Johwell St-Cilien, Writer/Director/Editor
Johwell St-Cilien, born in Paris, France from a Haitian mother, is an accomplished videographer, song writer and educator who helped develop a successful creative arts youth program known as “Kids Helping Kids: A Hip Hop Experience” (KHK). The curriculum, written by Hip Hop Saves Lives, was the first after school program at CASA to be turned into a day class running for 2 years. Through KHK, the students at CASA produced over 100 socially driven music videos as well as short films, and the program gave the students many opportunities such as performing at The United Nations. Their work has also been recognized by local and some international news media. Johwell is also the co-founder of NegusWorld, Inc. and its philanthropic arm, NegusWorld.org, an organization that has for mission to connect youth around the world through art. Over the past few years, NegusWorld has been responsible for providing 6000 school lunches to children in Haiti, building of a soccer field in a favela of Brazil, and helping a school in Tanzania on their goal to self sustainability, among other projects. www.Johwellstcilienfilms.com
Jean-Michel “MK” Dobaria, Director of Photography/Editor
Jean-Michel “MK” Dobaria was born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, France, with a family background from the Reunion Island. He is the CEO and founder of Maison A.I.P (Art In Progress). MK is an accomplished videographer, introduced to the French Hip Hop music business at an early age. He collaborated on his first independently produced album when he was 14 years old and from there, started creating videos at 17. At 20, he moved to Brooklyn, New York. When MK arrived in NYC, he went back to school and received his MBA in Business and Marketing from Columbia University. After getting his degree, he spent several years working in the fashion industry, and eventually came back to his first loves: directing and videography. MK worked with talented artists and had great mentors around him such as Swizz Beatz, Talib Kweli, Ruff Ryders, Nas and many others. MK didn’t stop at the music industry, he also embraced the world of extreme sports, such as MMA, skateboarding, surfing, etc. MK believes that his Art has no limits. Now MK is based in Los Angeles, California where he is sharing his vision and making his mark as an up-and-coming director. One of MK’s favorite quotes and one he lives by is from Charles Dickens: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Meredith Walker is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. Walker began her television career under the mentorship of legendary journalist Linda Ellerbee at Nick News. As a producer of that show, Walker traveled the U.S. interviewing kids for the Peabody and Emmy award-winning series. This experience became the foundation of Walker’s deepening interest in the lives of young people. Walker went on to serve as the head of the Talent Department for Saturday Night Live, where she met her best friend, Amy Poehler. The pair decided to combine talents to create their shared vision of an organization encouraging and celebrating everyday girls experiencing adolescence. Now living in Austin, Texas, Meredith is leading the charge of what that shared vision became: Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. What started as an online “clubhouse” primarily for girls has evolved to become an inclusive, positive online community for anyone who identifies with its mission of positive self-identification and advocacy. Walker travels near and far to promote the mission of Smart Girls. She served as the journalism envoy for the U.S. State Department Bureau of Culture and Education’s mission to the Al Za’atari and Emirates Refugee Camps and visited remote primary-care clinics on delegations to Haiti and Malawi. In 2015 Meredith was named a “Profile In Power” finalist by the Austin Business Journal and Austin Way designated her “The Confidence Builder.” Tribeza Magazine called her “unapologetically, brilliantly herself” in naming her one of their 30 “Persons of the Year.” She was the September 2016 cover woman for Austin Woman magazine. In 2016, Meredith was a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer at the Clinton School for Public Service. She was a guest of the White House both to host the Champions of Change for Computer Science Education summit and to serve as an expert panelist for The White House Summit: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes in Media. She returned to Washington, D.C. for the first summit of The United State of Women, where she and Amy Poehler served as co-panelists on the subject of “Revolutionizing Gender Norms.” Meredith’s appointments include the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders Advisory Council, Common Sense Advisory Board for Gender Equality, The UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) and the ONE Girls and Women Advisory Board. She teamed up with the Austin-American Statesman for her outdoor series POCKET ADVENTURES and has been published by POETRY and MOTTO for TIME.
