ONTV Studios partnering with Summer Youth Employment Program to expand presence in W-S

ONTV Studios partnering with Summer Youth Employment Program to expand presence in W-S
June 09
08:21 2022

A few weeks ago nearly 200 people gathered at Carl Russell Community Center to discuss solutions to the recent rise in violent crime with local leaders. Lack of things for young people to do and money were two things that continued to come up. California native Ray Gibson is looking to address those issues while connecting people throughout the city with the resources they need. 

In 2012, Gibson helped launch a program in Oakland, California, geared toward introducing web design to young people to help them explore tech-related careers. The program also provided opportunities for students to put their skills to use after the course, by connecting them with business owners and churches in the area in need of a website or building a social media presence. 

And with ONTV Studios, which includes a STEM Motorsports simulator, a record company (Vicewood Records), and a network of web designers, music and video producers, Gibson wants to take the model that was used in Oakland and bring it to Winston-Salem. 

Gibson said eventually he would like to see ONTV connect with the program in Oakland and other areas to create a network of opportunities for marginalized youth that extends across the country under one umbrella called the Urban Success Academy Collab. 

“We want to be able to have branches in other areas. So it makes sense to go back to the areas that I’m familiar with so that now we have more numbers,” Gibson said. “And since San Jose, Menlo Park, and Oakland are in the proximity of Silicon Valley, where those corporations feel like it’s their responsibility to support them.

“Here it should be these local corporations supporting local activities … but there has not been a strong enough effort on the ground to impress the corporations enough to want to step in.”

There have been some elected officials who have shown support for ONTV Studios and Gibson’s vision, including Rep. Amber Baker, who represents District 72 in the North Carolina General Assembly. 

Gibson said communication skills is one of the areas where low income communities are the weakest and ONTV is looking to change that. In addition to the Urban Success Academy Collab, Gibson said he wants ONTV Studios to be an “information hub,” a place where people can go and learn about resources available throughout the city and other important information. 

“We want to create an information hub. We want to gather and disseminate information in a cool format with the help from young people in the community,” Gibson said. 

This summer, ONTV Studios will also be participating in the Winston-Salem Urban League’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The Summer Youth Employment Program is an award-winning program that provides more than 100 teenagers leadership development, life skills training, and career and college exploration.

Teens from low- to moderate-income families gain real world work experience through internship placements based on their career track. The program is funded by the City of Winston-Salem.

The young people who choose ONTV Studios will have the opportunity to explore everything the studio has to offer, from helping finish songs in the studio and helping with the sound crew at concerts, to making websites and photography. 

“They’re going to learn how to do photography, videography, they’re going to learn how to edit, there’s going to be a lot of learning they’re going to be able to do,” said Roberto Martinez, who specializes in web design and videography.

“We want the kids that come through here to leave with a more modernized skill set.”

Martinez said once word gets out about ONTV Studios and everything they have to offer, he believes it won’t be long before it’s a household name throughout the city. 

“Once we get this collab out there, I think it’s going to get a lot of attention from the local corporations that are around here and hopefully they’ll be able to help us out because we’ll be able to take Winston-Salem to another level,” he said. 

For more information on ONTV Studios, visit 


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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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