It is our great pleasure to welcome you to our second annual International Youth Leadership Conference. The positive energy and feedback toward our first conference has served as a constant source of inspiration as we planned this year’s event.
In addition to the hundreds of students representing our nine high schools, it is our privilege to include dozens of 8th grade ESL students from across the district. Put together, all of our students represent approximately eighty different languages spoken within Portland Public Schools.
We hope that everyone here today will take advantage of this opportunity to learn and network with fellow students, educators and multilingual/multicultural leaders from the Greater Portland Metro area.
I wish to thank all of the speakers and presenters who are sharing their time today. Their commitment serves to strengthen the educational and leadership potential of our ESL students. I also wish to thank our IYLC High School Leadership Council, for adding the ESL student voice in the planning of this conference. We look forward to making that voice even stronger in future conferences.
On behalf of our planning committee, we welcome you all to the conference and wish you a wonderful day.
Fides Anna “Anna Banana Freeze”
In the summer of 1997, a culture-shocked, morosely unhappy 14-year-old Fides “Anna” Mabanta moved from California’s Bay Area toEverett, Washington. She found it extremely difficult to adjust to her new home and she struggled to fit in. She quickly realized that she missed the rich color and culture of the hip-hop music that she had taken for granted as a simple backdrop of her previous California life.
The mainstream hip-hop available in Everett was nothing like what she had listened to in the Bay. Somehow though, between cassettetape recordings of KCMU’s Rap Attack, a newlyacquired AOL account and her slightly awkward networking tactics, Fides Anna discovered DJing – as in scratching, SL-1200’s, famous Filipino DJ crews (what?!), #skratchdjs and MP3s.
Fides Anna was hooked – she found a niche. Her ‘thing.’
Finally, here was a community where she wasgenuinely welcome and able to connect with others through music. Along the way, Fides Anna met DJ EQ at her first high school dance, she also became friends with DJ Semaj, who guided/ further introduced her to the Pacific Northwest’s hip-hop scene. Fides Anna and her new group of friends would spend their weekends going to DJ battles, hip-hop shows and spend hours digging through dusty record bins.
It was in the spring of 1998, after school in the empty halls of Mariner High School, that Fides Anna caught her first glimpse of a b-girl dancing. This inspired Anna to try dancing herself. Once she did, Fides Anna discovered that she LOVED breaking like nothing else! She fell for the creativity, the emphasis on originality, and ooh, the raw energy and competitiveness! From the very beginning, she was down to battle anyone.
For the first time in her life (as she knew it,) Fides Anna felt a true passion for something. She practiced hard. She knew that she would keep getting better as long as she kept learning. She did not feel self-conscious because she danced to please herself. She continued to practice, continued to make her own moves and develop her style. She finally got a new pair of shoes and began improving her form… “Anna Banana Freeze” was born, the rest is history.
Fides Anna now spends her time balancing motherhood and performing as instructor/creator with Massive Monkees. She just recently created Mini BREAKS, an original hip-hop dance class program for toddlers and preschoolers. She is currently in the process of making a b-girl documentary and is excited to be getting back to her DJing roots. Fides Anna’s goal is to give back to the hip-hop community by sharing hip-hop with people of all ages and social backgrounds. She hopes that hip-hop can inspire others to find their own creative outlet and gain a similar sense of empowerment and self-awareness.