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Ace Spectrum is about you — the ACE Learning Centers.
It’s a quick sharing of ideas, inspiration, opinions and best practices among our continuing education organizations.

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KALW Audio Academy Fellows Find Their Superpowers

Posted by on May 28, 2019 in ACE Learning Center, ACE Partners, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW and Porfirio Rangel, Audio Academy Fellow

Our Audio Academy fellows have less than a month left before graduation, and they’re in heavy production on their final pieces. Here are a few that have recently aired:

The legend of Bigfoot is alive and well in the Santa Cruz Mountains – Lance Gardner

The Bay Area is a roadkill hotspot – Kevin McLean

What do you do when your favorite song has toxic lyrics? Play it on repeat – Magnolia McKay

That last one got picked up by the national public radio program Studio 360 — check it out! It was also in Slate — check that out too!

Another Audio Academy Fellow who’s been producing quite a lot of pieces has been Porfirio Rangel. And he recently had a very cool professional experience as well. Here he is to share that in his own words:

Porfirio wins the award for most AMAZING work outfit
PHOTO: Ben Trefny

During my stint at Audio Academy, I learned what my radio production strengths are. While brainstorming ideas for my first feature, my mentor, Eli Wirtschafter, asked what my interests were. Let’s just say answers ranged between comics and drag queens to happy hour drinks and fashion. Maybe not the answers he was expecting. After throwing around a lot of ideas, he introduced me to KALW’s “Bay Area Beats.” This segment involves interviewing Bay Area artists about their work, influences, and connection to the Bay Area. My involvement improved my skills in writing pitches, communicating & audio editing. Creating these brought me joy and won me some bragging rights. Now with the program nearly ending comes the million-dollar question: What’s next after Audio Academy?

Several colleagues at KALW encouraged me to apply for an audio editor/producer position for season 2 of “Adult ISH” at Youth Radio. It’s a podcast that features celebrity guests who give advice about adult-related topics such as dating, race, or self-care. This was something that sparked my interests, and with my experience at KALW my confidence level was at an all-time high. Like Valentina, I was totally living in my own fantasy.

Shortly after turning in my application, I got an email from YR’s senior producer Davey Kim saying he wanted to schedule a phone interview about my application. During the interview, he said he was impressed with my application and ideas for the show. He said I didn’t get the job but asked if I was interested in helping prep the hosts with guests. At first, I was a little disappointed I didn’t get the position, but I was more excited that he wanted me to still be involved and help out with the podcast.

My first taste of the action came when Davey sent me a list of possible episode themes for the season. I had to send in pitches of possible guests that would fit for the categories. This was so up my alley. Then, my first radio project outside of KALW came about. Davey asked me to help the hosts prepare for their interview with Shan Boody, a popular YouTuber and certified sexologist for their “Relationship ISH” episode. Davey gave me the rundown of what I would be doing and soon he put me in contact with the hosts, Merk & Nyge. Afterwards, I had a three-way call with the hosts to brainstorm questions and how to structure the conversation.

Finally, came the day of the interview on Friday, May 17. While on the BART ride to Youth Radio, I was communicating via email with Davey and hosts about last minute changes with the prep sheet. Everything, from when I first got asked to help to that moment, was happening so fast. I was a ball full of emotions. Of course, I was nervous and excited, but overall I was just happy to be a part of the team. I got there a little early for a tour of the studio. It was cool getting to see editors use Pro Tools, recorders lying around, and hearing terms like “tracking” being casually used, terms I’d become familiar with at KALW. Back to the interview, I met up with Davey & Nyge to have one last run through with the script. Then it’s showtime.

The experience was crazy in the best possible way. Because of my time in Audio Academy, I’m so used to doing things in a certain manner. So at YR when things got changed up a bit it took me off guard, but I surprised myself how quickly I adjusted to the situation. As we made our way to the studio I learned that this three-person interview was going to be done in a call. One of the hosts was in the station with us, the other was in New York, and the guest was in Los Angeles. At this point, I’m just sitting back and letting Davey get everyone connected and set up the Pro Tools session. Even though my part of preparation was done, I still wanted to learn. So I observed how Davey set up the interview from connecting all parties to creating the Pro Tools session.

WOW! What a journey. Even though my role with the production was small, it was a huge level up for my confidence. I felt like my ideas were being heard. It was great belonging to a team that actually asked my help. When I first got asked to assist I was thinking, “Do you really want me to help? I don’t have that much experience!” But, honestly, if there’s anything I’ve learned taking into this transition into the radio world is that you have to be your biggest support. You have to believe in yourself.

ACE Poetry Contest Winning Poets from Oakland International High School Describe Beauty, Protection and Dreams

Posted by on May 20, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Samosa, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, Oakland International High School

Poetry. Doesn’t have to rhyme. All the time.

The thing about poems
Is they can take time
To tell a story
With nary a rhyme.

So here are our winners
From Oakland so cool
Rhyming don’t count
Not from this school.

It’s telling our stories
The highs and the lows
Putting stories in poems
Just makes us grow.

Here are the winners from Oakland International High School. They’re purrfect.

