'Getting this scholarship has opened so many doors for me'
My Story: Jessy Kalala, Commercial Modern Music, BIMM/DIT
It was his after-school activities that helped talented teen, Jessy Kalala land a place in Commercial Modern Music at BIMM/Dublin Institute of Technology this September.
He is one of 25 students from 12 countries - and the only one in Ireland - selected under a global initiative that supports creative talent among young people.
BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) Dublin is Ireland's first and only contemporary music college offering a degree in Commercial Modern Music, which is validated by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).
It was through an initiative called Techspace, run by the youth organisation, Foróige, in Blanchardstown, west Dublin, that Jessy came to the attention of the worldwide Adobe Foundation.
Jessy, who came to live in Ireland from Belgium when he was two, is a former pupil of Coolmine Community School, west Dublin.
He may already be familiar to many music lovers through his performances at events such as Electric Picnic.
TechSpace is co-ordinated by the social enterprise organisation Camara Ireland, which, in turn, is the Irish partner of the Adobe Foundation, and runs its Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) programme to drive social change and community improvements.
The AYV Program has run in Ireland since 2009. As well as Blanchardstown, Techspace also runs projects in north west Dublin, south west Dublin, Louth, Roscommon and Galway.
Talented youth from around the world - young filmmakers, social entrepreneurs and artists like Jessy - were selected for the foundation's Creativity Scholarship 2015 in recognition of their strong academic performance, leadership, global awareness and creativity.
The scholarship will fund Jessy's third-level fees for the duration of course at BIMM/DIt, and a place on the highly-rated course, which is highly reliant on the musical talent if the applicants, was confirmed for Jessy earlier this summer
"I'm extremely excited," says Jessy. "Getting this scholarship has opened so many doors of opportunity for me. I'm really excited to start college in September now knowing I don't have to worry about how I'm going to pay for it."
Siobhan Hennessy, Jessy's AYV educator, youth worker and coordinator of TechSpace in Blanchardstown, said Jessy's time spent on the programme had had a great impact on his ability to write songs and compose lyrics and music in a way that makes people stop and listen.
"Jessy's enthusiasm and passion for songwriting and music production is infectious amongst younger members and his audience," she says.
The youth involved in AYV spotlight the issues they care about by creating original media - a process that fosters their passion to make a difference while providing them with the creative skills essential to success.
Ms Hennessy said the Techspace AYV Programme allowed her, as an educator, to work with extremely talented young people on a daily basis: "We provide the space, the skills and the technology, enabling them to take their creativity one step further so they can express themselves through using the best tools technology has to offer.
"We have programmes in every aspect of multimedia and are now offering opportunities for young people to explore making, coding and electronic arts.
"The youth involved in AYV spotlight the issues they care about by creating original media - a process that fosters their passion to make a difference while providing them with the creative skills essential to success."