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The young ones, flavorfully called “The Mellenials “,  whose lives are caught in the snare among perilous dynamics such as terrorism, and socio-economic warfare, casts their young  shadows upon the world, like a sundial, hinting and foretelling their potential to enrich our lives, exist in a most troubling, problematic world. Many of their generation have fallen through the “cracks” of the time, which have put them at risk via a myriad of frightening  dynamics.  including  poverty, homelessness, troubled  single parent unfavorable  family environments, joblessness, teen pregnancy, incarceration, police brutality, MARGINALIZATION or gang violence which terrorizes ,malevolently urban society. Consequently, Syd Stewart, no stranger to mentoring young people, and being an uplifting dynamic force for upward mobility, having worked as Director on award winning singer Usher’s New Look Foundation, and among others ,LAUSD’s Beyond the Bell Arts in Education program , created an urban technical and media arts development agency for youth ages 12-24 , Better Youth. Its mission  is to enlist and protect, via art, culture, life experience, technological/digital skills training and a film mentor tutorial platform; serving as a bridge helping  this vulnerable demographic traverse  many pitfalls, so that they can re-emerge into society educated, galvanized, and capable of utilizing the arts to become viable entities of society, right on time!. Better Youth’s  diverse programs, of which “The Real to Reel Program” resides————- the vehicle for The 2nd Annual Real to Reel Global Youth Film Festival  recently held at Hollywood CA’ s Los Angeles Film School, October , 2016——————-includes Better Crew, Beauty Boot Camp, and Better Brothers: However, the lion share of prestige, and arguably, international acclaim belongs to The Real to Reel Program, having won awards, and multiple grants.

 Syd Stewart, Johna Rivers, Co-Executive directors of Better Youth with  Monique Coleman, Disney High school Musical

The 2nd Annual Real to Real Global Youth Film Festival is a dual vehicle and mentor program, in that it not only, serves as a platform for youths who are clients to create films, disseminate throughout the world their art, take advantage of film screenings and acting classes but also,  it is a dynamic providing  the students access entry into the at times impenetrable theatrical, film and tv  world, as world renowned actors, athletes, singers are  in attendance functioning  as vital components, serving as panelists. Furthermore , this particular segment, just in the infancy of its second year, has attracted an incredible following, per street cred labeling  it as , “Making Noise”  within  the  entertainment industry.

 Syd Stewart, Johna Rivers, Co-Executive directors of Better Youth, Real to Reel Global Youth Film Festival,
with other entertainer associates, on the red carpet-covered by Cold Heat News Editor Maurice DWAYNE Smith

On October 8, 2016, at 6353 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, this highly anticipated event , where  exec director,   Johna Rivers  and teen actor,  Melvin Jackson, Jr. served as co-hosts,  did not disappoint. Syd Stewart, and Johna Rivers,  the event’s  executive  directors, compiled an array of actors to serve as panelists,  such as Monique Coleman, Disney High school Musical; Melvin Jackson, Jr. , teen standout actor, BET’s “The New Edition Story”; Kacey Spivey of FOX’s Glee; Jax Malcolm of CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Chloe Noelle of HBO’s True Blood; Justin Tinucci of Cartoon Network’s, ” Incredible Crew”; Sara Barrett of CBS Criminal Minds; Meg Deloatch, creator of UPN’s “Eve”; Shawn Boxe, network writer, “Silicon Valley”, and Andrea Collins, who agreed yes, “I breathe life into projects via funding”–City National Bank. From utilizing a collage of filmmaking panels, industry experts, acting workshops, film screening of international as well as domestic teen films, a palpable synergy of theatrical aromas saturated  deeply in the air, touching ones soul.


