How the Arts Conservatory for Teens is using the arts as a catalyst to learning

Alex Harris
Alex Harris

Alex Harris seems to have figured out a winning formula for education success with the Arts Conservatory for Teens. The non-profit group he co-founded 11 years ago in a small storefront in South St. Pete has grown to include several locations in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. 

The conservatory provides before and after school programming that uses the arts to inspire students to achieve, with a special focus on underserved and underprivileged kids. 

ACT has  served more than 11,000 middle and high school students, achieving a 100 percent graduation rate and 90 percent college placement rate. The group has drawn support from corporate sponsors and foundations that see the approach as a way to fill in the missing pieces of a public school education. Graduates have gone on to study the arts in college and work professionally.

Alex is a role model for the students because he is also a successful recording and performing artist, who started singing professionally when he was 7 and has charted top 40 R&B tunes, with a new album scheduled to be released in January.

Hear the entire conversation by clicking the link below, going to the WaveMakers archives or by searching for WMNF WaveMakers wherever you listen to podcasts.


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