Alexandria, IN (Top40 Charts/ SAE Institute)
On Sunday, February 13, SAE Institute, the world's foremost audio engineering, animation, multimedia and film training institution, was pleased to provide Southern California inner-city high school student and aspiring music professional William Rhodes with VIP access to the music industry's most acclaimed event, the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.
The first national education sponsor of The Recording Academy's 2011 Professional Educational Initiatives, SAE provided Rhodes with an all-inclusive trip to the show where he rubbed elbows with the likes of Justin Bieber, Eminem, Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, Rihanna, Drake, Christina Aguilera and more. Rhodes was accompanied throughout the evening by noted SAE professor and past Grammy nominee, Frank "El Medico" Rodriguez.
The student recipient was discovered through SAE Institute's ongoing collaboration with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus; both organizations of which are linked by their dedication to education and the support of creating sustainable opportunities for underprivileged youth. Rhodes has proved to be a shining example of hard work and incredible talent, both as a member of the Kids Helping Kids program which teaches inner-city elementary kids how to play musical instruments; and a member of the school's jazz and marching bands. His inspiration is to one day be an engineer or producer.
"I am so grateful to SAE for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I never thought at the age I'd be breathing the same air as some of my idols including Dr. Dre and Eminem. Throughout my life, music has shaped me into a more disciplined and creative person. It has given me opportunities like this that most people won't get to have in their entire lives. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to mature as a person as much as I have. I hope my story of having won this experience inspires others to follow their creative passion and give back to the community like I have," commented Rhodes.
Frank "El Medico" Rodriguez, a hand chosen mentor from SAE Institute is the perfect role model for Rhodes, who was able to spend one on one time at a lunch with the industry legend to discuss his experience and insight. In addition to having been nominated for two Latin Grammy's and one American Grammy himself, Frank has worked with top tier musical talent such as Flo-Rida. As one of the best engineers in the field who has become know for his "golden touch" and hard work, he also boasts a long list of credentials including credits as the triple platinum producer for Daddy Yankee and Latin Grammy Award winner Juan Luis Guerra.
"SAE Institute is proud to give back to a worthy student who deserves to be a part of one of music's most honored traditions and celebrated nights," commented Marco Bettelli, President of SAE USA. "This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are thrilled Rhodes had a memorable, learning experience to carry with him as he continues his educational journey. We couldn't be more excited being the Recording Academy's first education partner, and we hope to continue this program for many years to come."
2011 will be a big year for SAE Institute and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus whose partnership will include initiatives with the Urban School Partnership, the Battle of the Bands, and the 2011 National Open House Tour.