‘We want the youth to be children’: Englewood organization holds talent showcase inspiring kids to dream big

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s an opportunity for South Side youth to show off their skills and possibly open some doors.

CBS 2’s Steven Graves tells us how a young man is using music to help lead kids away from the path of violence.

At just 20 years old, Dorian Adams continues to dedicate more than a decade of his life to serving young people.

“The older you get, the more experiences you go through. And I just feel like I learn more about myself every year.”

Learning – through his organization This is Life. Throwing events like an end of school year celebration in Bronzeville on Tuesday.
A kick off for summer safe spaces to meet other kids, play games and get free gifts.

“Somebody will come through and they’ll give me something so I can give it to a kid. And a kid, that might make their day for the next five years,” Adams said.

And for nine years, he’s led one of the biggest efforts with his mom, Natalie Manning, at a talent showcase. This June 25th, it will be in Englewood, where children get shot during the Summer at the highest rate city-wide.

The location, a Salvation Army, near where a Chicago police officer was shot.

“We’re not promoting that. We want the youth to be children,” Adams said.

This talent showcase is not just a “one and done”. In the past, young people have gotten real life, follow-up, industry opportunities.

“Hot Rod from Power 92 gave the kids their opportunity to have their music played on the radio. So that was an opportunity we weren’t expecting, but a lot of kids may never have a chance to have their music played,” said Natalie Manning, co-founder of This is Life.

Adams said it’s about getting people to see the good in youth who look like him, rather than the violence.

“You’re not going to talk about how five teens started a clothing line. Now their business is booming, but no one wants to talk about that, though.”

He knows, because that is his story, wearing the very clothes he designed today. And the hope is even more narratives like his get the spotlight.

“Us having open arms, we’re not shying anyone away from coming to join us.”

Adam’s group is still looking for sponsors to sign up for the talent showcase. It will take place June 25th at Englewood Salvation Army, located at 69th and Sangamon.

Click here for more information on This is Life and how you can help.

Sponsorship opportunity still available for the 9th Annual This Is Life Youth Talent Showcase & Resource Expo

Posted by This Is Life on Thursday, June 16, 2022

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