14 Performances Advance to Finalist Round in 2017 Talent Contest

Posted by Kim Godfrey
May 22, 2017

Congratulations to the 14 finalists of the 2017 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest and thank you to the numerous facility staff and agency leaders who supported all of the contestants. Giving youths opportunities to shine, be recognized for doing something positive and feel good about themselves is one of the key tenets of the research-based developmental approach now reforming juvenile justice systems across the country. It’s not always the easiest or most intuitive thing to do, in facilities or families, as parenting my own three adolescents/young adult children has shown me.

Yet, more than 100 youths got the chance recently to do just that. Staff and leaders in 26 juvenile facilities and residential programs in 16 states created opportunities for youths to sing, dance, read poetry, play instruments, perform card tricks and show off basketball skills and be recorded for submission to the Talent Contest. One state, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, created an agency-wide competition including even more youths and those winners were selected to be the national competitors. The Kansas Department of Corrections Juvenile Services agency submitted a total of 19 entries including boys and girls.

This is the third year PbS has held the national talent competition and each year we have received an increasing number of entries. The performances are all wonderful and I’ve realized the contest is not so much about talent but about providing a chance for the youths to be recognized for having special gifts and pursuing their passions.

The competition was tough. After careful review and deliberation, 14 finalists have been selected and passed on to the PbS Kids Got Talent Contest judges to select the winner. Congratulations to:

  • Eric M., Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
  • Puamelia O., Echo Glen Children’s Center, Washington Juvenile Justice and Rehabilitation Administration
  • La’Lisa H., Geneva Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, Nebraska Office of Protection and Safety
  • Marc D., IYC-Chicago, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Zyronta T, Marjuan B., Javeon P., IYC-Pere Marquette, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Aurora K., Sebastion G., Terrell A., IYC-Warrenville, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Derrius W., Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Paul T., Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, Department of Corrections, Juvenile Services
  • Xavier V., Kearney Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, Nebraska Office of Protection and Safety
  • Korbin C., North Coast Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Austin N., Brendon B., Charles J., Jeremiah F., Dustin W., Danny S., Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Zachary G., Tanner C., Kenneth Rubenstein Juvenile Center, West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services
  • Andrew N., Southwest Utah Youth Center-Long Term, Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services

PbS will publish a series of blogs featuring each of our finalists over the coming months and the winner of this years’ contest will be announced prior to the 2017 CJCA and PbS Awards Night in October where he or she will be invited to perform live.

Stay tuned!