Emerson recently hosted the seventh annual Charles Beard Arts and Communication Exploration Program, a two-week series of courses for Boston-area middle and high school students.
The participants, who came from diverse backgrounds, learned the basics of several fields studied at Emerson, including marketing, journalism, stage and theater production, radio, creative writing, and film production. Emerson faculty and staff taught all the courses.
Nerissa Williams, manager of Emerson’s Paramount Center Film Sound Stage, taught a session on film. “The students did the lighting, camera work, set decorating, and writing and editing of 45-second skits all within an hour and a half,” she explained. “Their imaginations are just amazing.”
Developed and managed by Emerson’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Charles Beard Program is organized in partnership with YMCA Achievers of Greater Boston.
“This was our seventh year running this pipeline program, and we hope we helped inspire these young people to put Emerson on their radar as they advance to high school and make college choices,” said Gloria Noronha-Peschau, program coordinator for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and director of the Beard program. “They were excited and enthusiastic, and many of them have told me they now plan to go into some of the fields they learned about in their two weeks at Emerson.”
The camp concluded with a showcase and awards ceremony attended by the participating students, their families, YMCA representatives, and Emerson faculty and staff, including President Lee Pelton.
“The real reason you’re here is to open the door to the path of leadership,” Pelton told the students. “You’re all going to be leaders.”
Students who excelled in each topic won subject awards and every participant was presented with a certificate of completion and treated to an ice cream sundae buffet.
The Charles Beard Arts and Communication Exploration Program was named in honor of Charles Beard, a communication lawyer and former chair of the Emerson College Board of Trustees. Beard was the first African American to be named partner in a major Boston law firm.