Ideas Sunday – School of One; Boomerang Champ; Michelangelo Exhibition

Ideas Sunday – School of One; Boomerang Champ; Michelangelo Exhibition


(upbeat music) – [Rick] Welcome to Ideas Sunday. It’s October 13, 2019. (tense music) A slave’s eye view of escape from the antebellum
South is on display here, but for realism you’ll be
seeing the road to freedom the way those travelers saw it. – You can really sense that
kind of fear of the unknown. The fear of being detected. So it’s really powerful. – [Rick] A Cleveland school transforms some of the lowest performing
students into learners by giving them a new
view from surface level. – They’ve been given a
confidence to do something that I don’t think any of them ever thought they would be doing. – [Mike] And I couldn’t remember how to throw one of these things, but eventually it came back to me. We meet a champion of the
art and sport of boomerang. – We throw and catch all over the world, and I’ve been throwing since,
since I was born, really. I’ve been throwing from
a very, very young age. – [Rick] Idea Sunday is next. – [Announcer] Brought to you by Westfield. Offering insurance to
protect what’s yours, grow your business, and
achieve your dreams. (upbeat music) – Good morning, and
welcome to Idea Sunday. I’m Rick Jackson. We begin this morning in school, but not the way you may remember it. After all, you may have
long-held perceptions about what goes on in an
inner city high school. Those could be based on
past history, on innuendo, on someone’s retelling of
a decades old circumstance. For those without reason to
journey inside, know this. Things have changed. Among the improvements is
a series of small schools that cater to specific
kids with specific needs. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District calls them Schools of One. We went to the Flats to check out one of the
newest Schools of One in a most unexpected setting. – All right, even one foot up and out. Hold your oars. – [Rick] Make no mistake, this
is not the crew from Harvard, a collegiate powerhouse, rowing Boston’s famed Charles River. Nor are they the team from Penn, skillfully navigating the
Schuylkill through Philadelphia. – Lean away. – [Instructor] We need to shove and shove. There you go, nice job guys. – [Rick] Newbies at rowing
Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, these students are enrolled at the School of One at the Foundry, one of the very smallest
educational institutions operated by the Cleveland
Metropolitan School District. As you can immediately
determine by its location, it’s far from a traditional
high school arrangement. – Some kids are just used to
more of a traditional school and everything that entails. Here they really have to be active. They’re moving, they’re doing things whether it be work component, whether it be rowing, whether it be their academics. So they’re transitioning
throughout the day. All of this aids to their personal growth and their self-confidence, which is great, but it’s also not for everybody. – [Rick] CMSD Master Teacher Melanie Lynch instructs this assortment of
students from across the city. Kids who in some cases
were all but abandoned, their hopes nearly discarded by a system generally too large to
cater to an individual. – You need 22 credits to graduate. You need–
– And I have 23 (murmurs). – Listen, listen, you need the right 22. You need English 4 and you need Algebra 2. That’s part of the 22. – [Rick] Schools of One are
described by System Leadership as “designed to meet the needs of gifted, “talented, and undecided students “needing a more personalized environment.” This group most decidedly
fits that final category, not just undecided, but
likely closer to last chance than almost any other
students in Cleveland. – The year before, collectively
where all of those students were in school, they were
absent a total of 469 days. That was 79% of the school year. – [Rick] But offered a chance to apply for this particular school, and a chance to each
learn at their own pace with access to technical and personal assistance
previously unavailable, Foundry Executive
Director Peter Anagnostos says they’ve become simply students. – Perfect attendance 198 out of 202 days of the school year. And that’s an extended school year. And these kids have to get up
at five o’clock in the morning to get here. – [Rick] Not that it was a
smooth or, by any stretch, a simple transition. – The first time we learned about it, I was like, so against it. I didn’t want to get on the water. I didn’t like the l–
I didn’t like the lake. I didn’t like none of it. And so, like, when they first got me on, it was like life changing, because it’s like you seeing
Cleveland at a different angle cause you only can see Cleveland, if you on land, you only can see it, you limited to certain spaces. But in water it’s like, it’s a better view of it. And so like that made me more aware to want to get on the water
to see different views of it. – [Rick] Not just different
views of Cleveland. This new school offered Jalen
different views on life, on education, and on his future. – [Instructor] Twenty strokes. Ready to row. And row. – [Rick] Even among the Schools of One, which vary in topic and
focus across the system, this version is unique. Not just because classes are
held in the historic building converted to house the Foundry, Cleveland’s Rowing and Sailing Center, but because the young
men and young women here are also given the opportunity
to hold down guaranteed jobs, putting real cash in
their pockets every week while contributing to
a Cleveland business. Second year students Jalen
Baldwin and Marcus Bell have been here since the Foundry joined the program last year. They are among students
who travel to Old Brooklyn after their school day is done. The global data protection company, MCPC, hires School of One students
to deconstruct laptop computers to sort and categorize old technology, much of it for recycling. And the jobs will be here for them when they graduate as well. – This was not easy
when I first came here, so I had to really get on it and stick to the grind to get it. So I think it teaches
you also responsibility, cause you cannot mess up. If you do, it’ll cost the company money and it might, you know, cost you your job, so you have to make sure that
you stay focused doing it and get the process. It’s also a fun process. – [Rick] They aren’t considered
interns or student workers. They went through every
process any employee would, background and security
checks, the whole bit, because what happens here involves data that must be protected. Parts of the operation
we can’t even show you. In another part of the building, School of One senior Izraa Rosa was working, unsupervised,
deconstructing machinery that once held medical secrets. – That is all left up to you, and it’s an adult thing. You need to take that upon yourself and be responsible for that and when you slip up,
don’t make any excuses. Take accountability, so
these are things I’ve learned just from being a part of this
entire school and program. – [Rick] No, they don’t sound like people that many would give up on. Not as they’re tossing around
words like accountability, encouragement, and most
importantly, trust. – For most of them, trust
is not a positive thing. They’ve been burned by people that they’ve trusted in the past. They’ve learned trust
doesn’t get them anywhere. Being street savvy and maybe
being a little hustler, that gets them somewhere. But trusting people and
listening to people, those types of skills don’t
necessarily translate well in their world. So I think the biggest obstacle is that, first and foremost, they
have to learn to trust. They have to learn to trust this space. They have to learn to trust each other. They have to learn to trust me. And once that begins,
then a lot of other stuff just kind of falls by the wayside. And then the person, whoever they may be, starts to come through,
and that’s what we want. – [Rick] That’s reflected
on the water as well where teamwork is tantamount,
and that trust is everything. – We have to build a trust
with each other first before we get on the water, because without trust we can’t go anywhere and you might flip, have to swim to shore. So that’s very important. – They, they do feel safe here. That’s a big factor. They’ve been given a
confidence to do something that I don’t think any of them ever thought they would be doing, and that concept of team,
it happens on the water too. All of those differences,
be I from the east side, the west side, from the
city, from the country, black, white, Christian,
Jewish, it all goes away. – [Rick] That diversity
shows as well when kids from the inner city, white or black, and more well to do
youth are on the water, or in the workout rooms, together. The Foundry engages about 5,500 middle and high school students a year, 70% of those from the city of Cleveland. And leadership would like to
expand the School of One here. It will take as much cash
as it will dedication. But the proof of success
is sitting in those boats five days a week. – I am proud of myself. I think anybody who’s seen my growth from last school year to this school year would say that they’re
proud of me as well. I’ve made a lot of positive changes, but a lot of them are mental. I think the biggest, the
hardest part about School of One is that you have to work
on self discipline a lot. That is the number one
thing, like word, phrase, sentence I can use to describe what the number one key you need there is, is self discipline. – You haven’t passed your swim test. You meet them where they are academically, and socially and emotionally. And that’s why I think
it’s very successful, and that’s why the
School of One as a whole is very successful. – Going to a inner city
school, people that go there don’t really have an outreach like that. They don’t know any other
sports besides football, basketball, things like that. So when they heard about
rowing, they were like, “What is that?” And you have to explain it to ’em, and I think if they looked into it, and see how much fun it is,
they’d get why it’s a sport. And I feel like given a
chance, they’d enjoy it. (slow music) – Those kids are certainly winners, but neither the Calves,
Indians, nor Browns brought a championship
to Cleveland this year. But Logan Broadbent did. In August, the Clevelander took home the individual national championship in the sport of boomerang. Yes, boomerang is a sport. As ideastream’s Mike McIntyre discovered when he visited Edgewater
Park with the champ, it’s not an easy one to master. (boomerang whizzes) (upbeat music) – [Mike] Logan Broadbent
loves to play catch. You might see him at Edgewater Park or in some wide open space
in the Cleveland Metroparks, his right elbow tightly taped to protect his ulnar collateral ligament as he throws and catches for hours. But you won’t see anyone playing with him. His passion is a solitary pursuit. He’s both thrower and catcher. That’s the way boomerangs work. – Boomerangs, it’s a
relatively complicated sport. There are actually six individual
events that we compete in over the course of a tournament, and you have to specialize
in each of those events. So first, you have to
have the right equipment that really works well in every different type
of weather condition, and then you really need
to know how to use it. So it takes years to, you know, to learn your boomerangs, to
learn the different skills and catches and events. But eventually you kind of, you know, you start to develop,
you know, that expertise and you start winning. – [Mike] Winning is something
the 31 year old Clevelander knows a lot about. He’s the reigning U.S. champion
of the sport of boomeranging winning the title in
Boise, Idaho in August after finishing second in
the previous two years. He’s also a member of the
reigning world champion United States boomerang team, and is its youngest member ever, having joined when he was just 14. He’s been on the national
team more than half his life. To become the best,
Broadbent worked to master the six events in
competitive boomeranging: accuracy, Aussie round which combines distance, accuracy, and catching, endurance, fast catch, maximum time aloft, and trick catch, in which a
competitor catches the boomerang in acrobatic ways, and sometimes throws
two boomerangs at once and catches them both in different ways. How did he get so good? First, genetics. Broadbent’s father, Lakewood
native and Canton resident Gary Broadbent, ranked number
one in the country in 1997. He got into the sport as a child and became a boomerang
evangelist in his teens. He still does presentations
about the history and physics of boomerangs for school kids. – It’s coming back. – [Interviewer] Not bad.
– Can’t get any better than that, right on the numbers.
