Scenes from Schools: SIATech Los Angeles

September 12, 2011

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"Scenes from Schools" is an occasional piece on the CCSA News Blog that offers a glimpse at the tremendous work taking place on charter school campuses across California. Today's "Scenes" takes place not on campus, but at the Grammy museum located in Downtown Los Angeles. Beatriz Flores, a student at SIATech Los Angeles, has the story.

On August 4, 2011, SIATech Los Angeles students had the opportunity to participate in a Run DMC workshop at the Grammy museum located in Downtown Los Angeles.

Run DMC was a Hip hop group that was active from 1981-2002. Their genres include Hip hop, rap rock, and alternative hip hop. The group has been very influential with their music. DMC took time out of his busy schedule to come out and personally deliver an inspirational message to us. His message and his music inspired and informed us.

I can tell you that this event inspired me to strive for the best and to go for what I want in life. Whatever my talent is I can use it to help make change in the world, whether it is through writing, singing to the world or maybe even architectural work or cooking. My favorite quote from DMC was, "Your situation does NOT define who you are." This to me is saying I can do anything I want regardless of what I am going through, where I come from, or self-imposed limitations that can hold me back from reaching my goals in life.

I had a chance to listen to DMC perform some of his music, and I noticed that what he raps about does not really compare to what rappers talk about nowadays. I asked a couple of my classmates how they felt about the event and they shared their opinions with me: "I thought it was inspiring and encouraging to new artists," said Raja Daniels. Diamond Wedlow also mentioned, "DMC is a great role model and the world needs more people like him."

In my opinion music has always been beautiful but the messages given to the public through music today have changed. Before rappers rapped about life and personal experiences that helped listeners compare and cope with what they were going through. Now rappers mostly rap about cars, money, women, shoes and many other meaningless things that do not really give out a good message to the public. Instead it makes us very competitive and hostile towards each other.

Gracie Rangel said, "I thought it was amazing. I feel very fortunate to have been able to have that experience. To see history right in front of me was just absolutely fantastic. We were truly blessed."

SIATech Los Angeles continues to share great places with their students, I am very fortunate to have been part of this event!

SIATech (pronounced SIGH-a-tek) is an award-winning network of charter schools focused on dropout recovery. SIATech is a WASC-accredited high school that operates in partnership with the federal Job Corps and Workforce Investment Act programs on eight campuses throughout California. The school serves 100% low-income and previously out-of-school youth. SIATech excels at identifying student strengths and individualizing instruction to meet each student's needs and goals. The school's safe and caring setting enables students to take charge of their learning and obtain the tools they need for lifetime success, whether it is at their chosen career or further education. For more information on SIATech, watch this short video or visit the SIATech website.

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