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Congratulations to the 2020 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest Finalists

The PbS Kids Got Talent Contest launched in 2015 to challenge the field to extend their commitment to treating all youths as one of our own. The PbS team is very grateful for all of the entries we received this year despite the many challenges and obstacles our communities are facing.

This year, we received a total of 30 entries. After careful consideration and a lot of video-watching, the internal PbS judging team selected 12 awesome performances as the finalists to send to the Kids Got Talent Contest Judge Panel. (PbS will not publish the youths’ names this year to respect and protect their privacy.)

• A solo cover of “Fade to Black” by Metallica from Bethel Youth Detention Facility, Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice
• Spoken words and an original song from Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
• A timely original rap called “Hold On COVID” from Circleville Juvenile Correction Facility, Ohio Department of Youth Services
• A solo cover of The Amity Affliction’s “All Messed Up” from Copper Lake School, Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections
• An important PSA on PREA by a group from Ferris School, Delaware Youth Rehabilitative Services Division
• A band performance and a solo drum performance from Lincoln Hills School, Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections
• A solo cover of “Quién Te Entiende,” an original piano piece and a solo cover of “Mi Niña Traviesa” from Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Center – Durango, Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department
• A video production cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” from Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Oregon Youth Authority

Congratulations to the finalists and all performers. Performing takes not only talent but confidence and commitment and they all rocked! Stay tuned for spotlights on each of the performances over the coming weeks.

Thank you to all the facility staff and agency directors who supported the youths throughout this process. We appreciate your encouragement and dedication.

A big thank you also to our judges:

• Jozy Bernadette, musician, former contestant on The Voice
• Katie Dodds, Communications Intern, Coalition for Juvenile Justice
• Patrick Griffin, Senior Program Officer, Criminal Justice, MacArthur Foundation
• Chyrl Jones, Deputy Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
• Mary Ann Scali, Executive Director, National Juvenile Defender Center
• Marc Schindler, Executive Director, Justice Policy Institute

About the author



PbS measures and monitors facility practices by collecting and reporting data from administrative records and survey responses from youths, staff and families to provide a holistic picture of the conditions and quality of life in residential facilities, highlights the practices that are effective in promoting youths’ healthy maturation and identifies those that are not. PbS data is reported every April and October.  PbS trains staff to use the information to change practices and support reforms implementing the adolescent development approach.

PbS has been a partner in assisting this facility to become a dynamic work environment that is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo.