Northeast Edition

Boyle Heights young people get chance to display talents

EAST LOS ANGELES — The annual Boyle Heights Youth Talent Show drew 250 youths, parents and residents giving young participants an opportunity to showcase their talents in a Feb. 3 program at the Self Help Art and Graphics facility, 1300 E. First St.

During the event, young people demonstrated their skills in photography, video, music, dance, poetry, spoken word, and graphic design.

The program was organized by the community to showcase youth talent and to advocate for a meaningful investment of public funds and resources to help the city’s most vulnerable youth reach their full potential and to create safe neighborhoods where they can thrive and have access to opportunities that prepare them for a successful future, a group spokesperson said.

“The youth of Los Angeles have many different skills and unique talents. This talent show lets them show everyone what they really are passionate about,” said Lou Calanche, executive director and founder of Legacy LA.

“Even though this event is only once a year, we hope it has a lasting effect on the young leaders that participated and on the people and residents that live here. We must continue to nurture these skills and talents, and push these bright teens to pursue their goals.”

The Boyle Heights for Youth Campaign was launched in 2014 by more than 200 young people and 15 community organizations to advocate for a meaningful investment of public funds and resources to help the city’s most vulnerable youth reach their full potential and to create safe neighborhoods where they can thrive and have access to opportunities that prepare them for a successful future, the spokesperson said.

“I’ve been involved in youth development programs since I was in middle school,” said Norma Galeas, a high school senior who lives in the Ramona Gardens housing project. “They’ve helped me become the person I am today, by supporting me and encouraging me to contribute to my community. I am a leader in this campaign because I feel strongly that all you in Boyle Heights and the city of Los Angeles deserve to have access to youth development programs to help them better their futures.”

“Giving these future leaders an outlet for creativity and exploring their interest gives youth a leg up in being successful in life and being better prepared for the future where they can fine tune and hone in on their strengths,” she added.

Boyle Heights for Youth hopes the talent show will bring attention to addressing the needs and concerns for youth and the major importance for investing in youth development.

Boyle Heights for Youth is a campaign of Building Healthy Communities Boyle Heights and aims to promote the idea that youth are the city’s best asset.