– Right on target. Just like a pro. – Do you remember as a real
little kid, him just sort of, putting a boomerang in your
hand, and saying, “Throw it?” – Yeah, you know, he
said that the first time I threw and caught a
boomerang I was 18 months old, but I don’t know if that’s true. It was one of those little roomerangs that probably just landed on me. – [Mike] But DNA only gets you so far. Broadbent practices at
least three times a week and trains every day to
keep his body in top shape. He’s qualified for the
Boston Marathon eight times, and he’s a four time competitor in the American Ninja Warrior
television competition known nationally as the Boomerang Ninja. And those ninja skills come in handy when one of his boomerangs
gets caught in a tree. – Here we go. – [Mike] Broadbent often attracts
a crowd when he practices and he’s eager to teach newcomers how to become proficient at his craft. Even ones who aren’t initially eager to look like a fool doing something they’ve never tried before. Well I’m sure if I tried to
throw one of these things, it would probably go about 10
feet and fall to the ground. – You know, I think you’d be surprised. I think you may be able to
throw and catch one today. Do you want to give it a shot? – Actually, I, oh, I’m not dressed for it. I mean, as you can see.
– Of course you are. You’re dressed like this.
– I’m a journalist. I’m dressed in this way. What I would need would be like a shirt and a pair of shoes, and some shorts. – If only you had a pair of those. – Wow, I guess we’re– – Oh, you got everything you need. – Why don’t I go change, and
I’ll be back in a second. – All right, see you in a second. – [Mike] Let me just say, I have not been throwing a
boomerang since I was a toddler. In fact, I’d never thrown
a boomerang in my life. Broadbent was a patient teacher. You just throw it like a football, right? – Yeah, you throw it overhand,
very similar to a football. – Not a Frisbee. – Definitely not a Frisbee. Most people, a lot of people
think you throw it side arm, but boomerang’s not going
to come back that way. What I do, is I tend to bring this wing back toward my forearm. That’s what’s going to allow
you to get even more spin out of your throw. – [Mike] The throwing, it turns out, came pretty quickly. The catching was a bit trickier. A boomerang is not a
baseball or a football. Not even a Frisbee. It stopped. – [Logan] Oh, that was it. That was perfect. That was perfect. It was right there. That was so good. Oh man. Oh that was it, that was it. One more. Oh, that was perfect. That’s perfect. – [Mike] Eventually I got the hang of it, but I was a little leaguer next to a sure fire hall of famer. (cheers) A neophyte next to a legend. Long after I was done, Broadbent was still
adjusting his air foils, adding rubber bands for drag, throwing his boomerangs and making catches with his hands and
sometimes with his feet. He should have charged admission. When he finished, I climbed into my car, and he prepared for a long run. Because that’s what champions do. (upbeat music) – I do not trust McIntyre with that thing. The legendary Renaissance
artist Michelangelo likely never intended for
people to see his sketches, yet they provide a window into
how he created masterpieces. Up next, we head inside a new
exhibition of his drawings on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Here’s ideastream’s Carrie Wise. – [Carrie] Michelangelo was a painter, sculptor, and architect, and throughout his career,
he worked from sketches. – We get the sense from these drawings that he had everything
very well planned out before he started to paint. – [Carrie] Emily Peters
is one of the curators of Michelangelo: Mind of the Master. The exhibition features a couple dozen of Michelangelo’s drawings alongside replicas of
some of his masterpieces, including the ceiling of
the Sistine Chapel in Italy. – So on the back of this sheet, it’s just an array of different limbs and figures, and you can see that Michelangelo
would rotate the sheet. He was, you know, working
very swiftly probably, and thinking through some
of the different figures on the ceiling. This hand, right here, this arm, and this hand, those correspond to the very
famous scene on the ceiling of God creating Adam. And that is God’s hand,
which you can see here. – No pressure, you want to
get the hand of God right. – You want to get the hand of God right. He practiced it many times. – [Carrie] On the other side of the paper Michelangelo drew the figure
of a muscular male nude, and he worked out the
details of the body in motion down to the flexed toes. – Two of the drawings
for the Sistine Chapel that we have are for
figures called ignudi, which is an Italian word meaning nude man. These were very important
compositional elements in the Sistine Chapel, but they didn’t have any
narrative significance. Michelangelo used them
to kind of punctuate the narrative scenes in
the middle of the chapel. And his contemporaries
were completely astounded by these figures. – [Carrie] Michelangelo’s
focus on the human figure continues to influence art today. – He was working at a time when artists generally
did not study anatomy yet and also at a time when, though artists would
sketch from life models, they often didn’t sketch from nude models. Both of those things are really key, even to this day, to art education. – [Carrie] So which is this drawing here? – So this is one of two
drawing in the exhibition for a commission for a fresco
called the Battle of Cascina and it was his first big fresco commission for the city of Florence. It was a commission
that he never completed, however, what we do have are these wonderful preparatory drawings and it was a moment when
he’s bringing his vision of the heroic male nude to a wide public. – It’s such a muscular,
physical drawing and it, that he might look like he’s
about to race into battle, but it’s almost comical when
you see the whole picture. He’s not in battle yet. He’s racing from, from bath. – Right. (laughs) So Michelangelo’s concept for this fresco was that it was a great battle
between Florence and Pisa, but he was portraying the moment when the soldiers were called to battle and they were caught in the
river Arno taking a bath. So this really played to his strengths because he could focus
on the nude male figure and kind of the rushing aspect
