How Project Metro is Using Music to Bring Students Together

How Project Metro is Using Music to Bring Students Together

Joshua Berk, Arts & Entertainment

“Portland’s biggest high school dance party.” By now you have most likely seen this slogan printed out on small black cards placed around the school. Initially, only a few people knew about the project’s existence, but word spread fast when the nature of the dance was revealed: Project Metro is entirely organized by students. Hearing this is enough to catch the attention of most high school students, but interest skyrocketed as more details on the dance were uncovered. Want to know more? Below is an interview with the student behind it all: Sal Najjar.

 

For those who have not yet heard, how would you describe Project Metro?

Sal: Project metro is a multi-school dance that is not run at all by student government. 

 

Where did this idea come from?

Sal: It came from this idea I had for a dance across the entire metro district, and obviously there is the charity aspect. I noticed how difficult it could be to get a guest pass to another school’s dance and for some events they are not available at all. We wanted to make it easier to get people into these events where they might not be as formal, but still, give students the chance to have fun and dance with friends. When I brought this idea up to Principal Corsetti he loved it and we started to work on it. At first, we were told that the principles from other schools in the district were on board, but when we conferenced they pulled back. It was an unfortunate setback but understandable. After that, I decided to put the money I made from my job into making this happen. I got in touch with Blackboard Music and we discussed the logistics of security, liability, and charity. 

 

Tell me a bit about why you chose to fundraise for HomePlate?

Sal: It came from this number I saw: 1,799 students are homeless in the Beaverton School District. Living in a district this affluent with so much new technology it was insane to see how little resources some of the students were getting. The school district does try to help with this, but when a student graduates and turns 18 they suddenly lose all their support. Part of the reason I chose HomePlate is because they work with people up to age 24. When I got the chance to visit and see everything they do, I fell in love.

 

How did you know that this was an idea worth pursuing?

Sal: Honestly I didn’t. Initially, we wanted to sell around 500 tickets, and in less than a week we have already sold 250. We really wanted to create a nice environment where people can support a good cause and enjoy dancing with their friends. 

 

As a student what does this dance mean for you and what message do you hope this will send to other students? 

Sal: You know… I can not dance for the life of me. But at the end of the day, I will be there dancing and having a good time. I might be freaking out about logistics, but I’m going to be out having fun with everyone else. It will be really cool to see students from so many schools coming together and having fun. Adding Mountainside to the district has created a lot of tension and I hope that this will bring everyone closer together to help students form connections across the district.

 

It’s the end of the night and there is just enough time for one more song. What do you want to hear to end the night?  

Sal: It is worth mentioning we are going to have 3 phenomenal performances. Zoe Ferguson, Jojo Scott, and TTP Wiz. We chose to add in these performances so we can highlight some of the musical talent we have in the district and give them some publicity along with a chance to grow.