Monday, December 7

Gifted & Talented Students Make Use of the Arts to Bring Awareness to World AIDS Day

Standing beside the social change mural at the St. Helena College & Career Academy from left are; Chris Galmon, Leroy Harris, Kyla Bryant, Chritearra Brumfield, Javier Smith, Shy'Janae Hoofin and Teanna Lee. (Photo by Nicolette Gordon.)

Kentwood High School "Battle Rapped" winners, from left are: Corey Moore, second place winner; Lil' James Gibson, third place winner and Cornelius Moore, first place winner.

Baton Rouge, La. – There is an old adage that says, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words.”  On December 1, 2015 this statement was backed by three lyricist at Kentwood High Magnet School as they “Battle Rapped” during the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s, “Dream big! End it,” World Aids Day Events. 

Contestants were challenged to develop an artistic piece, which would bring awareness to their peers about ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.  Over 200 students filled the Kentwood High School gym anxiously waiting to cheer on their favorite rapper. 

AIDS Healthcare Regional Coordinator, Sashika Baunchand was on hand to educate students about the startling statistics on HIV/AIDS cases that were just released this week.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana ranks number four in the United States.  There were many short gasp taken as statistics were being read.  However, national television host and Comedian Tony King was on hand to shed truth and light on this taboo subject.  King reiterated that these statistics are not shared to scare them, but to help them make sound decisions when it comes to things that can ultimately affect their future.

Gifted & Talented Visual Art Students at St. Helena College & Career Academy also tapped into the arts in putting an end to this AIDS epidemic.  Shy’Janae Hookin, Javier Smith, Leroy Harris, Chris Galmon, and Teanna Lee were honored during the, “Dream big, End it,” Social Change Mural Unveiling Ceremony.  These students where challenged to paint a social change mural that will bring awareness to dreaming big, and ending HIV/AIDS.   
(Article written by Nicolette Gordon, Assistant Area Agent at the SU Ag Center.)


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