of getting ready for battle. – These drawings have
never been seen together in the United States, and they once belonged to a queen. How did these get preserved over the years to now be on view today? – Well, it’s really interesting. There are not very many
drawings by Michelangelo that still exist, but we do know that this group of drawings
was in the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden. She was a very interesting woman who abdicated her throne
in the 17th century and moved to Rome, and she loved Italian art. And then throughout the centuries, those albums were sold
to various collectors. And in 1790 they were sold
to the Teylers Museum, which is a museum in
Haarlem in the Netherlands, and they’ve been in
that museum ever since, which is one of the reasons
they’re so well preserved today and are still together as a group. – He was using these
drawings 500 years ago as working tools. He never would have imagined probably that we’d be looking and
walking through an exhibition of his drawings. – That is true, in fact
he was quite secretive. He knew that other artists were very interested in his design ideas. He was famous even in his own day, and artists in particular
wanted to see his drawings, because it was in his drawings where he was showing
some of his invention. And so he actually came to burn large quantities of his
drawings during his life. We assume, based on the way he worked, that he must have made tens
of thousands of drawings during his long 88 years. However today, there are
only 600 drawings remaining. In 1517, he asked a servant specifically to burn his drawings from
the Sistine Chapel ceiling. So the ones we have today
are really precious, and you’re right, he
wouldn’t have expected them to be on view in an exhibition like this. – Was it standard for
artists to burn their work at this time? – Not at all, it was quite unusual and I think it goes back to perhaps the particular personality of the artist who was quite
guarded about his work and I think, with some justification, felt that others wanted to look
at and maybe take his ideas. (inspirational music) – I don’t think it would have mattered who was on the ballot. – It finally feels like
we’re getting traction on this issue. – Well, we’re trying to get the truth. So the public knows what’s happening. – The group seeking to collect signatures to put Ohio’s newly passed
energy bill on the ballot is turning to the courts for help. House Bill 6 creates surcharges that will support nuclear power plants. Critics call the law a nuclear bailout. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts filed a lawsuit last week
seeking an extension, asking more time to
gather signatures needed for the referendum. As it stands, the group
only has until October 21st to gather more than
265,000 valid signatures to have the issue placed on
the November 2020 ballot. We discussed this story during our weekly Reporters Roundtable including the claim by Ohioans
Against Corporate Bailouts that opponents are using
campaign records against them. – Yeah, there’s this lawsuit
that’s being heard right now in federal court, my
colleague Andy Chow is there, and the group Ohioans
Against Corporate Bailouts, who wants to overturn the bailout law, they want more time to do that. They have to have 266,000 signatures from all across Ohio filed by October 21st and that’s a really,
really short time frame. And they say the actions of these other dark money groups that have been involved who support the bailout, they say their actions have made it harder for them to gather the signatures. They’re talking about
Ohioans for Energy Security and Generation Now. These are two groups that have been running a video campaign, they’ve been having ads, they’ve had fliers,
you’ve probably seen them in your mailbox, that have
the Chinese flag on them, and things like that. And they’ve also been
sending out monitors, as they’re calling them, people who have been going
out trying to find people who are trying to gather signatures to overturn the bailout law, they’re also showing up
trying to persuade them not to sign. And their ad campaign right
now is specifically designed to get people not to sign those petitions. The whole thing is about stopping this law before October 21st. Ohioans Against Corporate
Bailouts want to stop the law, and the other side will tell you it’s because they are funded
by natural gas interests. The people who want the bailout, they don’t want to stop the law, because they say without that bailout, Ohio’s two nuclear power
plants will shut down. It’s all very complicated, and it’s really coming to a
climax here fairly quickly in terms of that October 21st deadline. And we potentially could find out today if that will be extended or not, but it seems really kind of unlikely that the court would decide
to extend that deadline beyond that date. – There’s a billion
dollars riding on this. That’s what’s going to show
up on your electric bill to subsidize the nuclear
plants and the coal plants. There’s also a rollback of
Ohio’s green energy standards, there are a lot of issues involved. But when you’re talking
about a billion dollars, the idea that you, that the
proponents of the bailout do not want this to be on the ballot. They don’t want the delay. They don’t want the risk of having voters look at
something called, you know, a bailout and saying no. So if they can stop it now, they will. They’re in court themselves to try to claim that this is a tax, and taxes cannot be
challenged by referendum, so you have that court action. But I think Karen’s right, courts have been really hesitant, federal courts especially, of stepping into issues of
how state elections are run and what the rules are. – Yeah. – Two quick points. The proponents of this bailout, which are attempting to discourage people from signing are running a campaign that’s
as sleazy a campaign, as an underhanded and misleading as we’ve seen in Ohio in a very long time. – And it’s unavoidable. It’s in your mailbox,
it’s on commercial radio, it’s on your TV. – It is disgusting, but they want to nip this in the bud now by spending X million dollars, because if it goes to the ballot, they will have to spend
ten times that much. That’s why they’re leaving no, you know, they’re trying to shut this down right now.
