexa Grimley and Vaishnavi Ravichandar

4.) Marijuana PSA: Sydney Rose and Abi Anand

***Youth Bureau Student, Victoria DiFiore, was a PSA writer also.

These PSA’s will ultimately be shared by the Smithtown Youth Bureau, on various Social Media outlets, and The Internet. They will also possibly be aired on local Long Island Radio Stations.

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