Congratulations to the Winner of the PbS 2015 Kids Got Talent Contest

Posted by Kim Godfrey
July 20, 2015

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is proud to announce the winner of the 2015 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest: Tyrell J. from Coastal Evaluation Center in Ridgeville, SC. Tyrell was selected for  performing his original song: “Perfect to Me.”  He will perform his song live at the PbS 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Gala in Indianapolis on Aug. 14.

“All the performances submitted to the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest were kids with amazing, creative and moving gifts. Tyrell’s song showed his flair for songwriting, acoustic guitar skills and wonderful voice,” said PbS Executive Director Kim Godfrey. “I am really looking forward to hearing him perform live and appreciate all the efforts by the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice to make that happen.”

The PbS Kids Got Talent Contest invited all youths in assessment, correction and detention facilities and community-based programs participating in PbS to submit audio or video recordings of their talents. PbS received 54 inspiring entries that involved 77 youths performing individually or in groups, some original works, from 18 different facilities located in 11 states. The youths danced, sang solos, duets and musicals, performed sports and card tricks, played instrumental guitar pieces, recited poems and painted.

In May, 11 contest finalists were chosen and presented to the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest judges,
a panel of esteemed juvenile justice and film production experts: Robert Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Scott Budnick, President of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition; Marie Williams, Esq. Executive Director of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice; Patrick Griffin, Program Officer for Juvenile Justice in U.S. Programs for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Marc Schindler, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute and Karen Grau, President of Calamari Productions.

The judges described Tyrell as “very talented” and noted he is a “songwriter in the making”. The judges felt his song was “original and beautiful,” as well as “catchy and fun to listen to.”  

“Our first PbS Kids Got Talent Contest exceeded all expectations,” Godfrey said. “We received submissions from facilities known in the past for taking a very correctional and punitive approach to juvenile justice. It shows how facility and agency leadership is embracing the research and science showing kids do better when they are treated like kids.”