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Kinetic Affect Shares Unique Poetic Message with YouthBuild

The two-man group Kinetic Affect shared their unique poetry and stories of personal struggles with YouthBuild Northwest students as part of a substance abuse prevention class. Watch the video to find out more.


Two presenters standing at front of roomA high energy, spoken word poetry performance probably isn't the type of thing most people would expect to see at a substance abuse prevention class. But that's exactly what YouthBuild Northwest students got to see when Gabriel Giron and Kirk Latimer, who perform together as Kinetic Affect, gave a presentation that blended their unique poetry with personal stories of substance abuse and other struggles.


"I started getting high and drinking when I was 13 and started selling drugs when I was 14," said Giron.


"When I was a young child I was very sensitive and I found ways to hide that behind drugs, " said Latimer.


Giron and Lattimer met when they were both competing nationally in a style of spoken word poetry called slam poetry. They combined their talents and started competing as a duo which earned them national attention including an appearance on America's Got Talent. Then they decided to start using their non-traditional way of performing to connect with people and make a difference in their lives.


Room of people setting at tables facing towards the center of the room with two presenters at the front of the room"We're here to give you a little bit of entertainment, maybe mention some things you already feel deep inside, and let you know that other people are out there feeling the same things," said Giron.


"All of us have our struggles," said Latimer. "The question is whether or not we can be vulnerable enough to put ourselves out there so other people can see that we're all flawed and that it is our flaws that can in fact make us stronger."


That message of growing stronger through personal struggles is something many of the YouthBuild students can relate to.


"They're talking about their problems and I've got problems too, so it makes me think what can I do to fix my problems," said David Smith, a YouthBuild student.


YouthBuild Northwest: a Northwest Michigan Works! Opportunity"To share their stories on what they've gone through and how tough it was—it gives us a point of view so we don't go through the exact same thing," said Stephanie Conway, a YouthBuild student.


Giron and Latimer know they can't keep young people from making mistakes, but they can help them understand what to do when life gets tough.


"Being able to get people to take that first step and say maybe I am struggling with something and now that I know it's okay to talk about it, I can seek my own help," said Giron.


Related Info:  YouthBuild Northwest


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