“We start with their sparks,” said Keresia Moore, president Usher’s New Look, Inc., Responds briefly when asked about the organization’s transformative impact on under-resourced youth across the country. Many of the students they serve have that “spark” or personal talent and passion that connects them to a larger purpose. However, they lack the resources, support and guidance to make their dreams come true. That’s where Asher’s new look comes from. Focusing on talent, education, career and service, the Atlanta-based nonprofit has helped more than 50,000 students achieve their educational and career goals and is also proud to have achieved 100% high school graduation rate.
Moore, who began working with the program more than eight years ago, has witnessed how artists can use their platform to create sustainable social change, not just as an example of positive community impact.
“You have this great example of what it means to follow your spark and achieve a high level of success [in Usher]. You also have someone who has done this and thought for their community, “Moore outlined the success of the organization.” So, go ahead quickly, you have all these young students who are saying, well, if she can do it, I can do it. ‘”
Kareesia Moore, president of Usher’s new look
Singer, songwriter, and businessman Usher Raymond IV and her mother and former manager, Janetta Patton, started the organization as a two-week camp in 1999 to empower students facing economic inequality and with the tools they needed to be leaders from statistically low-rate areas. . As many students embarked on the journey with Usher’s new look, Usher’s path to benevolence began with a spark.
“I was blessed to find my spark early in my life. Being able to immerse myself in what I loved to do was a great way for me to channel my emotions,” Usher shares when asked what it took him to start his organization. By “I wanted to give the same opportunity to other young people.”
Ushar was still a teenager when he became a superstar, when his mother took him to visit Judge Glenda A. Hatchet, A friend of his who presided over the Fulton County of Georgia Juvenile Court. “She just took him one day to sit in court and see how many young men and women were inside and out,” said Tommy Springer, a 2-year-old graduate of Usher’s New Look.
Georgia-based visual production company 49 Feature owner and operator Springer Usher has already felt the impact of the new look. He joined the organization more than a decade ago after receiving a recommendation from a friend who had won a radio competition to take part in a summer camp at New Look.
“In the middle of summer camp, they played a celebrity basketball game and a talent show for all the students and you can invite family and friends and her mother brought me. It seemed like the most amazing production I’ve ever seen, and all the kids seemed very Having fun [of my friend in the program]. I hated it [laughs]. And I was ready to apply. I was able to get it the following year and it changed my life. “
Initially, Springer joined the program’s music track, but like many students participating in the program, he may find his spark elsewhere as he comes in contact with more career prospects.
“They were running a program with all the kids and there were tracks for dancing, sports or music. They wanted to see what the video component track would be like for the kids and if they were interested. So, they have a camera in my hand and the rest is history.”
Asher’s new look and Tommy Springer Jr. with 49 features
While a student at the program, Springer was given the opportunity to run a PSA for the Cartoon Network, create music videos, and even do a commercial for Men’s Fragrance for Isher. After high school, he used his experience and his connections with Usher’s New Look for internships at a local TV station.
“They taught me a lot that when I started studying in college, I realized that they were teaching me your skills and the basics that you learn in your first two, three year film courses.”
Since graduating, Springer has volunteered for the organization and started his 49-feature production company, where he counts Usher’s new look among his video and photography clients. Springer shares, “You can identify what you like and Asher’s new look can do what they can with all their resources or prepare you for it.”
Students get unprecedented access as part of Usher’s new look, which also inspired Moore, who began his professional life as an educator, to join the organization.
“I saw the need for equity in the education system. Resources for education were based [students’] Zip code. I just thought it was inherently unfair from my experience. I would teach highly gifted students in rural and urban areas, just as they would in suburbs, in more affluent areas, it was just that there was a disparity in resources, “Moore shared.” So, I thought, ‘How can I bring more education and opportunities to these young people? ‘Because otherwise, you’ll have a lot of wasted talent and that’s not because they don’t have the ability, because they don’t have the opportunity, access and exposure. “
Moore decided to practice law with an eye on educational equality. But in the end, he realized that he could make a bigger impact by leaving the law firm and working directly with the young people he wanted to influence.
“I got to where I said it was; I really want to work on the ground, to work with young people, to help them get the opportunities they need to succeed in changing their lives. So when I left law practice, I was introduced to a Went to the event and I sat there thinking, ‘This is the place for me right now. I’ve seen young people who were passionate about what they’re doing. I’ve seen young people share their spark and partners and supporters who were really excited about what the organization is doing. The impact that the organization had was. Moore realized that the organization had more than just a celebrity founder. ” It helped young people change their lives and become passionate, driven global leaders. “
In addition to the eight-time Grammy Award-winning founder, Springer and Moore believe that anyone can start an organization for change, as long as they remember to lead with passion and focus on influence.
“Anything that catches you? You have to start something that you’re going to be passionate about,” Moore shared. “You have to start with something you want to go and share with people and scream from the top of the hill. So start with something you’re passionate about.”
Young leaders in Usher’s new Look program
The students who join Ushar’s new look not only see Ushar as an example, but also the whole team behind their organization. Every student has a coordinator who sends them lessons every day, advises them, reminds them to fill their scholarships, and shows them how success can be in real life.
But, if you find it difficult to build your own team from the start, Moore advises finding the right partners and nonprofits and not be afraid to start small.
“I could see that someone has a big platform and is saying, but it has to be big. It has to be big. It has to have some competition. Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Partnership is important,” he shares. “Bringing what you have and collaborating with other organizations and capitalizing on their strengths can be very important.”
Moore also acknowledges the importance of having the financial and legal support of a nonprofit management. He gives multiple quotes Pro bono Resources from Atlanta and across the country that are happy to help you with everything from naming your organization to helping you submit the necessary information to the IRS.
“That’s what happened to Asher; we were literally sitting around the table and figuring out what we were going to do. How we were going to do it.” Moore recalls. “Don’t be the enemy to start perfectly. You don’t have to be perfect to start. You don’t need a million kids. We didn’t start paying 50,000 after 21 years. You have and where you are. It doesn’t have to be national right now. Start in your own town or wherever you live and make an impact and then allow it to grow and develop from there.Ushar’s new look started as a summer camp, then we saw the need to support the youth throughout the year and we grew from there. “
Moore believes you shouldn’t worry too much about how other companies are creating programs; Instead, focus on your own unique offer.
“I always tell our students[to ask themselves], “How many bags of plain potato chips will it take? How many brands of plain potato chips do you see on the shelves?” She shares. “It doesn’t have to be just one. Make what you do unique and focus on your organization’s mission. I wonder when success will come.”
The team and students behind Usher’s new look are creating a world where they can do whatever they want with their minds, as Usher shared, “It’s about helping young people cultivate their personal gifts and realize their potential. We can help them find talent, help them gain experience and opportunities in that area, there is no limit to what they can achieve. “
– Erica Campbell