Syd Stewart, Executive  Director;  Andrea Collins— projects  funding extraordinaire, City National Bank— and some mighty talented individuals
 such as the blonde teen who may be a triple threat!
 Interestingly enough,  its sponsors The National Endowment for the Arts, The Los Angeles Film School, City National Bank, United Nations Foundation, Final Draft, NAMAC, Girl Up, Trader Joe’s and Film Freeway took care of the bill, so the event was free, but even much more interesting,  according to on-line site’s information at    ” National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu, said “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Challenge America including the award——— an NEA Challenge America Grant——to Better Youth, Inc. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.” In addition, Chu was  said, ” Better Youth is one of only 130 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America grant.”The attendees were also entertained by music from clients  Enny Owl and Raquel Wilson.(some information from The Sentinel News
Service, October 19, 2016-2nd Annual Real to Reel Global Youth Film Festival, Presented by Better Youth Success)
 Media professional, former college basketball player–CEO of a nonprofit) Talk show host
played at Kent State-studying to be an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Pepperdine, graduate school
This year’s film festival winners included:(INFORMATION BELOW via BETTER YOUTH but   PROVIDED
by The Sentinel News Service, October 19, 2016-2nd Annual Real to Reel
Global Youth Film Festival, Presented by Better Youth Success)
BEST FOREIGN FILM: Shivangi Mittal (“Tremors”)
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Ghandi Bridgade Youth Media (“Juvenile Justice”)
BEST DOCUMENTARY: James Williams (“Victors Not Victims”)
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Niajea Randolph (“Poems Protests & Power”)
BEST BIOGRAPHY: Rosalind Krabill (“Little Girl”)
BEST BIOGRAPHY: Maya Suchak and Darian Henry (“Finding Strength”)
BEST BIOGRAPHY: Lauren Rothman (“Embargo On Love”)
BEST BIOGRAPHY: Sergio Conriquez, Tommy Cabral and Jacob Lout (“Into Sergio”)
BEST ANIMATION: Gracie May (“Deadpan”)
BEST ANIMATION: Azure Allan (“One Day On Carver St.”)
BEST DRAMA: Spencer Muhlstock (“Wheels”)
BEST DRAMA: Jayden Gillsepie (“Slide”)
BEST DRAMA: William Leon (“Attached At The Soul”)
BEST DRAMA: Whitney Stephenson (“Dreamkeeper”)
BEST SOCIAL CAUSE: Maya Hinkin, Nicole Kim, Tarin North and William Park (“Daughters Of Cambodia”)
Concluding the event was a special awards presentation to individuals who support Better Youth and the Real To Reel Global Youth Film Festival. Award recipients included:
THE CRYSTAL AWARD FOR DEDICATED SERVICE: Actors Monique Coleman and Melvin Jackson Jr.
BEST PRODUCER AWARD: Johna Rivers, Ruben Garcia, Tynisha Lewis, Kaija Johnson, David Vera and Olympia Auset.
BEST MENTOR AWARD: Syd Stewart, Tess Canfield, Stephen Canfield, Shawn Jackson, Miguel Coleman, Deborah Griffin, Jarvis Robertson, Phil Chiu and Matthew Farrell.
( A representative from Congresswoman Karen Bass office was there to present executive director Syd Stewart with a Congressional Certificate. )

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I was born in Fountainbleu in Paris France to an army family. My father ,Ruben Smith, and my mother Nancy Smith, worked for the Army and as a school teacher in France, respectively.We are originally from the South. My father’s people from Misissippi and Alabama and my mom’s from South Carolina. I am an avid sports fan and I attended and played sports----football, wresting, and track----- at Bishop England High School, in Charleston, South Carolina; my mom chose both a Catholic high school and an elementary school, Immaculate Conception, for my sister and I. Initially, I wasted a lot of time in school pursuing sports and partying but nevertheless,I went to the College of Charleston, The University of South Carolina, where I majored in Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations, with a minor in Theatre and Speech. I finally graduated from The University of Redlands, in Redlands, CA with a degree in business management. I managed to get into SAG-AFTRA, mostly as an extra, but I have done an occasional speaking stint here and there—CD-ROMs, experimental and industrial films, and voice overs in radio. My most recent endeavor was playing a doctor on "Grey's Anatomy". I like horror, love, thrillers, and I like to read. Weightliftingand jogging are some of my hobbies also. Interestingly enough, my family prepared me for a life on the move, as I have been to every state in The USA except for Alaska and Hawaii. I have an older sister who chose the teaching profession and is doing quite fine. What was i like as a child? Well I tend to think that I existed and flourished within "a culture of hate"--------however South Carolina has ceased and desisted with both "The jim Crow Laws' and flying the Confederate Flag------------I witnessed "colored only" bathrooms, and was in establishments where the Klan showed up. I stayed at hotels where my family and I found pounds of raw CHITTERLINS---hogs guts----- at our doorstep!! But don't get me wrong, as despite these ugly truths about the South, I grew up with some very cool whites, mexicans, Filipino's and other races. But it is what it is. It has Metamorphosized into being a cultural and real estate melting pot, as many from other states are recently flocking there for the cheaper home prices, very stable, safer lifestyle and "bible belt" mentality, and affordable education. I too have Metamorphosized , as I am not the militant little athletic, and partying freak I used to be and have settled into writing for Cold Heat News and assisting We Care for Humanity with their charitable functions. Consequently, I am pretty much a normal army brat who has realized that life is what you make it and people and things are subject to change. So change with life and let by gones be by gones. My dad has since passed away, and my mom and sister and most of my cousins are still alive, but their positive,significant influence, along with the impact my elementary and high school friends have had on me continues on;infact, I believe, where it not for my childhood friends, my high school football Coach Jack Cantey and occasional teenage battles with my dad, I would have become a gang member! Thus my personal manifesto is, Live hard, party when it is time, and utilize both education, and Love for God, and know that FAMILY AND FRIENDS are most important;They're one's conduit for a viable and happy life. ALSO, A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND---NOT A "FAIR WEATHER"------INDEED.

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