Providing additional evidence the developmental approach to juvenile justice is taking hold across the country, the 2016 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest drew double the number of entries in just its second year of competition.
In addition, the leaders and professionals interested in judging the competition has expanded: In addition to returning national juvenile justice celebrity judges Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Administrator Bob Listenbee and Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) Executive Director Marie Williams, Houston Rockets star and founder of the D12 Foundation Dwight Howard will be seeing the talents of kids in PbS facilities.
It’s a great recognition of the kids, their talents and the system’s need to treat them like one of our own.
This year we received submissions with the talents of 120 youths from 14 states. They included singing, dancing, basketball dunking, poetry and more. They were all fabulous and entertaining. It’s hard to remember that just one year ago we were worried that our first challenge to youth residential facilities for video and audio talent submission would yield few contestants.
Narrowing the field was not an easy task as every entry was entertaining and unique. All the youths, and the staff that assisted them in preparing their performances, should be extremely proud.
The 15 finalists are:
Edward R. – Tillamook YCF, OR
Sevion W. – Red Wing, MN
Paul C. – Logansport JCF, IN
Kaleb G. & Branden N. – OH Close, CA
Bradlee R. – Kansas JCC, KS
Sidney G. & O’Shay G. – OH Close, CA
Shampaine M. – Kansas JCC, KS
Fabulous Females – IYC Warrenville, IL
Issac R. & Jonathan C. – NA Chaderjian, CA
Paul T. – Kansas JCC, KS
Maleke H. & Deon C. – K.H. Rubenstein JC, WV
Victor D. – Rogue Valley YCF, OR
Sabrina C. – Echo Glen Children’s Center, WA
Trey S. – K.H. Rubenstein JC, WV
Josh M. – Wasatch YCF, UT
The judges have a fun but difficult task ahead in selecting the winner, who will be invited to perform at the PbS Awards Gala on Aug. 5, 2016 in Boston.
Congratulations to all who participated! YOU ROCK!
- Written by Kim Godfrey
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