First Place Prize:

Persecution People
By Kalkidan Woldetsadik

I left my home country
To be persecution person
To live in dark round
Having dark stress
My happiness left me
My sad life coming up
Who I’m gonna tell what I will to tell
Nobody didn’t listen to me to I be selfene
Living myself nobody not sharing me
Listen God mine pray
He listen my pray that’s all gone
A new day comes to my life
My sad life being away my happiness comes closely
When I entered to my country
I breathe again when I get freedom
My dream being open
Thank you Jesus to make my dream true

See Kalkidan recite her poem here:


Second Place Prize:

To Kill but to Protect
By Adriana Mejia

Your words make me wonder
If I am paying the prize
The sensation that what you are saying
Will later be said to me
Don’t worry, dear Father
Your words in my blood will disappear
I will carry them with sorrow
Of someone that my community wants to destroy
Now, I stand away from you
If those words I have to hear
I prefer to hear from someone else
But not you
Maybe now you won’t understand
But one day you might see
How your words will be tattooed on me
How I will be your armor
When karma decides the target
Is only you
You won’t realize now
I might never let you do so
But whenever I get to cry for the shame
Inside of me
Your words will be remembered
Such a stone, such sword
Controlled with the words that my people
Get day by day
Now, Father I stand close to them
Throw the stone near them
But pointing at this heart
That you made
Because if you kill me at this moment
The memory will always unbroken
Kill me to bring strength
Kill me, but not them.

Third Place Prize:

What is Beauty
By Akira Furaha

Beauty is retiring with no job, like every 12th grader who are always tired. Beauty is like the weird color wall just like Momo’s bed she described nervously. Beauty is like red buckets on heads like 11th graders with so much energy. Beauty is corny and cheesy just like this poem. Beauty is like the smell of lemonverbina which I don’t know how to spell. Beauty is like Mr. Paul’s beard soft, long, and old like Mr. Daniel who claims 2 be 2 old. Beauty is subjective no one knows how to describe it perfectly, but people know what it is. Beauty is like 何も or 没 nada, niente, khong congi and nothing in other languages. But what I know is that Beauty is beautiful.

Oxford Day Academy Winning Poets of ACE Poetry Contest Show Off Their Rhyme

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Thor, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot, Oxford Day Academy

We have epic Oxford Day Academy (ODA) ACE Poetry Contest winners with epic poems. Poems about the future. Poems about what it will take to be successful. For never being too young to feel the pain.

Let my ODA poets show off. Eeeepic!

1st Prize Winner – Chyanne Robinson
2nd Prize Winner – Damian Montesinos
3rd Prize Winner – Sarai Johnson
4th Prize Winner – Taniyah Arreguin


If I were a book
By Chyanne Robinson

If I were a book, I wouldn’t invite you in just yet
I fear that that if I let you in – you may hurt me in an instance

If I were a book, my main character would struggle with trusting people, because people started breaking her trust at an early age

If I were a book, I would fear that if I were to trust you, you would simply walk out of my life, so instead, I keep the pages closed

If I were a book, I would tell you about family separation, about a mother leaving her family, and her children not knowing why.

If I were a book, I would tell you about my older sister having to surrender her childhood, because she had to take care of me

If I were a book, I would empathize with someone who may feel alone and worthless – because I KNOW what that feels like

If I were a book, I would tell you about feeling alone, about a cloudy mindset making it impossible to think straight as dark thoughts build up

If I were a book, I would struggle with capturing a happy memory, because it is elusive – disappearing before I can write it

If I were a book, I would tell you about multiple deaths and a child who blames herself for the death of her grandma, her uncle, her cousins
If I were a book, I would tell you about not wanting to go to school, not wanting to have friends, blocking myself from the world because being alone allowed me to hide my sadness

If I were a book, my tattered pages would resist being straightened – no I do not want to go to a shrink, no I am not going through a phase, no, I am not too young to feel this pain

If I were a book, I would tell you about being bullied because I did not look like the other girls, or because I chose to follow the rules

If I were a book, I would tell you about being bullied because I was Black and called ugly, or that my hair did not flow like white or Latina girls

If I were a book, I would fade away … like my depression.


I Am Equity
By Damian Montesinos

I am equity
I am Equity, I am Strong, I am Brave, I am Powerful.
I am fair and value others opinion.
I stand for myself and give all I have.
I stand up to violence and speak my mind even when i’m wrong.
I give voice to the voiceless and give my admiration to others.


I Used To Think…
By Sarai Johnson

I used to think that procrastination was limitation,

…but It was my adaptation.

I used to think teachers used condescension to get my attention

…but it just turned me away and caused me to retaliate – but I won’t let that stop me from being great.

I used to care too much about people’s thoughts,

that caused me to refrain from getting taught.




I am Equity
By Taniyah Arreguin

I am equity. I am willing to work in a team.
I am equity, I represent fairness.
I am equity, because Being equitable isn’t about giving everybody the same tools. It’s about
Giving everybody the tools they need to be successful.
I am equity. I choose to be successful in life.
I am equity. I am not meant to be a person who is controlled by someone else’s direction.
I am equity. I can be the change I want to see in the world.
I am equity. I am 16 years old I am a risk taker and mess maker
I am confident doer of exciting things
I’m not built for desk sitting
My brain craves action, I’m not as grown as people think, I still need to move and explore, don’t
rush my teenage hood.
I am equity, a creative student, curious, persistent, and independent with a spirit of adventure
And a love of joy.
I am equity, a teenage with a full-time job, called moving and adventure
Let me be persuaded by it, from my early years, until my old