Last spring, Performance-based Standards (PbS), a DCYF partner and nationwide juvenile justice standards organization, held video auditions across the country for young people with lived experience in juvenile justice. Six Green Hill School (GHS) youth advanced as finalists in the annual PbS Kids Got Talent contest, competing against hundreds of talent submissions from other juvenile justice facilities across the nation. But it was 20-year-old GHS resident Tim who won the entire competition with an original song titled “Explícame,” backed by acoustic guitar.
“He has one of the most beautiful voices that I’ve ever heard in my life … so the talent is quite amazing, and I felt pretty strongly that we absolutely had an individual here who was capable of winning,” said GHS Superintendent Jennifer Redman.
During his stay at GHS, Tim has used singing, songwriting, and playing guitar to manage stress, heal, and pass the time. When he heard he had won the competition, Tim said he was surprised.
“I don’t feel like I had the right to think, ‘oh yeah, it was me,’” he said. “There’s other people who have talent too.”
However, Tim’s talent and the award bestowed on him speak for themselves. Tim was flown out to perform live at the annual PbS Awards Night in Nashville in August 2021 and was received with standing ovations.
“I would just like to inspire other people and make them feel like other people have gone through things that they’re going through,” said Tim.