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News / The Arts / Videos / Virgin Islands / September 5, 2019

ST. THOMAS — They took to the red carpet spotlight with 1,000-watt smiles and warming greetings for the friends, family, teachers, Rotary Club members, dignitaries and the community members who came out to show support. 

IEKHS students Jade Durrant, Daiyaan Foster, Renaldo Burley and Tamara Laurent (Journey, Flightz, Heat Wave and Lyrical, respectively) were the night’s celebrities – and the celebrated – at the unveiling of the song and video they produced during the 12 Miles Up program this summer.
The event showcasing the students work producing and performing their FAITH video was sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas East at its Red Hook meeting room on Wednesday evening.

Ivanna Eudora Kean High School english teacher Monique Schmidt and Rotary East officer Marilyn Holmes co-founded the 12 Miles Up program this summer. With the support of 521 Studios on St. Thomas and Earthtone Entertainment, the program is designed to “harness the power of youth culture and youth voices” to create positive change in the Virgin Islands through music. 

“I cannot think of a better way to end my day,” said St. Thomas-St. John District Superintendent Stefan Jurgen. “It has just been awesome for me to see that these children were a part of something productive. They spent their time this summer, and now all of us get to come and enjoy this community activity.”

Parents. Teachers. School guidance counselor. Doctors, Yoga instructors. Legislators. An award-winning filmmaker.

“In the room I see parents, we have teachers, we have guidance counselors, we have film artists. We have industry individuals… people make things, produce things. And all of that comes together when we invest in our children.” 

Ms. Schmidt taught in schools in seven countries before coming the the USVI four years ago. “Out of all of those seven countries that I’ve been in, the USVI has some of the most creative and some of the most musically talented students I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said told the audience. 

“This is the biggest crowd we have ever had,” said Fran Brown, president of Rotary Club East. 

Robert Moore

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St. Thomas Native Played Stunt Double For Wakanda Female Warrior Okoye In Avengers: Endgame, The Number 1 Grossing Movie Of All Time

Editor's Note: This article was written by Corinne Purtill, a writer in Southern California and was first published...

September 5, 2019