– As quickly as possible. – It saves money. – Karen, go ahead. – Yeah, you asked me a question that I didn’t quite answer there, and I want to go back to that. What Brent’s saying is
really interesting there in that the idea that
they’re trying to stop this before it goes forward because they’re going to
have to spend more money to fight it. That’s a question that I
think we’ll have to ask if indeed the law does get stopped and this does go to the ballot, because the owners of the, the owner of the two nuclear power plants, FirstEnergy Solutions, has
said without this bailout they would not be able
to continue to operate. So that’s a real question going forward, would there even be this
potential vote next year because will the power
plant shut down or not? FirstEnergy Solutions has
been saying over and over that they would shut them down. But back to your question
about the idea of these people who are gathering the
signatures, the circulators, they are, they have to sign a form that says their name, their
address, phone number, this sort of thing. And the Ohioans Against
Corporate Bailouts group, the anti-bailout group, they
say that that information about their petition gatherers,
their signature gatherers, is being used against them. That they say the other side
is now using that information and targeting the people who are trying to get those signatures, following them, at home, and running ad campaigns saying that there are some people with questionable backgrounds here who are gathering your
personal information. It is really an extraordinary campaign before it’s even gotten
to the ballot here, and part of the frustration,
especially for reporters, is that you really can’t
know exactly who’s involved. You can make some educated guesses on who might be funding one side, who might be funding the other side, but with all the dark
money that’s involved here nobody really knows, and the
only side that has to disclose is the people who are
gathering the signatures. They have to disclose 30 days after they file those petitions who actually funded their campaign. The other side, Ohioans
for Energy Security, Generation Now, and the other
groups that are involved, they don’t ever have to disclose because they’re under a different
section of the code there. – On the sleaziness end of it though, that, I mean, yes, we have seen wildly misleading ads show up in our mailboxes and be on our TV sets. That’s now new. What I think is incredible about this is to actually have hired blockers to follow these petitioners around to try to get people
not to sign petitions. One of those things that’s been regarded as a core issue of
democracy to get an issue on the ballot.
– It’s un-American. It’s almost un-Amer– it is. – It’s just not been
done like this before, and now there are allegations that they’re actually
hiring the petitioners away to get them not to pass petitions anymore. Give them a vacation or give
them a job, a make work job, just to keep people from being able to vote on this issue.
– And we have seen in a couple of cases some
physical confrontations. Karen, wrap this up for us. – And, and that, that, those blockers, those are, I refer to
the monitors earlier, those are the people that Generation Now has been sending those folks out. They claim that they’re
telling those people to be respectful, to just make
the case for the other side, but people who are
gathering the signatures say they’re being stalked,
they’re being harassed, they’re being crowded,
they’re being followed. And it is actually those
arguments that are being used in that federal court lawsuit
that’s being heard today. The Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts say those tactics are
making it harder for them to get those signatures
to get to the ballot, so that’s why they need more time. And it’s important to note here that these are paid signature gatherers, because when you’re talking
about 266,000 signatures in the span of about six weeks or so, that’s the kind of thing
that a volunteer effort just can’t do. So it’s a lot of money, all around here, and we’ll be waiting to
hear from the federal court on whether they extend that deadline. But it sure seems like that won’t happen. – And on tomorrow’s show, a conversation about how legacy companies
in northeast Ohio are embracing the digital future. Plus our arts and culture team introduces us to Dominique Morisseau, a playwright and Detroit native who will have plays produced on three different Cleveland
stages this season. (upbeat music) (birds chirping) (upbeat music) – You’re watching Ideas Sunday. I’m Rick Jackson. Thank you for spending part
of your morning with us. Still to come, a visual journey along the Underground Railroad. A new exhibit in Canton
looks to capture the sense of an escaped slave’s nighttime journey in pursuit of freedom. But first, about one third
of people with autism now seek post secondary education according to Autism
Speaks, an advocacy group. Many of these students
require special accommodations ranging from extra time in taking tests to help with making friends
or navigating the campus. It turns out that Kent State
University is a national leader in attracting students with
autism spectrum disorders and offering them the supports they need to achieve academic and social success. In fact, a Division I basketball recruit made headlines last
year when he chose Kent because of its efforts and programs aimed at students with
learning differences. In this encore of a piece we first shared earlier in the spring, ideastream’s Gabriel Kramer visited Kent to see what the university offers to non neurotypical students. ♪ I have often dreamed ♪ ♪ Of a far off place ♪ ♪ Where a great warm welcome ♪ ♪ Would be waiting for me ♪ – [Gabriel] Somehow, even with
her two majors and one minor, women’s chorus practice, and
her shift at the local mall, Kent State University
senior Jordan Worrell still finds time to jam with her friends. ♪ Where the crowds will cheer ♪ ♪ When the see my face ♪ ♪ And a voice keeps saying ♪ ♪ This is where I’m meant to be ♪ – [Gabriel] Not bad, right? But don’t take my word for it. Kristen Young and Monica
Millonig are her jam buddies. – Oh, my gosh. She is an amazing singer. I have never heard anyone quite like her that I’ve known personally. Ariana Grande, she matches
Ariana Grande perfectly. ♪ I wanna be in like all the time ♪ ♪ Ain’t got no tears left to cry ♪ – I love listening to
her singing Ariana Grande when she will do it for me. I’m like, “Wow, that’s my best friend. “Look at her go.” ♪ An angel cried ♪ ♪ An angel cried ♪ ♪ An angel cried ♪ – (claps) I love that. (vocalizes) – [Gabriel] Between her singing and her, let’s say, vocabulary– – Wanna get some tacos? – Shook. – Geez, girl, what? (laughs) – [Gabriel] You probably
