• Cory Minkah Montalvo

Pilot @ The Confluence - Nike and Photography

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Thank you for stopping by to check out the highlights from our the pilot at The Confluence Center at McGlone Academy.


We launched with some motivation from an amazing guest. MikeCon - a brilliant photographer who recently signed with Nike - spoke on the photography industry, his hustle, and the power of the craft. "This here," MikeCon said as he held his favorite camera, "this is a tool that will take you places." He wasn't lying - MikeCon is preparing for a move to Germany, where he'll take on his new assignment for Nike.

We're extremely thankful for MikeCon taking the time to drop some knowledge and for sharing his background and passion with the students.

MikeCone speaking with students about the craft of photography.

Our YEBO cohort got a chance to learn more about each other by creating their own playlists and sharing what they vibed with in the songs and artists they selected. We had conversations about what makes a beat appealing as well as the difference between listening for entertainment and listening for consumption. The biggest surprise goes to an 8th grader who featured Anthony Hamilton on his playlist - stop saying the youth don't know quality music!

Students also had an opportunity to explore more deeply music production equipment, setting up vocal recording studios and making beats.

YEBO students learning how to set up microphones and recording devices.

Student Showcase

Please visit Soundcloud and follow the student-created and student-led podcast "The Voice of Montbello". Paul Clifton, co-founder of The Confluence and a YEBO partner, has been doing amazing work with his students to help them produce some powerful stories. Catch up on past episodes and stay tuned for more productions by visiting here.


  1. Students should have the opportunity to vet (in ways that are relevant and respectful) folks who are interested in joining or visiting their learning space. We (adults) usually come up with an idea for who would be a valuable guest for our students and then simply invite them to come speak. Instead, we should always include our students in the decision making process to ensure they more deeply understand who these people are, why we're wanting to include them in our space, and, most importantly, so students develop a sense of ownership over their learning environment. Ownership equals leadership, and we'll need to do better to include our students in these elements of our program so they can begin directing us on who and what they need to reach their goals.

  2. Be an example of vulnerability. Take time to talk about your fears, interests, curiosities, and outright ignorances. Dissonance is often created between students and their teachers due to a "know it all" mentality of adults. We're not the all-knowing. We don't have all (not even most) of the answers. So it's vital we remain humble and honest when talking about ourselves and about our relationship with the world. Be explicit in letting students know how you're feeling and why you're feeling that way, and try to tell a story or two from a time when you weren't so sure about the path you were on. As we did this, we noticed students were more willing to open up about themselves and empathize with differing perspectives.

  • Black SoundCloud Icon

©2018 by Youth Empowerment Broadcasting Organization (YEBO).