PARADYM ACADEMY STAFF

Duane P. Pierre - Founder/Executive Director
Duane is a multimedia producer and youth advocate with over 20 years in both fields.  Duane started ParaDYM Academy as a mobile after-school program, originally called the Prime Narrative Project, in 2008. ParaDYM Academy, Inc. has been a leader in digital youth media, college preparatory training, workforce development, and life skills training. Located in Central CT, ParaDYM Academy has partnered with Girls, Inc., the YWCA, CCSU, OIC, the Queen Ann Nzinga Center, the Institute for Municipal Research and Policy, the Boys and Girls Club and many other community organizations. Duane currently teaches television production at the Hartford Journalism and Media Academy and it's satellite campus at the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network.

Antonio Kershaw, Middle School Coordinator
Antonio Kershaw is a teaching artist that has worked with students throughout Central Connecticut since 2016.  He has coordinated ParaDYM Academy's music programs at DiLoreto Middle sSchool in New Britain CT and tutored high school musical artist attending the Hartford Journalism and Media Academy.  Tony also performs under the stage name A. Marquise and is a prolific writer and R&B performer.  A hometown hero in New Britain CT, Tony has made it his mission to mentor up and coming musicians.  This combination of community engagement, mentoring and atristry has made Tony the ideal person to lead our middle school programs on and off site.

Elizabeth Aguilar, Youth Advocacy Coordinator
Elizabeth Aguilar is an undergraduate student at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) where she is double majoring in Business Management with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Since high school, Elizabeth has expressed her passion through portrait photography and using her skills to document social justice throughout Connecticut. She started off as a Superstar in our high school program before graduating to Champion status and volunteering with our photography cohort.  Liz is also very active in the community and at CCCSU when it comes to social justice causes, so when she returned to ParaDYM offering to lead a new generation of activist-artists we were overjoyed.  Liz now heads our newly designed social justice media cohort made up of middle school, high school and college age advocates using media to drive change and highlight other people organizations and causes being the change they want to see in the world.

Sedale Williams, MSW - Research Coordinator
Sedale is a doctoral candidate and community activist from Springfield. MA. Sedale was a clinician at BHN Carson Center for Human Services before leaving to finish his doctoral program at Springfield College. He worked with the homeless in San Diego from 2010 to 2012 and saw a high incidence of underlying mental-health issues, which are often repressed in the African-American community. He served in AmeriCorps to support the Springfield College School Turnaround Initiative. He is on the board and steering committee for Brothers United to Inspire Lifestyle Development, helps facilitate the annual Constructing Kings Male Youth Summit, and collaborates with Springfield youths and the community to lower the dropout rate. His work has lead him to develop social entrepreneurship and life skills training programs for ParaDYM Academy. 

Mike Harrison -  Lead Digital Music Instructor
Mike is a music producer/composer, audio engineer, and digital music instructor. As the founder of Torches Academy, Mike strives to 'remix' music education for the next generation of musicians. Torches Academy is a youth program out of New Britain, CT designed to develop skills in electronic music production and composition. With our partnership with Torches Academy, we are able to offer regular live stream and video training sessions for music production, composition, film/video game scoring, and music theory. The members participate in various discussions, activities and projects that will prepare for/expose them to freelance music work, music licensing, resume building, artist branding/marketing, and much more. It's a fun and constructive approach to promoting entrepreneurship, social/emotional health, and learning how to succeed in today's music industry.

 

 

John Huff, Jr. -  Lead Game Design Instructor
 

John is a Becker College graduate from the school of Game Art. John joined ParaDYM Academy to bring STEAM education to our middle school students by combining classic art  and game design.  Focusing on online programs like Scratch, John teaches the fundamentals needed to pursue art based programming and app development.  John  headlines our middle school coding programs at DiLoreto Magnet School in New Britain, CT and is an instructor for the CCSU Tech It Out! Summer Program.

 

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is simple: play. produce. empower.  We encourage student to explore STEAM fields through recreational activities; we have them work along side industry professionals to learn skills by producing media; and we empower youth voice through community engagement.

Our History

ParaDYM Academy evolved from a mobile classroom video production program in 2008.  Since then ParaDYM Academy have partnered with Central Connecticut State University to bring STEAM education and programs to over 1000 students in Central Connecicut.