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    Posted December 13, 2013 by
    Khar, Pakistan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

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    UPP! Announces YEPP! Talent Show on Dec. 20 to Benefit Needy Families in War-Torn Pakistan

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The antithesis to America’s Got Talent must be LA’s upcoming Youth Empowerment Peace Program (YEPP!) Talent Show #6 as fearful young performers are utterly supported through the scary “going public” process (see YEPP! video here) at this high school talent show competition. Held Dec. 20 at LA’s Alliance College-Ready Academy High School #5 (ACRAHS #5) from 9:45 a.m.-noon, the semi-annual YEPP! Talent Show is headlined by student performers as well as freestyle rapping world champion MC Supernatural and famed Dance Masters (who are currently performing for Usher, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera), acrobats and extreme break dance troupe. Charismatic Celebrity Dance Masters’ founder Jarrod Taylor hosts, while professional dancer and personal trainer Juliette James produces the show along with an all-student production crew. To top it off, the show is also a benefit fundraiser for YEPP!’s sister non-profit organization United People for Peace (UPP!) and its efforts to provide food, clothing, shelter and education to families in wintery war-torn Pakistan. To support YEPP! and to donate to the UPP! Humanitarian World Peace Pakistan Benefit, visit:
    Please use hashtag #UPP2020 and join the YEPP! Talent Show #6 Facebook Event Page here:
    YEPP! Talent Shows Support Student Performers
    YEPP! founder Seth D. King -- who is a hip hop influenced middle school technology teacher in LA -- created these talent shows to support middle and high school students to break into creative performance, public speaking, hip hop,dance, rap and acting. Either as solo acts or through intricate group performances, students are provided with personalized mentorship and instructional “performance technology” to set goals and to create a top-notch performance, while learning to embrace other challenges such as overcoming peer pressure and public performance fears.
    “I started YEPP! asa character development program,” says King, “but it became fused with the talent shows to further empower students to express creatively, promote peace in the community, and develop as leaders. YEPP! has become a vehicle for youth to channel their energy into healthy, constructive and positive creative outlets and away from violent, self-destructive and harmful ones.”
    In fact, King’s informal interviews of student participants over the past five YEPP! talent shows at ACRAHS #5 report: 1) greater self-esteem and confidence; 2) conquering of fears; 3) setting goals and accomplishing them; 4) increasing a sense of community and belonging in school; and 5) greater experience of peace and fulfillment at school.
    The YEPP! event production program begins each semester with an open invitation to any would-be student performers. Each month, students compete and are filmed in a "Boxer TV" (named after the school mascot) talent competition. Students compete in singing, dancing, comedy, instrument performance, acting, band, rapping and poetry, among other talent categories. A popular vote by the student body determines which performers move on with a chance to win $100, $50, or $25, respectively, for first, second, or third place in the semi-annual talent shows held in December and June.
    Not just for performers, YEPP! Talent Shows have developed into an "event production club," which includes opportunities for students to produce, direct, stage manage, set design, film, photograph, and serve as production crew members. YEPP! Talent Shows also include performances by professional music and dance performing artists and guest speakers with empowering messages for the youth of Los Angeles’ public schools. YEPP! partners closely with the Hip Hop School of Arts (HHSA) and its founder and executive director legendary B-boy Julio “Lil’ Cesar” Rivas.
    YEPP! Talent Show #6 is also headlined byfamed dancers from Celebrity Dance Masters as well as its founder, LAUSD guest teacher, emcee and dancer mentor Jarrod Taylor. “Our acrobats, athletes, human sound manipulators and extreme break dancers provide an action-packed showcase that is exciting, educational and motivational,” says Taylor. In fact, some of the performers in our show have performed for TV shows Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew and the Step Up movie franchise. Taylor says his performers regularly tour with the Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Rhianna, Christina Aguilera and Justin Beiber. Over the past decade, Taylor says his Celebrity Dance Masters troupe has performed for more than 1.9 million elementary, middle and high school students.
    UPP! YEPP! Talent Shows Empower LA Students to Stand for Pakistani Families & World Peace
    More than just a talent show, YEPP! student participants are given access to the entertainment world and the international humanitarian aid community. “We have combined a student talent show along with a benefit to raise awareness and support for stressed and starving families in remote regions of Pakistan where United States’ drone aircraft wage continual war near the tumultuous Afghanistan border,” says YEPP! founder and UPP! president Seth D. King, “but we are committed to something far different, based upon a common love, care and respect for humanity and upon the rule of law.”
    King says he decided to form UPP! into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization after he was literally inspired by the students of ACRAHS #5 to create a One World Declaration of Peace petition. “We are proud not only to continue our work to inspire the extraordinary students at ACRAHS #5, but also to forward peace, universal human rights, and international goodwill this year by providing food, winter clothing, medical care and education to needy families in war-torn Pakistan.”
    “As it states in our One World Declaration of Peace,” says King, “We declare peace now inside of ourselves. We declare peace inside of our schools, our communities and our families. We declare peace in between all people of all ethnicities, religions, beliefs, countries, genders, abilities and creeds. We are peaceful and responsible people, and we take constructive actions to realize these declarations. We acknowledge the fact that military war is a humanitarian, financial, and environmentally unsustainable resource disaster. We are committed to a world where 80-90% of the money now spent on the machines of war and soldiers in the military is re-allocated to forwarding education, building homes, feeding children, developing jobs, providing much needed goods and services, ending poverty, and building healthy and safe communities.”
    About YEPP!
    Youth Empowerment Peace Program (YEPP!) is a youth program within the United People for Peace (UPP!) non-profit organization created by middle school technology teacher Seth D. King to support LA middle and high school students in the field of performance technology. YEPP! has produced five talent shows and is currently in production on its sixth at LA’s Alliance College-Ready Academy High School #5 on Dec. 20. Students at ACRAHS #5 inspired King to write and then film and produce a One World Declaration of Peace petition (view the video here).
    About United People for Peace (UPP!)
    United People for Peace (UPP!) is a coalition of peace builders from around the world dedicated to responsibility, integrity, community, leadership, partnership, friendship and world peace. UPP! was co-founded by Los Angeles middle school technology teacher Seth D. King, who wrote the One World Declaration of Peace, which was inspired by the high school students of LA’s College-Ready Academy High School #5 (view videohere) and Moroccan leaders for peace Yahya Bouiramane and Ismael Lotfi. UPP! champions world peace, human rights, youth empowerment, and education locally, nationally and internationally as a talent and support source for worldwide peace, education and justice movements.

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