Last Wednesday, we hosted a very special opportunity here at the KYC; singer/songwriter Emma Jedow, visited our afterschool program to share her music and message. Sixteen-year-old Jedow from New Boston, NH, has appeared on New Hampshire Idol, WMUR Channel Nine News, various radio segments, and in her original YouTube music video which recently passed 100,000 views!
Like many teens, Jedow has been a victim of cyberbullying. For Jedow, music became the outlet that let her overcome these challenges. Her original song, The Death of a Taylor Swift Wannabe, explores the realities of cyber-bullying. Emma now uses her talents and experiences to help teens understand and overcome the impacts of cyber-bullying. She volunteers her time and talents to speak to teens about these realities.
After Emma introduced herself and three supporting family members to the KYC’s audience, the staff queued up Jedow’s video on the Center’s smart TV. Jedow explained the meaning of her original lyrics and how her experiences inspired her writing. KYC participants posed questions to Jedow such as, “what inspired you to get into music,” and “what advice do you have for teens experiencing cyberbullying?” Jedow advised KYC participants that victims of cyber-bullying should speak up, strive to find a positive outlet, and realize that they are not alone, they have people who care about them, and that the bullying will stop. The final line of her music video has become the mantra behind Jedow’s efforts: “all cures begin with love.”
The KYC is very grateful for Emma’s music and message. The Death of a Taylor Swift Wannabe has been incorporated into the KYC’s after school programs, BTAS! programs, and individual mentoring services. We’ve spent time looking at how peer-to-peer interactions today differ from those that existed a decade or two ago. We’ve also looked at the juxtaposition between the events shown in Emma’s video and Emma’s real life experience. Both stories start the same, with a teen experiencing cyber-bullying. However, while Emma tells the story of a fictional victim facing the worst-case senario, taking her own life, Emma’s real life example is one of hope and inspiration. Through her music and message, Emma has inspired many young people in New Hampshire and beyond.
The Kingswood Youth Center is proud to have exposed local teens to Jedow’s work, which demonstrates how young people have a voice and can use it in profound ways. More information about Jedow can be found at emmajedow.com or on Instagram @emmajedow