Scholars Shine through COVID obstalces.
MRI has been growing, NATIONALLY, even through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We
want to show our youth that there is always OPPORTUNITY through ADVERSITY. We have
gained more family of instructors and scholars that live across the country during virtual programming! Recently, we teamed up with Youth Up Next for Youth Voice Amplified. Here is a recap of the event:
Youth Up Next leader Rashard Stanton started with showing love and
acknowledgement for MRI founders and principals, Devrick Murray and Jimmie Thomas. After
the joyful introduction, Rashard asked where the principals would see MRI 5 years from now?
Murray replied that they wanted to create future moguls in multimedia. He stressed the system
of putting in 10,000 hours of work into a craft to master it. Mr. Thomas reminisced about how Baltimore felt like a home away from home. With Maryland being the first southern state, there were some common traits he related with his home town of Tallahassee, FL and he was able to meet a bunch of GOOD people.
Through our programs, iRead iRhyme(iRiR), Channel Me Media(CMM), iSpin, and iDance, MRI wants to help mold talented youth into successful human beings. The first scholar recognized for participating in our virtual classes was 19 year old Soquoria from Laplace, Louisiana. Soquoria told viewers his testimony of getting on his family and friends nerves, always singing around them. He eventually started writing in high school and realized that music was an outlet for life’s frustration. He knew he wanted to record. Soquoria found out about MRI through a friend of one of MRI’s instructors and the rest was history.“I’m thankful that grown folk are taking initiative to help young folk,” humbly stated by the new scholar.
He admitted to being very nervous at first, but ended with thank you’s to all of the MRI
instructors that helped him fine tune his natural abilities. Soquoria had written a song called “Cry for Help,” produced by one of MRI’s veteran’s, Mobster K. Mobstar K, also known as Derric, joined MRI about 3 years ago in the iRhyme program when he was 13. He has done everything from writing to showcasing his work to big time producers like Rico Love, but he started out rapping. Derric inquired about music production, which he didn’t know anything about, and the MRI principals took matters in their own hands to provide for the scholars. Derric started off rapping and writing, but saw the new opportunity of beat production as an even more clever way to express his creativity.
Derric created the beat for Cry for Help and Soquoria wrote and recorded it all within 48 hours! If that’s not talent, then you tell me what is! Derric had told viewers that he just sits in his room and thinks, when it comes to making beats. When both gentlemen were asked about where
they’d see themselves in 5 years, Derric said he would be in his junior year in college playing
football for a major university. Soquoria said he sees himself as an artist, dabbling in music,
writing, and acting.
“ All you gotta do is want to, to be great,” Mr. Thomas reinsures. The MRI founders look at themselves as businessmen and entrepreneurs, and to be so, you must be a problem solver. Well, they don’t see problems, only opportunities. So when it came to creating a video for the “Express Yourself” song during quarantine, there was room for a lot of opportunity.“Express Yourself” is a song created by some of MRI’s Montebello scholars, not too long before
quarantine. During MRI Virtual Classes, B-roll was collected by students to create one visual
version of the song. Students shot clips on their cell phone cameras and learned how to edit
using different applications. Scholars are taught the process of: pre production, production, and
Lila, who is going into the 5th grade, is a super, multi talented scholar in MRI, that participates in both iRiR and CMM. She now has her own Minecraft themed youtube channel where she posts her drawings and skits. Once Lila learned about the podcasting app called Anchor, she took it upon herself to create a podcast called “Fantastic Geeks and Where to Find Them”. Lila says that Ms. Kae, MRI’s lead instructor of iRiR, was not only the person who first inspired her
artistry, but is also the best teacher ever!Generational change and impact is a goal with the MRI team! Ms. Kae was one of the first MRI students and now she is in college and blessing the youth with all her new learnings.
Next to be introduced was Thad, 13 years old from Florida. He is a scholar of the CMM
program, who heard about MRI through one of our partners, the Hue Collective. He says that
football led him to produce and record his own highlights, as well as create a portfolio. This was
a different approach to why he was taking our classes, but it just showed us that opportunities
can come from any situation. Thad talked about everything he had going on and said that his
parents help him balance life. MRI taught him how to stand out and be a leader through video
production. Youth Up Next and Media Rhythm Institute have a common goal to uplift voices of the
The interview closed with Ahtiya, aka Queen Alien, spinning on the 1’s and 2’s! She is a
sophomore at Western and she just took a chance with MRI! She started writing in the iRhyme
program. She shortly found a love for being behind the camera, directing, in CMM. She finally
took a chance in iSpin and she has been booking gigs ever since! Queen Alien was looking to
escape her life problems by finding a different program to keep her busy and now she has
learned a trade that she can monetize off of for the rest of her life.
MRI paired up with the Youth Up Next foundation to highlight all of the talent in the Baltimore
community. Our community is coming together and we are just trying to help the growth. There
isn’t a reason NOT to join MRI! TAKE A RISK! LET’S GOOOOOO!
Want to get involved? Follow us on Facebook at Media Rhythm Institute to see all of
the amazing experiences we’ve created or to stay updated on upcoming events. Visit
our new interactive website at mriprograms.org and send us your email, then you’ll
have access to our VIRTUAL PROGRAMS, monthly newsletter filled with instructor
highlights and more!