OUSD’s Multimedia Program, Youth Beat, to Host Fast Forward, the Annual Celebration & Fundraiser for the District’s Aspiring Filmmakers on Thursday EveningVirtual Event is Free to Public, But Reservations are Required

Monday, November 30, 2020Contact: John SasakiCommunications Director 510-214-2080[email protected]
Oakland, CA — Youth Beat, which is OUSD’s multimedia arts program teaching students how to be documentarians, filmmakers, directors, reporters, producers and photographers, will host its annual fundraiser and celebration, Fast Forward 2020, on Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 p.m. This year’s event will be virtual, and it will be packed with fun and fascinating discussion about the students’ dedication to the multimedia career path, and what it means in their lives. There will also be a viewing of the students’ work, and numerous opportunities for supporters to give to the Youth Beat cause, and help the young people of Oakland. Plus, this celebration has added importance, because it also recognizes the ten year anniversary of Youth Beat, the uniquely Oakland multimedia program.
The student work highlighted will include new Quarantine Creations of Oakland youth, which are short films, animations, and photography all created by Youth Beat students working on class projects from home. Also, Youth Beat will be presenting its inaugural Emerging Filmmaker Award to an Oakland student who has exhibited tremendous drive, determination, and talent in their young filmmaking career. The 2020 recipient will be Sophia Hawkins-Harbor (right), a recent graduate of Oakland Technical High School. After two years in Youth Beat’s after-school filmmaking program, she decided to major in film in college — and was able to secure a full ride scholarship to study at the college of her choice, Drexel University in Philadelphia. “I’m so thankful to have a program like this to support me,” she said. “The possibilities are endless when it comes to my career path in media.”
The core of Youth Beat’s programming is its career pathway program, which provides a multi-year training sequence that culminates in paid internships and jobs. These students create professional projects for clients through Youth Beat’s video production company, Youth Beat PRO. Youth Beat PRO provides high-quality videos at affordable rates, employing Oakland youth as its workforce. Past Youth Beat clients include Vans, Clorox, and Oakland’s Workforce Development Board.

“The COVID crisis has hit inner-city Oakland kids extremely hard,” said Jake Schoneker, Youth Beat’s Executive Director. “So Youth Beat stepped up quickly to provide ongoing virtual classes during the quarantine, serving more than 400 students this year. We’ve been pleased to hear from students that the classes are helping them stay connected, motivated, and creative during this chaotic and stressful time.”

Youth Beat student Sara Lam explained, “If I didn’t have Youth Beat, I think I’d be really bored and disappointed. I’d probably be on my phone watching YouTube or something. I didn’t realize I could make films at home. Now I feel like I can. Youth Beat is a place to find your passion and express your creativity.”
Tickets for Fast Forward are FREE but reservations are required and seats are limited. People who can’t join the live stream event are encouraged to reserve a spot anyway because everyone with a reservation will receive a link to watch a recording of the evening’s program, including the terrific student films.

The event will raise funds to support Youth Beat’s Future Filmmakers Fund, which creates paid internship opportunities and jobs for Oakland youth in the media industry. Youth Beat is raising funds to help Oakland youth reach their dreams. You can learn more about the organization and Youth Beat’s Future Filmmaker Fund at youthbeat.org/donate.

 Youth Beat’s Annual Celebration & Fundraiser, Fast Forward 2020
WHEN: 6:00 p.m., Thursday, December 3
WHERE: Zoom – Make reservation here: youthbeat.org/events to receive the link
###About the Oakland Unified School DistrictIn California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 81 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. 

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.
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