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Simeon Classmates Enhance After-school Programming

Jeremy Winters (L) and Aaron Harding review their curriculum for Artist Skill Enhancement (A.S.E.) to present to fellow classmates and participants.

Ernest Sanders

A group of motivated Simeon Career Academy high school students meet daily (after regular school hours) to gain more knowledge, increase their networking opportunity, and leverage their interpersonal skills (oral, written, and listening) through a program called Artist Skill Enhancement. 

The brain child of Jeremy Winters and Aaron Harding, these co-founders seek to leverage their classmates' talent to artistic measures. Artist Skill Enhancement (A.S.E.) is a musical and theatrical program designed to help students develop their talents in the musical and theatrical industries. 

Winters (C) and Harding (R) discuss preparation of a featured song with a fellow classmate and participant of Artist Skill Enhancement.

Ernest Sanders

Winters and Harding co-founded this program to give their classmates a place to go after school, to develop their singing talent, voice articulation, stage presence, and stage direction. Accompanying these extended learning opportunities, students are also able to digitally record sessions in a fully equipped recording studio. 

One might think this is just another after school program in a high school that yield low participation because of a lack of interest on the student's part. This is far from the truth. 

A.S.E.'s enrollment and participation is more than 20 students of which each student's attendance record is nearly perfect. 

Each parent must sign a contract (developed by Winters and Harding) requiring students to attend mandatory meetings, demonstrating punctuality and good work ethic, and achieving the goals and objectives of the programs. 

Parents are also expected to participate and support events that A.S.E. hosts and/or sponsors. Some are parallel to school events as report-card pick up day, and other important matters that requires parental attention and their child(rens') support.  

Male participants of Artist Skill Enhancement practice a musical selection for Winters and Harding (R), co-founders of this after-school program at Simeon Career Academy.

Ernest Sanders

A.S.E. would not be possible without support from Simeon's Dr. Sheldon House (Principal), and ASE Sponsors, Mr. Sterling Bolden (Assistant Principal/Sponsor),  Ms. Sharon Coleman Teacher/Sponsor), and Mr. Abdul Muhammad (Teacher/Sponsor). 

Recently, Winters and Harding received notable recognition at DuSable Museum's Night of 100 Stars in which Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel acknowledged Winters and Harding for approaching him on a CTA L platform and presented their contract to him. As a result of their pursuit of the Mayor-elect, both were asked to join Emanuel's education task force as student advisors. 

Also see photos from A.S. E.'s performance at Bank of America's recent grand opening of the 83rd Stewart location.

Keywords: Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, Simeon Career Academy

Posted in Community Highlights


12:40 PM
Jun 4, 2011
AnyDayNow says:

How wonderul it is to see our young, talented, black men doing something positive and proactive. More, please, young black men of Chicago. Our community and our City need to see, hear, and read more stories like these. You started out in Africa as kings and came to America as slaves. For a short time you lost your way as creators, builders, thinkers, inventors, movers, philosophers, learners, lovers, protectors. You were once powerful griots, but when your amazing histiry was taken from you - you lost the stories you used to tell yourselves and others about how amazing you are. But I see there is a new awakening. And I am proud and in awe. It is only a matter of time before the former slaves reclaim their honor and intelligence and history. It will not be long before you wake up and become the Kings of America.

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