HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Math, science, history, homework, sports and motivational speaking. The back to school schedules for two local students are already full - but that isn't stopping them from adding another task to their calendars.
The two are using their youthful voices to make a change in the community - and under the bright studio lights, the Henrico County students feel right at home. 14-year-old Elijah Coles-Brown and 10-year-old Christian Bolar are already used to performing and speaking even on national stages, but now, they're ready for their next big gig.
This time, the 6th and 9th graders will mic up to anchor “Youthful Voices,” co-hosted a talk show on Comcast that will focus on youth issues. With the first week of school approaching this week, the two say their first show will be timely.
“Because it`ll be a week after school started. So we`ll talk about the pressures and the anxiety and how we can solve that,” said Coles-Brown. With widespread bullying in person and over the internet becoming a norm for students, Bolar, who will attend Elko Middle School, says he knows how tough things can get.
“Kids are pressured to be in certain groups, sit with people at lunch, wear certain clothes," Bolar said, "One thing I`d say is, be different. Don`t always want to be in a group. Be yourself."
His words are the kind of encouragement Coles-Brown and Bolar hope to share with young people all across the area, and they have plenty of experience in public speaking to start. Coles-Brown is already well known for his motivational speaking and his charismatic renditions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s works while Bolar recently finished recording a gospel single, 'Speak It,' to be released on September 28.
Both students say they’re thrilled about adding Youthful Voices to their list of accomplishments.
“A lot of times young people feel like they don`t have a platform or a voice to speak out about the issues affecting our community," Coles-Brown said, "This show will not only provide young people with a platform but it’ll educate adults that we do possess that intellect to solve these issues."
The students say they want both young people as well as adults to tune in to their show and share their opinions. Youthful Voices will debut on Tuesday, September 11 on Comcast Comcast Channel 95 and Verizon Channel 36 and run for five weeks.