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St. Paul students get international attention with moving music video on Haiti earthquake

Moved by the news reports of suffering in Haiti after last week’s earthquake, students at the High School for the Recording Arts in St.

Moved by the news reports of suffering in Haiti after last week’s earthquake, students at the High School for the Recording Arts in St. Paul responded in the way they knew best: They wrote, recorded and posted a music video that incorporates an original song with images from Haiti.

The video has more than 50,000 hits already on YouTube.

“It’s even on the web site of a Catholic missionary group in Poland,” said Tony Simmons, the charter school’s development director.

“Everyone has been impacted by what happened in Haiti and the visuals coming out, and our students responded intimately, with a lot of conversation about how poor and desperate the Haitian peeople were even prior to the earthquake. They were able to relate to it, because many of our students live in poverty. So they decided on their own to respond in a way they they can relate to as students here,” he said.

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A team of students handled the creative and production chores, aided by teachers, former students and Susan Campion, a community supporter of the school, Simmons said. School officials said the students who worked on the project are Jeremy Hicks (The Real Young Bishop), Cassandra Rojas (Lil C), Jamal Aiken (Franchize), DaReese Smith (DaVoyce), Christopher Bryant (Lost Cauz), Preston Scott (Ruby P), Lenora Harris, Ellen Harris, Jaquilla Marzette and Fernando Muro. 

The school opened in 1998 and has about 220 students.

“The greatest part has been the excitement of the attention they’ve been getting, as they’re focused on the cause and trying to remind everybody, we need to send money to Haiti,” he said. “Now they all want to go to Haiti to help, to get involved in another way.”