would not have guessed. – So I have moderate to severe autism. It’s kind of hard to explain,
because it is a spectrum. – When she told me, I was like, “Are you serious?” Like, it took me a second to
really, like, comprehend that. Like, I would never have been able to tell unless she told me. – [Gabriel] Jordan was
diagnosed with autism when she was two. She went through occupational
therapy and physical therapy, and her singing is especially impressive considering her 10
years of speech therapy. – Would you say that you’re luckier than most people on the autism spectrum? – Absolutely, absolutely. Like, I am like beyond blessed. Like, I was told I shouldn’t
even be driving or singing. I’m so high functioning now because of how much intensive
therapy I’ve received that I have the capability to not always need that at all times. – [Gabriel] It is hard to notice,
but because of her autism, Jordan struggles with eye contact, picking up on sarcasm, and finding the appropriate
facial expressions. She understands what she struggles with, but she also knows to focus
on fixing those things. The years of therapy helped
Jordan become very self aware. – So right now what I’m doing is I’m feeling the texture of this brick, because it’s a sensory thing. People with autism are
really big on texture. All of your, like, senses
are like heightened. So everything in life just
is just so much brighter and, like, louder, and like,
more interesting to touch. – [Gabriel] When she
started at Kent State, Jordan wanted to live
like any other student. She did not want any extra help, but with one class, she reached her limit. – I was in a very
desperate time in my life, and I was like, “Man, I can’t
do this by myself anymore. “I really need some help.” – [Gabriel] Jordan received
help from Kent State’s Office of Student Accessibility
Services, SAS for short. SAS provides students with
disabilities extra academic help, often in the form of
extended time on tests, a private, quiet room to take those tests, almost anything to help
keep a student’s disability from getting in the way
of their schoolwork. – I got exactly the perfect
amount of time I needed on every test. It was so helpful, and I even got directions read to me, which was extremely,
extremely helpful to me. – [Gabriel] Kent State’s
efforts to serve students with autism and other learning differences expanded a fair amount over
the past several years. A handful of programs turned into the Autism
Initiative for Research, Education, and Outreach. Hundreds of students,
volunteers, staff, and faculty take part in these programs aimed at promoting academic
and social success. The success of the autism
initiatives did not go unnoticed. Three different websites named Kent State one of the best colleges in the country for students with autism. Lisa Audet is the coordinator
of the University’s Autism Initiative for Research,
Education, and Outreach and she’s heavily involved in
the school’s autism resources. – The university is looking
to embrace diversity, to give everybody a sense of place as part of its mission. – [Gabriel] The university has a long list of autism resources for
students to get help. In addition to Student
Accessibility Services, the Autism Advocates Program
assigns a university faculty or staff member to a student with autism to provide support
throughout the school year. There are psychological services and a speech and hearing clinic. Kent State Autism Connections
is a Facebook group in an online community where
people on the autism spectrum, plus their family and friends, can go to comfortably to share information and ask each other questions. DisHUBility is a room
in the campus library where students with disabilities
can go for an escape. The modest resource
room has resource books, games, and sensory tools like these noise canceling headphones. – We can go into the
disHUBility room and relax, do homework, chill out,
talk to other people. – [Gabriel] Corey Ullom
is a disHUBility regular, but with weather like this, he went around campus to
take some photos instead. – There’s a beautiful tulip right there I want to get a picture of. – [Gabriel] Corey is a photography major. He is on the autism spectrum, and as his Ohio State
Football sweatshirt suggests, he’s a huge sports fan. At one point, Corey worked
as a sports photographer for Kent Wired, Kent State’s
student run news organization. (shutter clicks) – I think there’s a relationship between photography and autism, because it’s something that
you have to get used to of course, something that
takes time to develop. But you’ll get the hang of it. (shutter clicks) That’s a really good picture. – [Gabriel] Because of his autism, Corey struggles having conversations and interacting with other
people, especially strangers. – Every time I try to
go up to another person, I really get, like, very nervous. Something in my head just
doesn’t seem right, of course. Like I, my head’s trying
to say, of course, “Hey, you can’t talk to that
other person of course.” – [Gabriel] To help overcome this hurdle, Corey joined the
university’s PALS program. PALS stands for Partnering for Achievement
& Learning Success. In this voluntary program, a
student on the autism spectrum is paired with a neurotypical student. They become PALS. A neurotypical person is
someone without autism or any other neurological disorders. PALS brings people together. They meet a least once a
week during the semester. This week, Corey and his
PAL, Reilly Baughman, had lunch together. – If you could go anywhere in
the world, where would you go? – [Gabriel] The purpose
of PALS is to provide both students with a mentor, a companion, and a chance to learn about
each other’s experiences. – All expenses covered. Air fare, wherever you
stay, food, everything. – Hawaii. It’s been really beneficial to me. I’ve been learning how to
talk to other people more, how to, like, be able to keep the conversation going, learning how to, like, keep eye
contact with another person. – So meeting with Reilley, having lunch, and just having a regular conversation, that’s kind of like practice for you. – Yes, it really is. I really think it’s helping practicing with the interaction with other people. Yesterday, I celebrated
one of my dogs’ birthdays. – Oh, which one? – Baxter, he’s turned 13 years old. – Wow. – Yes. – [Gabriel] Corey’s PAL Reilley noticed his conversation skills improve since the time they met. – You can just see the difference from the beginning of the semester, both of us, you know, we
both change I believe. We both improve as people. – [Gabriel] The PALS program
was designed that way, for both students to benefit. – They are paired as equals. – [Gabriel] Lisa Audet
created the PALS program. She explained that people who do not really understand autism often impose many of the
