I interviewed Juan from ZUMIX, who is a senior attending East Boston High School. Juan has been at ZUMIX for the past couple years, during which he has been in several of the youth programs: Voces, Rock Ed, and Radio. Each of the programs has added to his knowledge of music and sound production; Voces was focused on singing and Rock Ed involved learning the electric bass as part of a rock ensemble. Radio, which he is currently in, has taught Juan how to use editing software to create polished radio segments for broadcasting on ZUMIX’s 94.9 FM channel.
As part of Radio, Juan and the other students in the class have been conducting interviews of East Boston residents affected by gentrification. Juan had been unaware of the magnitude of the problem before Radio; interviewing residents who have been summarily and unlawfully evicted by landlords has given him immediate insight on the circumstances of those around him, especially fellow students at East Boston High School. Juan plans to continue to conduct interviews as part of his work in the Radio program, and hopes to both learn more about gentrification and to spread awareness on how it is harming his neighborhood.
When asked to sum up his experiences at ZUMIX, Juan simply exclaimed “I love it!” He attributes this response to the people there, especially the teachers of the programs that he’s been in. After Juan graduates this year, he will continue to use the skills that he’s learned at ZUMIX, first at his anticipated job as a receptionist, and eventually at his dream career as a radio interviewer.