Representatives from several local colleges, the Barbizon Modeling and Acting Center and Patchwerk Recording Studios were on hand at the Assembly of the Saints Deliverance Church in Villa Rica to answer questions for students during the eight-hour event. Several speakers were lined up to discuss the entertainment business, college athletics and the application process required by many colleges before staging a concert.
“This is about getting kids to understand how to get to the next level,” said Frederick Foster, youth event coordinator for Assembly of the Saints Deliverance Church and one of the organizers of the event.
Going to college is more than signing up for classes, he said, and playing a sport in college requires more than an interest in it. He said church members decided to organize the Youth Expo because the public education system is in crisis.
“Budget cuts, furlough days — it’s all detrimental to the kids,” Foster said.
He said the organizers understand that not everyone will be going to college. The entertainment industry representatives were present to make sure students knew they would have to work hard to succeed in the business.
“I’m looking for answers about colleges,” said 16-year-old Ieshia McCall, who had the chance to meet with a representative from Kennesaw State University, a school she is interested in attending.
She was also interested in learning more about the modeling and acting agency.
“I love the camera and I’m a girly girl,” McCall said.
Some of the speakers spoke to her about not letting other people’s judgments matter.
“This is a great idea. As teenagers, we don’t have a lot of opportunity to do things like this,” she said. “It pushes us to go to college and follow our dreams.”
Evan Key, 15, said he attended to learn more about colleges and life. He was taught how to conduct himself and about life morals.
“[The expo] sets an example,” Key said. “It teaches kids about the positive stuff.”
MaLequa King, 13, said the speakers encouraged her to have a positive attitude, be assertive and have confidence. She was interested in learning more about acting and singing as a career.
“They said be bold at the right time,” she said.