barriers people with autism face. – It really was important to
me when I developed PALS that we not communicate this
less than impression of people with autism in hopes that the neurotypical population would begin to realize like, you know, I, I’m part of this problem that keeps those people
with autism oppressed. You know, we have individuals on the spectrum who are
obtaining their Ph.D.’s in things like neurobiology. Well, it’s really hard for me to sit across from somebody who’s getting a Ph.D. in neurobiology and say, “Yeah, well you’re
disabled, and I’m not.” – [Gabriel] Audet believes that to better serve students with autism, three things need to happen. Students should be provided with guided leadership opportunities, faculty and students need to be aware of the strengths and talents
of students with autism, but perhaps most importantly students with autism need a say in what these programs need. Audet actually thinks she
can probably learn the most from students who are
critical of the programs. – It’s not a top down approach where, like, I’m a
therapist and I know best, and so, you, person with autism, I’m gonna, you know, fix
everything that’s wrong with you and then maybe someday
you’ll be good to go. – [Gabriel] Alongside Audet, the university has another key developer of its autism resources. – Kent State’s better off to
have autistic students here, and we’re welcome to have them. – [Gabriel] Gina Campana
works in the university’s Division of Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion. She is involved with
many of these programs, but she was key in the creation of Autism Connections Kent which is run by students, for students to promote autism acceptance on campus. – Why is it so important that
there are a number of programs rather than one, or a couple? – Because if you know
one person with autism, you know one person with autism, so say this person here needs,
really needs that quiet room or the extended time to take tests, but they might not need
any of the other programs. Or there might be another person
that needs all the services but they get to pick and choose, you know, what they want and what’s
gonna work best for them. – [Gabriel] One of Campana’s biggest goals with these programs is for students to improve self advocacy, to do a better job looking
out for themselves. For example, Campana spoke
about a student on the spectrum who, as a freshman, needed to be reminded to schedule classes, or needed to be encouraged
to call professors for help. As a senior, he took care
of all that on his own. – I definitely know
that I’m way more mature and I can definitely communicate with professors and
other authority figures much better than I used to. – [Gabriel] Campana knows
this student petty well. He is her son. – I think she’s doing a great job. It definitely shows how hard she tries. I definitely feel bad
for the people out there that kind of have parents
that don’t really understand. – [Gabriel] As she
developed these programs, Gina bounced ideas off Tristan. He said it was as if he
could beta test the programs for his mom, which is a fitting
way for Tristan to put it, since he worked IT at
the university library and majored in digital sciences. Now, he is a graduate of
Kent State University. – To see him get here,
it is just so exciting. You know, people said, “Oh,
he can’t go to college. “He’s gonna drop out.” Well, guess what? He showed them. Yeah, he’s graduating. – [Gabriel] Students
like Tristan and Corey learned about these programs quickly and got involved right away, but other students like Jordan are unaware of most of these programs. Jordan found help with Student
Accessibility Services, but that is the only
lifeline she knew about. And now that she’s learned
about the many other programs, she not only wants to get involved, she wants to help spread the word. – Student on the autism
spectrum are highly intelligent, and they look at the world beautifully. ♪ Their gnashing teeth
and criminal tongues ♪ ♪ Conspire against the odds ♪ ♪ But they haven’t seen
the best of us yet ♪ ♪ If you love me let me go ♪ – If we don’t begin to
look at them as equals, they won’t be able to contribute in the way that they should
be able to contribute. ♪ ‘Cause these words are
knives that often leave scars ♪ ♪ The fear of falling apart ♪ ♪ Truth be told I never was yours ♪ ♪ The fear, the fear of falling apart ♪ – People need to see people with autism prevailing and thriving and succeeding, and it’s so drastically important. ♪ ‘Cause these words are
knives that often leave scars ♪ ♪ The fear of falling apart ♪ ♪ Truth be told I never was yours ♪ ♪ The fear, the fear of falling apart ♪ – Navigating the Underground Railroad through a labyrinth of secret signs, obscure landmarks, and hidden markers in search of freedom was
an unimaginable hardship. Most slaves traveled late
at night to avoid capture. Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales
offers people an idea what it might have been like in an exhibit currently on view with the Canton Museum of Art. Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad shares images taken at night along some of the routes
traveled by men and women who ventured north for better lives. For more, ideastream’s Dan Polletta sat down with Christy Davis,
Curator of Exhibitions at the Canton Museum of Art. – She’s trying to give you the perspective of the freedom seekers
and what they experienced. I mean, they had to travel at night. It was the safest time to travel, safe being the operative word there, but it shows you what they were seeing. So, you know, there wasn’t
light pollution from the cities or any of those things, and so
these are really dark images, because that’s how it would have looked. And if you think of the South, and all of the creatures and
animals that come into that, and just, yeah, that
unknown of everything, I mean, it’s, yeah, it’s an
intimidating thought, yeah. – She could have told this story from any number of different perspectives. For example, she could have told it from a station master, or conductor. Instead, she decided to
tell it through the slaves who are escaping for freedom. Why did she decide to tell that story from this particular perspective? – Most of these freedom
seekers, the slaves, they weren’t getting that
much aid along the way, especially in the deep South. There are very few accounts
of slaves from the deep South making it to Canada. There were some, but not near as many as, you know, from the Kentucky
border, things like that. And many times, they were on their own, so when they were standing in these places that you see in the photographs, they were by themselves. And there were station masters, there were station houses, but they were few and far between, so it was really a lot
of times a solo trip. – So how does documenting this story of the Underground
