Central Promise Talent Show

In Cleveland’s Central Promise Neighborhood, Lashunda Lee is unleashing talent that might otherwise have gone undiscovered in the youth who live in that area.

Ms. Lee is an Army Veteran, Community Activist, Student Mentor, Drill Team Leader and an Ambassador for the neighborhood. She is a woman on a mission to help youth avoid the dangers of the streets. She provides opportunities for them to develop positive self-identities. She has a gift for uncovering talents and cultivating positive attitudes in youth who are accustomed to being labeled as troublemakers. Her time in the service and her experience as a drill team leader comes through as she makes the kids in all of her classes tow the line. Kids learn very quickly that “she means business.” Students know that using foul language, showing disrespect for anyone in the group, making negative comments or acting out in any way will not be tolerated in her class. Once students settle in and start following the rules Ms. Lee’s softer side comes through and her irrepressible humor takes over.

Ms. Lee and volunteers rehearsed with the students three days a week after school in a cramped room in a library. After three months the youth performed at Tri-C Metro Campus stage before a large audience that was astounded by their performance.

It is Ms. Lee’s vision to provide on-going opportunities for youth in all the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority buildings to participate in talnt shows like this one. Her dream is to build relationships between youth living in the various buildings so peaceful, supportive and enduring relationships will take the place of tension filled turf related battles of the past. Give her access to the students, and the space to perform and she will make miracles happen!