Big Picture Internships Work -- Project Propels Both Frankie Leigh to Top Ten and Student to Cinematography Career

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Unique partnership between student filmmaker and singer-songwriter helps both see Big Picture -- quality internships make strong, equipped workers. Both students and businesses benefit from focus on practical education.

Best Artist Finalist Frankie Leigh

Her smoothly raw voice wraps itself around this song like a warm blanket. She holds it tenderly and makes it her own.

Frankie Leigh's recent top ten place in StereoFame.com's best artist competition proves Big Picture's novel educational philosophy works. Big Picture schools use internships as a vital part of producing well-rounded kids richer for their exposure to experienced real world professionals. Frankie mentored aspiring cinematographer Graham Wheeler, a student at East Bay Met high school in Newport, Rhode Island, one of more than 111 schools incorporating the Big Picture philosophy of education. Wheeler's camera work and editing helped create Leigh's music video "One Would Think".

"It was not matter of working with some 15 year old child - I always had the sense of collaborating artist to artist. We shared creative visions in a highly professional manner and I'm extremely pleased with the results," Leigh said.

In November 2008, Frankie won a coveted top ten finalist slot in StereoFame.com's international Best Artist competition. Thousands of listeners praised her "amazing voice and soul-touching lyrics". As one reviewer wrote: "Her smoothly raw voice wraps itself around this song like a warm blanket. She holds it tenderly and makes it her own."

Students like Wheeler at East Bay Met School spend two days a week benefiting businesses or non-profits, gaining vital experience by working side by side with professionals. Internships cover a wide range of industries from artistic endeavors like glass blowing, documentary film making or collaborating with musicians such as Leigh, to practical pursuits in fields as diverse as SONAR engineering, architecture, diagnostic imaging, and marketing. The internships support Big Picture's two core philosophical underpinnings -- students learn best through a highly individualized curriculum that connects directly to their passionate interests, and students learn best when they are doing work in the real world. Students gain valuable experience while business tap in to a talented, low cost labor pool.

Mary Vieira, an advisor at the East Bay Met School, says the internships make the transformational changes in her students that are commonly seen at Big Picture schools.

"Frankie Leigh and Graham provide a perfect example of what we are looking for in a positive mentor-student relationship. Graham improved in his editing fluidity, finesse and project completion under Frankie's influence - and she got a high quality music video that has helped her gain exposure worldwide," says Vieira, an expert in alternative education, who received her Ed.M in school leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her BA in education philosophy and policy at Brown.

Big Picture schools - some of which are also Charter schools - have a lower drop out rate and higher college acceptance rate vs other public schools. Each school is committed to diversity, enrolling students from a range of ethnicities, sexual orientations and economic classes. Big Picture Schools produce socially aware, civically engaged pupils equipped to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Frankie says she looks forward to working with more students at the East Bay Met and Big Picture schools around the country. "I enjoy finding new talent and helping the kids hone it or groom for stage presence. I'm more than thrilled to help out wherever I can - mixing tracks in the school studio, vocal coaching, or appreciating their poetry / songwriting," she said.

To learn more or to volunteer at a Big Picture school, or to find out how your business can benefit from becoming a mentor, visit: BigPicture.org.

About Frankie Leigh:
Frankie has been singing professionally for over 20 years and has engineered two CDs of original music. (iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby).

She won five medals in the World Performing Arts competition in the categories of modeling, acting and singing, missing the overall win by one one-hundreth of a point. She's recently toured in Europe including Greece and Germany. Frankie regularly appears in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York with bandmate and harmonizer supreme Julie Martin as "Frankie & Jewels." Her touring schedule, music and videos can be found on StereoFame.com, iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and her official website FrankieLeigh.com.

About Graham Wheeler:
Graham is now 16 and looking for an internship on the set of a TV show or movie to increase his knowledge of sound / lighting and to contribute in the areas of cinematographer or Director of Photography. His short films and commercials for brands such as Doritos, Nikon and Excedrin can be viewed on his website at: YourAFace.com.

About Mary R. Vieira:
Mary R. Vieira, Ed.M is an advisor at the East Bay Met high school in Newport Rhode Island. She is an expert in alternative education, who received her Ed.M in school leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her BA in education philosophy and policy at Brown University.

Contact:
April Lorenzen
Codelock Web Asset Management
888-894-3896 ext 1
Codelock.com

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