Everyday Hero: Empowering youth through arts education

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host
Last Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017, 9:54 AM EDT

Alex Harris is a singer, musician, and song writer with three hit singles and a new song, "Wordless."

He is also co-founder of the Arts Conservatory for Teens… based in St. Petersburg.  Its mission:

“To educate, empower, and enrich the lives of youth through arts education,” Harris said.

Harris achieves this by opening doors of opportunity for young people without the financial means in numerous areas.

“Dancing, ballet, or modern or hip-hop from a professional instructor. Visual arts, cinematography or painting, visual arts and sketching,” Harris said.

Started in 2009 with his friend and co-founder, Herbert Murphy, the organization offers programs in dance, acting, ensemble chorus, production design and more.  There is no cost to low income students.

The track record for the arts conservatory for teens is impressive with a 100 percent high school graduation rate and 90 percent college placement.

About 300 middle and high school students completed the last session and 500 are about to begin.

The non-profit is supported by grants, fund raisers and individual donations. The success of its students is music to Harris’ ears.

“We want to prepare students to become productive citizens of the community.  Active participants of the community infrastructure,” Harris said.