The guiding philosophy of Ingenium (also known as Haringey Stars) is that everyone has a unique talent and ability to change his or her life. Often, all it takes to ignite that talent is encouragement and a platform to exercise it. There is no greater satisfaction for our staff and constituents than witnessing this program realize its mission through the lives of the young people it serves.  Angel Jobson, a program graduate, described her experience.  Read to the end and watch Angel performing live first time.

What did you learn from the program at Haringey Stars?

By participating in the program, I have learnt how to collaborate and compromise as a musician, which is an important skill to have in the music industry. I have also learnt how to stay committed and determined. Coming to the sessions at 10 o’clock every Saturday morning requires a lot of commitment, particularly for teenagers who have homework/social gatherings to attend. There are moments, especially towards the end of the program, where it feels as though the performance will not be good enough or we will not be ready, but determination keeps us going and allows us to present the best possible showcase we can.

How did your life change as a result of participating in Haringey Stars program?

Since participating in the Haringey Stars program, my outlook on my musical career is a positive one. I have developed a confidence which follows me not only in a musical context, but into school and social life. Participating in the program has also given me a sense of community, and I feel as though I am part of a supportive family, which is Haringey Stars.

What would you say to the person who wanted to take part in the program?

  I would advise anyone who wants to take part in the program to start as soon as possible! It is an experience that not many people have and it will definitely leave you as a different person. Some of my friends who have already taken part tell me that Haringey Stars has improved their confidence and I can honestly see a significant difference in them. For example, when I first met a young boy, who had started the program, he was extremely shy and did not even want to perform. But by the final showcase he was energetic on stage and even dancing with the audience! However, in order for you to experience this self-development you must leave all of your worries and join in as best as you can. And most importantly – have fun!

What actions did you take as a result of attending Haringey Stars program?

After attending Haringey Stars, I began to take my musical life more seriously. This involved writing more songs, performing at more events and even collaborating with other artists/producers outside of the organisation. A significant action taken was the founding of a band called ‘Unrefined’. This band was an independent project which included members of Haringey Stars and resulted in a performance at a local venue. Additionally, I became involved with other aspects outside of the music. For instance, I designed a poster and leaflet for the showcase and sessions. As you can see, you don’t have to necessarily be a part of just the musical side, there are other routes you can take within the program.

What are your future aspirations?

In the future, after attending university, I aspire to be a musician; I would like to influence and inspire generations with my talent. I believe that music is a powerful form of communication within today’s society, not just because of the music itself, but because of the influence that musicians have on their fans/listeners.

 Why is an organisation like Haringey Stars important?

The community needs an organisation like Haringey Stars because it provides young people with a safe environment to express themselves. There are not many facilities for young people to do this, and many of the youth of today have nothing better to do than to go on the internet and so Haringey Stars gives them a sense of purpose. From my experience, the final showcase is the most rewarding thing as it makes you feel like a celebrity for the night. This is enough self-esteem to make you believe you can do anything, and that is exactly the message that young people need to believe in more.

What was the best thing coming to the music sessions on Saturday?

The best thing about the music sessions is exactly that – the music session! Being immersed in the world of music for two hours on a Saturday is wonderful for me as I enjoy music so much. It also makes me happy to see people develop as the weeks go on. In the near future, one of the best things for me would be to help other people to improve. Thanks to Haringey Stars, I am now of a good enough level to help new musicians develop their craft, which is equally rewarding.

Watch Angel performing live first time at Haringey Stars showcase.