A graduating high school student from Midland, Ont. has won a $5,000 university scholarship through the “Your Voice is Power” music remix competition.
Amazon teamed up with YELLOW, the education equity nonprofit founded by Pharrell Williams, and the Georgia Institute of Technology to launch the program.
The comp encouraged students to examine racial equity through music, all while learning to code. Williams made sure to share the exciting news and congratulate the lucky winners in a sweet clip.
Jasmine Jenkinson, 18, was selected as one of five winners in the competition, with students being challenged to use computer coding skills to remix Williams’ hit song “Entrepreneur” using Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, EarSketch.
Jenkinson’s entry was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and her reaction to the social injustices experienced by George Floyd and the Black community.
Her entry included audio clips from news broadcasts of Black Lives Matter protests, with her choosing to create a melody and record herself singing Williams’ lyrics “to show that her own voice has power, and that anyone can use their voice to make a positive difference in the world,” an Amazon press release confirmed.
Jenkinson is preparing to study Theatre and Drama Studies at the University of Toronto in the fall, and “plans to use her passion for the arts to help spread messages of racial inequality and hope for a better future.”
Winners were “chosen based on the quality of music, complexity and organization of their code, and their inclusion of thoughtful messaging and calls to action about the importance of racial justice.” More than $35,000 was distributed in prizes and cash awards during the competition.
“We are so inspired by the teachers and students who participated in this program,” said Roxanne Moore, a senior research engineer at Georgia Tech and the partnership lead for the “Your Voice is Power” program. “The creativity exhibited in these remixes and their messaging is phenomenal.”