A conversation with teen hip-hop artist Syretha Shirley
Following my interview with music producer Khao Cates, I thought it would be fun to ask Syretha Shirley a few questions about her experience making the music video “Time is Money” and why the Money Matters: Make It Count program and overall experience of being a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas have been so important to her.
SB: First of all, what was it like being named the winner of the Money Matters Music Mogul (M4) contest?
SS: Making the top 10 in the contest was a great feeling, and being voted a fan favorite by so many Boys & Girls Club teens was even better. Finally, when I got the news that I won, I couldn’t believe it!
To be able to professionally record my song with Khao and perform in the music video on top of that was unbelievable! I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity. But most important of all is the opportunity for me to share the message of the song with other people. If it can help make a difference for other people, that’s what’s most important to me.
SB: What inspired you to enter the M4 contest in the first place?
SS: I heard about it through my Boys & Girls Club and knew immediately that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to make a difference by doing what I love to do, which is writing poetry and music, while sharing what I’ve learned about money management through the Money Matters program.
SB: What was the most important thing you’d say you’ve learned through the Money Matters program?
SS: I learned a lot about personal finance. The biggest lesson I learned is the ability to distinguish between needs and wants. When it came down to writing my song, I was able to draw on things I had learned through the program and those were helpful to getting my message across.
SB: What was it like spending a couple of days in the studio with Khao and his team?
SS: Working with the team was great! I felt very comfortable, and the experience was exciting and fun. The studio felt like home.
SB: I understand you’ve been a Boys & Girls Club member for several years. What keeps you coming back to the Club every day?
SS: In my time at the Club I've made some wonderful connections with people who’ve helped me build my positivity and confidence. I keep coming back so I can inspire someone else to become better too!
The Money Matters: Make it Count financial education program was created in 2004 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Charles Schwab Foundation to help BGCA teens learn the nuts and bolts of personal finance. Since then, approximately 375,000 Club teens have completed the program in over 1,700 Clubs across the U.S. and on U.S. military bases worldwide. For additional information about the program, visit www.moneymattersmakeitcount.com/Pages/default.aspx
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