17-year-old entrepreneur, music artist, and business owner of the nonprofit JYOUNGIN & CO, Jeremiah (aka IAMJYOUNGIN) focuses on academics, sports, and leadership through motivating the minds of young people across the world, simply by putting on school tours geared towards anti-bullying, entrepreneurship and leadership skills to inspire young individuals to become great. JYOUNGIN & CO.’s rewards program recognizes students and athletes for their positive accomplishments, while its mentoring program works with at-risk youth in less fortunate areas, the same urban areas that Jeremiah is from. Jeremiah always tells them to keep their eye on the prize, NEVER GIVE UP, and the sky is only the view. @Jyoungin4kids
Photo credit: Grete Ferguson
Creativity champion Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling author/illustrator and co-founder of FableVision, an award-winning educational multimedia company co-located at the Boston Children’s Museum. Published in more than 25 languages, Peter’s books, including The Dot, Rose’s Garden, The North Star, and Sky Color, inspire both children and “grown-up children” with his messages about authentic learning, creativity, empathy, and courageous self-expression. Peter also illustrated a number of books, including the best-selling Someday by Alison McGhee, Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, I Am Yoga by Susan Verde, and the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald. Peter’s latest book, Happy Dreamer, was just released by Scholastic Books. In Peter’s signature voice and style, this empowering picture book reminds children of how much their dreams matter, and while life will have ups and downs, Peter enlists readers to stay true to who they are, to tap into their most creative inner selves, and to never, ever forget to dream big! Dedicated to giving back to the community, Peter, along with twin brother Paul, launched the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity. The center is a not-for-profit organization that encourages creativity and innovation in teaching and learning. It is dedicated to ensuring that all learners develop the vision, confidence, knowledge, and skills needed to move their own lives forward and to use their talents, strengths, and energy to move their communities and the world to a better place. Peter lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he founded The Blue Bunny, a family-owned and -operated children’s book, toy, and creativity store that includes a wonderful cafe as well.
Paul is CEO and co-founder of Boston-based FableVision, which creates and distributes original educational media, mobile games, and apps designed to move the world to a better place. Paul has helped build the multimillion-dollar firm into an internationally recognized multimedia developer and publisher by collaborating with a wide range of media, museum, research, and broadcast partners seeking to inspire lifelong learning, including PBS KIDS, National Academy of Sciences, The Jim Henson Company, MIT Education Arcade, New York Hall of Science, Columbia University School of Social Work, Girl Scouts of the USA, Houghton Mifflin, and Carnegie Hall. As CEO, Paul also oversees the company’s K12 educational technology publishing group, FableVision Learning, as well as the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Reynolds Center is an R&D group that partners with leading researchers and educational groups looking to prototype and produce ed-tech tools and media that support all learners in more creative ways. Under the Reynolds TLC banner, Paul has been instrumental in the development of a new web-based digital design and fabrication STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) software platform, which is designed to lower the on-ramp to a meaningful FabLab experience in elementary and middle schools. Going Places, a picture book about creativity and engineering, was Paul’s first collaboration with twin brother Peter. They followed that up with a STEM-meets-Arts (STEAM) early chapter book series called Sydney & Simon, which includes Full STEAM Ahead!, Go Green!, and the soon-to-be-released To The Moon! (Charlesbridge Publishing).
Jasmyn is going to inspire us, just like she does with her students!Jasmyn’s work is the belief that education, advocacy, and empowerment hold the key to eliminating barriers. She is the CEO & Founder of The Push Through Organization – a non-profit that seeks to equip and inspire people all over the world to overcome adversity. Jasmyn’s Push Through mantra went viral back in November 2016 with 3.7 million views. She’s been featured in The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed News, NPR News, The Today Show, BET, ESSENCE, etc. Her new and shortened Push Through mantra is now featured in a GAP Kids back to school commercial. Now as a Mrs Wordsmith Innovator, Jasmyn is bringing her expertise to hilariously illustrated vocabulary products because words matter for life (as well as exams). @Just_Jasmyn #PushThrough @mrswordsmithofficial
Happy Anniversary CUE!
This year, CUE celebrates 40 years as a non-profit organization, inspiring innovative learners by fostering community, personalizing learning, infusing technology, developing leadership, and advocating educational opportunities for all.