Ryan Banks Academy Becomes TSG Ambassadors!

Recap of the 7th Grade Ryan Banks Academy Student’s Youth Art Showcase!

The 7th Grade Students and Ryan Banks Academy, at University of Chicago’s Community Program Accelerator
I plan on using my meaning of the simple good to improve my community by loving each other and helping each other. This is important to me because love is the key to family. -Jamie W., 7th Grade, Ryan Banks Academy

Last night students from Ryan Banks Academy stood among staff, family, friends and the members of the Hyde Park community to share their simple good and partake in a healthy dialogue that uplifts, empowers and strengthens all who attended.

The showcase is a part of the experiential learning component in The Simple Good curriculum where the student artists share the Simple Good they discovered over the course of the 8 week program that they felt resonates with them the most; one they feel they can use to change and uplift the community they identify with. We always host the showcases outside of the community our students are in to expose them to resources that are available to them in the larger community of Chicago, which they are also a part of. The Simple Goods from our students last night ranged from: Tumbling to Dancing to Peace and many more.

Malyk Hopkins calls for Unity
“What is your simple good and will you commit to represent it and come together as one and stay peaceful?” -Malyk H.

Malyk H., one of the students at Ryan Banks Academy eloquently shares his Simple Good of Unity in spite of the violence he personally witnessed when he was 12 years old. He calls for others to find a simple good, commit to it and use it to bring others together.

We successfully teach our students to focus on the simple positive things on our students’ life in order to make a larger impact for themselves and their community. Witnessing violence has traumatic affects on an individual especially at critical ages of development but by using mindfulness, which is taught throughout the program, students develop techniques to help themselves counteracts negative emotions and decisions related to that trauma which results in resiliency exemplified by students like Malyk.

Artist Julian Gilliam AKA Logik Speaks at the Showcase

Our guest speaker, Chicago Visual Artist, Julian Gilliam, joined our youth showcase to share with RBA and attendees an inspirational message about enterprising oneself and one’s art. Julian Gilliam is the Senior Art Director at Leo Burnett, who is originally from St. Louis and moved to Chicago to be closer to the arts and creative individuals that inspired him. He made note that the students’ ability to recognizing their simple good and creating a painting of it was the first step in moving forward to creating something greater for themselves and he encouraged each student to ‘always think big.’

So where do our students go from here? As mentioned in our last post at United Airlines Headquarters, after graduating the program students become TSG Youth Ambassadors who are youth who have completed the TSG Program, have gained skillsets of spreading positivity to others and now are accountable to do so moving forward. They become apart of the ongoing spread of The Simple Good Ambassadors across the world into communities like London, Rwanda, Uganda and neighborhoods across Chicago.

We would like to thank University of Chicago’s Community Program Accelerator for donating their space to us for our Youth Arts Showcase for Ryan Banks Academy. We would like to thank Black Pro Pics and CamBe for photography and video coverage of the event. Lastly, we would like to thank keynote speaker Julian Gilliam for his motivating words. This event had an amazing turnout of teachers, family, friends, board members and new Simple Good supporters.

Please follow us on Social Media and stay up to date with our latest happening including attending our Summer Scavenger Hunt: The Hunt For Good.

Supporting the Simple Good

If you were unable to make this showcase, please keep your eyes on our social media to stay tuned to all of our events. Represent The Simple Good by purchasing our apparel inspired by our students.If you can’t make our events please consider donating to The Simple Good, all of our donations go back into our arts programming which empowers at-risk youth to become activists through art and discussion.