Workforce readiness festival hopes to inspire young people to pursue their passions

November 13, 2020
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Creative young people are being encouraged to show off their passions in a short pitch competition Saturday in Austin.

Your Passion 1st is hosting a virtual workforce readiness event for youth living in Austin, Lawndale, East Garfield and Humboldt Park. In collaboration with Mi Casa Holiday and BUILD, the event will feature discussions with industry professionals and showcase local talent.

The youth will have three to seven minutes to pitch themselves to a audience and show off their musical abilities, culinary skills, poetry and other talents.

The first age group (15 to 19) winner will receive a grand prize of $700, while the second age group (20 to 24) will be competing for a $1,500 prize.

About 15 pre-chosen applicants will be competing in front of judges, who are experts in the industries the youth are hoping to break into.

“We want to leave the young adults with a framework or call to action, and generally point them in the direction of resources that will allow them to make that transition to their goals easier,” said Christopher Thomas, founder of Your Passion 1st.

Streamed on the app MeetAppGo, the event will premiere in the middle of Mi Casa Holiday’s global virtual weekend. This event is focused on bringing attention to the Austin and Humboldt Park communities.

Because BUILD and Your Passion 1st are both West Side organizations seeking to empower you people, it was important for the festival organizers to highlight those communities.

Your Passion 1st is in its 12th year of showcasing international DJs and performers while spotlighting a new city each event. The Chicago festival lasts until Nov. 18th.

The workforce readiness festival, held at BUILD with limited seating, will take place Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

BUILD’s director of enrichment services, Carmen Scott-Boria, said Saturday’s event is a creative way to inspire the youth.

“It’s an important to get young people to understand the different options they have, to find mentorship from people and know the directions they can go to be successful.”

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