The 5th annual Generation Now Fest goes virtual
Every year, our Community Schools program closes out the academic year with the Generation Now Festival, celebrating youth and volunteer educators and providing the opportunity for program participants to demonstrate, through competitions and forums, the skills they have acquired throughout the year.
In December 2020, due to COVID-19, our 5th annual GenNow Fest was held virtually region-wide through the En Casa con Glasswing platform. During the seven-day event, more than 3,000 youth from the region interacted live through conferences, workshops, cooking classes, and performances. They enjoyed interviews, led by youth volunteers, with Glasswing’s country directors and teachers who have been working on the ground during the pandemic. The event had a total reach of over 100,000 users.
Presenters included 21-year-old Franklin Mejias from Venezuela, a four-time Emmy Award winner who lost his limbs at the age of 12 and went on to become a motivational speaker, tri-athlete, and writer; four-time Emmy Award winner Mario Ramos from Honduras, who won his most recent Emmy with a film he produced during the pandemic; motivational speaker Ana Toledo from Guatemala, who spoke about transformational leadership; adapted CrossFit world champion Amalia Ortuño from Costa Rica, who lost partial mobility due a progressive degenerative disease in her hips; and Salvadoran YouTuber Little Viejo, who has more than nine years of experience creating audiovisual content and a following of over four million people.
The event included two webinars: “Corporate Social Responsibility During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” with Sue Bailey (Banistmo), Eva Frisman (3M) and Fiorella Amaya (TELUS International), and “Can Youth Change Their Realities?” with TECHO El Salvador Director Veronica Montes, Panamanian Educator Jose Jackson, Salvadoran entrepreneur and creator of Guanaco To English Diego Argueta, and Glasswing Guatemala volunteer Jasmin Sunay.
Workshop themes included Robotics, led by Walter Martinez, Honduran electrical engineer and professor at the University of California at Long Beach; Social Media, led by Oscar Solano, Regional Creative Director of Porter Novelli; Cell Phone Photography, led by renowned Panamanian photographer Zaeta Flow; “Calligraffiti” Art, led by Mexican artist Plak; Mental Health, led by Salvadoran organizations Fundacion Continua and Grow Up Project; and Entrepreneurship, led by Salvadoran organization Nawal and Guatemalan organization EmprendeKids.
Cooking classes were led by contemporary chefs in each country. Musical performances were enjoyed each night, with a grand culminating concert by artists from all over the region including Greeicy (Colombia), Caloncho (Mexico), Danny Marin (Guatemala), Sergio Vargas (Dominic Republic), Comando Tiburon (Panama), and more.
2020 challenged us to find new ways to connect with one another. We were so excited to offer this new GenNow Fest format to continue celebrating student success, even amidst an unprecedented year of change. We’re looking forward to GenNow 2021!