Winner “Your Voice is Power” – The Varsity

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One summer evening in Midland, Ontario, Jasmine Jenkinson joined a Zoom call. The 18-year-old was expecting a procedural interview in a coding competition she had entered; instead, she received a congratulatory message from singer and producer, Pharrell Williams. It was official: the new UTM student was one of five winners of “Your Voice is Power,” a North American-wide musical remix competition.

“They played a video of Pharrell congratulating the five grand prize winners and then my name and photo popped up on the screen,” Jenkinson said. “I was super surprised.”

“Your Voice is Power” is supported by Pharrell Williams, Georgia Tech and Amazon. It prompts students to code rhythms while educating them on how music, computing and initiative can be used as tools to promote racial equality. Participants had to work with EarSketch, an audio engineering program, to remix Pharrell’s song “Entrepreneur” to adapt it to the theme of racial inequity.

University spoke to Jenkinson via Zoom about winning the competition, winning the University of Toronto National Scholarship, and her future plans.

Submission “Your voice is power”

Jenkinson was discovered “Your Voice is Power” through a former teacher, Ms. Calder of Ellenville High School. Jenkinson explained that Calder, who involved her class in “Your Voice is Power” as part of a project, took a look at the modules of the competition herself so that she could give advice to everyone. students participating in the competition.

Jenkinson’s “Your Voice is Power” entry was inspired by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and its response to social injustices suffered by the black community around the world. His submission included audio clips from news broadcasts about the BLM protests. Jenkinson also recorded herself singing Pharrell’s lyrics to show that her individual voice has power and that anyone can use their voice to make a positive impact.

“It just came to me,” Jenkinson explained of his idea. “I knew I had to include the [BLM] new protests… I could already hear the bridge in my head. And I could hear the music and the new protests that I wanted to add. So that’s where I started.

University of Toronto National Scholarship Winner

While best known for “Your Voice is Power,” the coding competition isn’t the only accolade Jenkinson has received this year. The recent high school graduate also won the University of Toronto National Scholarship, the institution’s most prestigious award for Canadian high school students entering university. The award celebrates “original and creative thinkers, community leaders and top academics”.

While it is obvious that the musical prodigy deserves the award, Jenkinson explained her initial shock after learning that she had been awarded the scholarship. “I was so excited and grateful for the opportunity to come to the University of Toronto. And just the opportunities that would occur as a result of being awarded the national scholarship.”

After accepting her scholarship and offering to attend UTM, Jenkinson was faced with another decision: deciding her study program. However, the aspiring theater and drama student explained that it was an easy task, given her love for the arts.

“I have always loved playing, acting and being on stage; I always feel like I am where I am at home, ”Jenkinson explained. “I love the creative process, the people… just all about it. I am drawn to it.

Jenkinson added that the combination of hands-on program experience and university education was an important factor in choosing her program. “I applied to [U of T] because they have a very unique program in that you get hands-on studio training to act, ”she described. “[You’ll get] academic rigor and the theory and history of your training to support you.

Career plans and future projects

Points of sale such as Toronto Star, Midland today, and Entertainment Today Canada have written about Jenkinson’s accomplishments. However, the University of Toronto student hinted that this cover wouldn’t be the last time she appeared in the news: “[I’m] I definitely plan to use this as a starting point to use my music and voice to talk about other issues as well.

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