Railroad through pictures enable her to tell us a different story than what we would read in texts? – She portrays it in a
first person narrative, first person perspective,
where you really, in looking at the images,
you are getting the sense that you are standing
where that person stood especially with the large format images it’s easier to put yourself in that place. You can really sense that
kind of fear of the unknown in some of these photos with, you know, you’re walking into a swamp,
the nature in the swamp. The fear of being detected,
all of those things. So it’s really powerful. – [Dan] What prompted Jeanine
Michna-Bales’ interest in the story of the Underground Railroad? – Um, well, she really
has a vested interest in the relationship between history and its effect on now. The Underground Railroad
Project has really been, it was a 14 year project
she started in 2002. This was before the National
Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, and so she really focused on wanting to draw the comparisons
between history and now. – She spent a decade
researching these routes. How did she go about
determining where the spots were that she wanted to photograph, especially given that there’s
not much historical evidence of what slaves may have
taken in terms of routes, where they may have gone,
where they may have stopped. – There really isn’t,
because thee was such a risk in documenting that information, because if it was found, you
risked not only yourself, but also the people that you were aiding. And she chose like the 1840s, so everything that she photographed was operating as a station
house or could have been in that decade, and she kept everything, each image goes about 20 miles
apart from each other, so, history stories say that fugitive
slaves were escaping fr– or freedom seekers, were escaping and going 20
miles per night on their journey so she tried to keep that much distance between each image that she shot. – [Dan] One of the most
haunting photos, I think, is Decision to Leave. What do we see in this picture? – So that is actually a picture of slave quarters at the
Magnolia Plantation in Louisiana that still stands as a
National Park Service Site and, to my understanding, often the slaves would consider leaving, maybe go the next town
over for a day or two, but then come back. So what you see in that image is really that last glance back to what they’ve known as their home and, before they decide to leave that, to try for a better life. – [Dan] There seems to be
almost a look over your shoulder kind of–
– [Christy] Yeah it really is. – [Dan] The photo seems to
communicate to me anyway, like, should I go, should I not go. – Exactly, the risk of
staying versus the hope of what could be. – In terms of the way she frames her shot, is it fair to say that Michna-Bales seems to point us toward freedom, but it’s still elusive, like you feel it over the edge, but– – Yeah, in the later, towards the end of the
series, the shots of Canada, where you see sunrise,
you’re still seeing Canada across the water. You’re not on Canadian soil quite yet, so it is really, it’s, it’s at least within
reach, you can see it. (somber music) – Up next, when designer Luchis Royster disassembled a $3,000 handbag at a shop in Laguna Beach,
California 12 years ago, he knew he could create
a higher quality purse. Today, his passion is
going strong in Cleveland. In this installment of Making
It, ideastream’s series highlighting northeast Ohio entrepreneurs, we discovered the art of handbag design. – Well, it’s a little bit classic, and a little bit bohemian, and a little bit fashion forward. I kind of mix them all up. (upbeat music) – Hello, my name is Luchis Royster, and I am a leathersmith and designer. And my mother was a seamstress, and I wanted to make a shirt. And she said, “You can do it.” So I said, “I’ll try.” I made my first garment
on this machine right here and I was in love with this ever since. I make almost anything, men’s
suits, women’s suits, dresses, I never took a class in bag making, I just studied bags, you know? Cause I had a shop in Laguna Beach, and one of my customers,
she brought in $3,000 bag. She says, “Lu, can you fix my bag?” I took that bag apart, I’m going, “$3,000? “I could do better than this.” That night I made up
my first bag. (laughs) And I started going to the Goodwill, buying bags and taking them apart, and checking ’em out, and then after I got it down, I just started making my own patterns. I watch, I look and see, you know, what women are doing. I once scared the hell out of a lady, and, and I kept staring at her bag. And she noticed me, and I ended up saying, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I make bags, “and that’s a very interesting bag.” First thing I do, I get an idea. I start thinking how I would make the bag. Then, I start making a pattern. This purse we’re working
on, this is that pattern, and this is the strap. That’s the main body right there. Okay, so what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna set this zipper. It goes on like this. That down. Now what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna go over to that
sewing machine over there. Okay, that foot right there is lined right up with the edge of this, so it’ll be a good straight stitch. There we have a pocket, so the lady could put all of
her husband’s money in there. This purse right here I’ve done
I don’t know how many times. It’s a hot purse. It sells a lot. I’ve been doing this purse
for about seven years. Great thing that you can
do something that you love and get paid for it, but I do realize one
of the biggest rewards that I get in this, when my customer says, “Oh, I love that,” you know? Okay, so I’m sewing this
flap onto the lining. I didn’t take this
serious for a long time. You know, it was jut something
that I loved to do, you know? But I’m serious now. I really want to get my bags out there, I mean, I want everyone
to know and carry my bags. So my goal is to really, really focus on marketing my product. Now what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna put that zipper in. This is the lining. It’s a really soft suede. Okay, there’s the strap. (upbeat music) That’s that. We have a bag. I get up every morning just
as excited about this business as I was when I was 13. I still want to go see what happens today, what I can create, you know? – I know where I’m shopping for Christmas. That’s going to do it for us this morning. The State of Ohio with
Karen Kasler is up next. Thank you so much for watching. I’m Rick Jackson. (upbeat music) – [Announcer] Brought to you by Westfield. Offering insurance to
protect what’s yours, grow your business, and
achieve your dreams.

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