Once a year, young people of Bridgeport come together at the Bijou Theater for a night of everything "Rated - R"
"The 'Rated-R' is we rate movies and music on whether they are Real, Responsible, Right, and Respectful" explained MYO member Saturnina Redway.
These young people are participating in a youth development program founded four years ago,
"That's when we developed our MYO tagline, it stands for Mine Yours and Ours and it speaks to our corporate value that growing up should be healthy safe and fun" says Charlotte Collins, MYO-Americorps Director.
MYO youth members aim to improve the social health of other young people in the area through activities, like their annual MYOscars event.
"Hopefully we ignite a passion for them... that you can do service in a really fun and exciting way that has to do with the arts!" said Collins.
To further that mission, MYOscars invoves analyzing messages that are portrayed in film and music.
"These guys have spent time cutting together clips from the movies that the youths that we teach in the schools have voted as their favorites. And then we sat down and have a really candid conversation about the messages in those films. After each clip plays our members come on and they either do a musical piece, a spoken word piece, it might be a dance, but that reflects the messages in the film, and whether we feel that they're positive or not." said Collins.
"There's so much riff-raff in pop culture today it's important to really examine what we take in," said MYO member Nigel Reid.
"You have some music that's not really good for you to listen to, or movies that don't portray the right message, but we have the 'Rated-R' so we rate them..."said Redway.
The event gives MYO members a voice to contribute to the community, which they say is valuable long after the event itself.
"This fed right into my personality and also helped me to be stronger, and also helps me to be willing to go the extra mile just to reach someone" said MYO member Jamarr Farmer.
"It means a lot that I can actually give back now, so I've received and I want to give back to the other teens and it means a lot that I can do that" said Redway.
"To me, it means that I get to serve the community that I grew up in, that's really important to me to give back to all the people that have helped me" added Reid.
For more information about MYO, visit: