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Levine Children’s Fall 2018 Intern Showcase

Katie Simpson
Queens University of Charlotte ’19

Katie Simpson is a communications major and scholarship athlete at Queens University of Charlotte. Katie enjoys working with the patients at Levine Children’s Hospital for Seacrest Studios because she currently manages her own medical condition as a student athlete.She delivers traits she’s learned through athletics like leadership, team work and collaboration with empathy to the patients at Levine. She hopes to work for the Walt Disney World Company in the future in order to keep bringing smiles to children across the world. 

“My favorite memory was delivering a trivia prize to DJ Noah. He constantly watched our shows this semester and was always buzzing the phone down in the studio. As soon as I walked in the room his face lit up. That’s what we are here for, that is our main goal, to make the patients’ stay here at Levine Children’s Hospital just a little bit better.”

Katie Simpson

Alisha Brown
North Carolina A&T State University ’18

Alisha Brown is a graduating senior Journalism and Mass Communications student at North Carolina A&T State University.

“My favorite memory was interviewing Riley Clemmons and doing arts and crafts with the kids”

Alisha Brown

Anna Grace Galloway
The University of South Carolina ’19

Born and raised in Belton, South Carolina, Anna Grace Galloway is a Senior broadcast journalism student at theUniversity of South Carolina. She has a passion for serving others and hopes to one day use that passion as a local television news anchor. While she’s not studying journalism, you can find Anna Grace singing, and that love for music made her time at Seacrest Studios even better. Anna Grace hopes to stay in Columbia, South Carolina after graduation to pursue a career as a multimedia journalist.

“My favorite fall memory is when DJ Ally-Sings came into the studio and immediately said she wanted to sing for us. As someone who already sings most of the time, and whose show is all about music, I was so excited to hear that. She sat down at the mic with headphones on and just sang her heart out. She sang everything from Carrie Underwood to Moana, and she was amazing. I honestly think she has a future in the music business!”

Anna Grace Galloway

Sarah Carlton
Queens University of Charlotte ’19

Sarah Carlton is a senior Communications major at Queens University of Charlotte. Growing up, she found a passion for collaborating with others and working to better the community through volunteering at church. The fellowship and leadership opportunities there lead her to seek internships to not only develop professional skills but to bring joy to those around her. At Seacrest Studios, she has not only had the opportunity to speak with hospital donors, but to also dance, sing and play with kids. She notes, “It’s their smiles and laughter that remind me every day to stay positive and be confident.”

 “My favorite Seacrest Studios memory was meeting DJ Claire Bear. Coming into the studio during my show, she asked if she could sing, talk, and play games with me and the other interns. We spent the whole our hour talking about Disney Channel shows/movies (her explaining all of the Decedents movies to me) and talking about celebrity gossip. She shared her dream of being a star; taking the stage to make people dance and smile and promised us front row seats to her first big show. Her love and ambition were incredibly inspirational, and I loved spending time with her.”

Sarah Carlton

Rodrick Jones
University of South Carolina ’19

Rodrick Jones is a senior Broadcast Journalism major at the University of South Carolina. Alongside Seacrest Studios, Rodrick interned with Sportswire where he covered sports games and hosted a sports podcast named “Beyond the Sport.” He ultimately wants to anchor his own sports debate show. 

“The best moment? Meeting a patient my first day and giving him the Seacrest World Heavyweight Championship Belt.”

Rodrick Jones

Elena Barilla
University of South Carolina ’19

Elena is a broadcast journalism major and political science minor at the University of South Carolina. Growing up outside of New York City, the wide-eyed, young version of herself would dream of becoming a journalist someday. Elena knows journalism can sometimes deliver some sad stories, but her real passion is in positive, human-oriented pieces. There is no better way to help people through broadcast journalism than interning in Seacrest Studios. Here, Elena can help the best people of all – KIDS! 

“One of my favorite memories in Seacrest Studios is the Saltine Cracker Eating Challenge! DJ Ran had Seacrest Studios try to break a new world record each week and the winner would go in the “Seacrest Book of World Records.” This particular week, the studio was filled with families trying to take home the bragging rights! To my surprise, the world record was only 12 saltine crackers eaten in a minute. My record was 2…. it’s harder than it looks!”

Elena Barilla

Randi Moultrie
Winthrop University ’19 

After a great 6 months at Seacrest Studios, Randi os looking forward to venturing into new opportunities and adventures during her last semester of college. Following graduation she plans to move to Houston, TX to work for a local radio station. Her ultimate goal is to return to Seacrest Studios as a program coordinator for one of the many great locations around the country. 

“My favorite memory would be getting the chance to meet and interview Miss America 2018. Her genuine spirit and kind heart made me beyond comfortable to complete my first celebrity interview. I thank her and Meredith for the opportunity to conduct the interview and be involved with such a great visit to the hospital.”

Randi Moultrie

Lyric Galloway
UNC Charlotte ’18

From Asheville, NC, Lyric is a senior Public Relations student at UNCC. She initially became interested in broadcast media to gain new skills in the world of Communications. Seacrest Studios was instantly the perfect fit! Every day varies, and she appreciated the opportunity to impact so many lives in such a small way. Lyric notes, “Working in Seacrest Studios changed me, and I am grateful.”

“My favorite summer memories were the cooking show and Seacrest Idol!”

Lyric Galloway

Jordin Donahue
Christ the King High School

Jordin Donahue is a Senior at Christ the King High School. Jordin is from Cornelius, NC home of Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte. After volunteering her time to answer phones with a localCharlotte Radio Station who was raising money for the Levine Children’sHospital in the Seacrest Studios, Jordin found a renewed interest in broadcasting and reached out to Meredith Dean to inquire about an internship. Jordin submitted her application and resume’ and was offered an internship and is currently finishing up her second internship at the Seacrest Studios. Her passion for kids came from teaching dance, Jordin introduced, started and teaches an adaptive dance class at her family dance studio.“Working at the Seacrest Studios, being inside the Levine Children’s Hospital has intensified my aspirations to have a career in the medical field.” When Jordin found a place where she is able to put a smile on young kids faces just by telling them the weekly pop culture news she knew there was no place better to be. 

“My favorite memory was bringing Jeff Gordon into the Seacrest Studios as my guest to do my first celebrity interview. Not only has my experience with Seacrest Studios and the Levine Children’s Hospital been an opportunity of a lifetime, but it has changed my life forever, I will treasure my time with every child I have met always.”

Jordin Donahue

Chyna Blackmon
Queens University of Charlotte ’18

Chyna is a journalism and digital media major at Queens University of Charlotte. As a previous intern at SpectrumNews, Motivation Marketing Firm, CharlotteFive, Queens Sports Network and now a returning intern at Seacrest Studios, Chyna hopes to graduate and pursue a career in broadcast news or digital print.

“My favorite memories always come from times when previous patients drop in just to visit Seacrest Studios. For example, when Allie came back to the studio to interview us about our experience at Seacrest Studios for her vlog. This is one of my favorite memories because it was so heartwarming to hear how much Seacrest Studios has meant to her…so much so that she will be a future intern too.”

Chyna Blackmon

Arlette Hawkins
North Carolina A&T State University ’19

Arlette Hawkins is a senior, Journalism & Mass Communication student at North Carolina A&T State University with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism and minor in Spanish. Last semester Arlette studied abroad in Seville, Spain studying Journalism while taking her courses in Spanish. While overseas Arlette hosted a Youtube series called “Arlette Abroad” where she documented each week during her semester overseas. Arlette used her experience and love for learning about others to fuel her Seacrest Studios show, “What in the World?!” Each week, viewers are taken to a new country to learn about their customs, music, food, and more. The goal of this show was to make every patient, regardless of origin, feel welcomed to the hospital; and to expose patients to their (potentially) first “overseas”experience. After graduating in May, Arlette hopes to receive the Fulbright Grant to study media in the United Kingdom or to start working for a media company. 

“My favorite memory was delivering Bingo sheets and seeing that they encouraged patients to come downstairs. A special moment in Seacrest Studios occurred when I realized the importance of my show – Inclusivity and International Adventures.”

Arlette Hawkins

Morgan Lowers
Winthrop University ’19

Anticipating graduation on May 4th, 2019 Morgan is a senior Mass Communications major with a minor in Spanish at Winthrop University. She plays softball for the university and loves how it pushes her to be the best she can be. She wanted to be a news producer after she graduates in May, but Seacrest Studios changed her mind. Morgan’s dream job is to be a program coordinator at a Seacrest Studios location. She loves kids, dancing, singing, Disney and putting smiles on other faces.

“My favorite memory from the semester was when DJ Yuridawg came down to the studio and did my show with me! We were talking about Scooby-Doo and she stole the show once she talked in the mic. Seeing how happy she was made me incredibly happy. I will never forget the impact DJ Yuridawg left on my heart.”

Morgan Lowers

Matt Bumbaca 
University of South Carolina ’19

“I had the most incredible time coming to Seacrest Studios this fall. The best part about this internship for me is that you know you have the ability to make someone’s day. All I ever set out to do was have a good time and impact people in a positive way. This internship has easily been the best experience of my life and I will never forget the memories I’ve made here at Seacrest Studios.”

Matt Bumbaca

Tyler Wise
Queens University of Charlotte ’21

Tyler Wise is a Multimedia Storytelling and Political Science double-major at Queens University of Charlotte. She has a passion for telling stories and hopes to become the next Oprah Winfrey. She has worked with children through summer camps, volunteer opportunities, and from her big family. When she heard about Seacrest Studios, she was amazed that such an opportunity existed. Tyler enjoys interacting with new people and learning their stories. 

“My favorite experience was painting a storage container with DJ M. The very first time I met her we were making pizzas in the studio. She did not understand why anyone would want to place zucchini on their pizza, and it was a shock when a security guard talked her into trying it. While painting the storage bin she began to tell me different stories about her journey. She trusted me and has become a close friend. She, along with many other patients, have left a lasting impact on my life.”

Tyler Wise

Destiny Gettis
University of South Carolina ’19

Destiny is from Hilton Head Island, SC. She found her love for Broadcast when she created her own segment at church called “A Youthful Prospective” at the age of 14. Destiny went to a church where many of the children lived in poverty and through her show she would speak about events in the community, accomplishments of the youth in church, etc. Through her Sunday newscast she was able to uplift children and learned of her passion to share stories and make a difference.

“My favorite memory at Seacrest Studios was when Maryssa came into the studio for about an hour and gave such uplifting life lessons on staying positive (she had me in tears the entire time). She was such an inspiring person and always made me feel that the small challenges I face in life there are always others with bigger problems and I can overcome anything. She taught me about new foods that I’ve never heard of.”

Destiny Gettis

Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital Turns FIVE!

Blog Post by Seacrest Studios Intern, Jordan West
Video Recap by Seacrest Studios Intern, Carly Thomas

Levine Children’s Hospital knows how to party! Although the studio’s official birthday is July 29th, we celebrated its 5th birthday with patients, staff, volunteers and special performers on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018.

The birthday celebration kicked off with special performer, Ellie Morgan, from Charlotte, NC. Ellie is a singer/songwriter and former Seacrest Studios intern at Levine Children’s Hospital.

Aveanna Healthcare drew the crowd in with corn-hole, games and fantastic goodies, bringing patients into the LCH lobby and Seacrest Studios. Aveanna even brought a special guest, surprising patients with Black Panther to help out with games, prizes and photo-ops.

Walt Disney says, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” Disney is a crucial part of any celebration, bringing out imagination, timeless memories and immediate recognition. Thank you to all of our Disney characters who showed up and made this birthday celebration the best yet! Special shout out to Rachel Freeman, who designed and custom-made the following costumes: Belle, Ariel, Maleficent, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Tinker Bell, Ursula, Jasmine, and many more.

The party only continued when Sir Purr, the official mascot of the Carolina Panthers, entered the building. He instantly made it the most PAWsome and PURRtastic event ever – bringing laughter and joy into the day! Homer, the official mascot for the Charlotte Knights, greeted everybody with his dragon fire breath making the day a homerun.

But wait! There’s more!

Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! The Ghostbusters, LCH and Seacrest Studios regulars, stopped in and caught all the ghosts trying to crash the party. Seacrest Studios sends a huge thank you for making our party come to life!

Everybody needs a little magic in their life! Haydini performed an amazing magic show leaving everybody in shock! Balloons, patient caricatures and the red-carpet photo booth were a few more activities apart of the parade of fun that helped make the fifth birthday at Seacrest Studios one we will never forget! Our fun-fulfilled day with lots of celebration ended with an incredible Pet Therapy dog show, showcasing over five dogs performing tricks, jumps and cuddling with our patients.

Seacrest Studios could not run without the fabulous and incredible production interns, hospital volunteers and staff, and our Program Coordinator, Meredith Dean, who made this whole day possible! Dressing up as Disney princesses, hosting game stations, and passing out popcorn & cake… this party was a HIT!

 

Can Shazam Beat Carly Pearce in Music Knowledge?

Written blog by Seacrest Studios intern Hannah Slater
Video by Seacrest Studios interns Scotty Gavlin and Carly Thomas

Country music singer Carly Pearce, who recently won a CMT Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year, stopped by Seacrest Studios in Charlotte on Friday, June 15! We wanted the patients to get to know Carly a little better, so we started her visit off with some questions to try and learn some fun facts about her. We learned a lot, including the fact that Carly LOVES sweet mint gum, kale, and brussel sprouts!

Next we let Carly answer some questions asked by patients in the hospital. We found out that her favorite Disney character is Belle from Beauty and the Beast (she dressed up as Belle 5 years in a row for Halloween!), and Carly even got up to dance when asked what her favorite dance move was. Those dance moves were impressive!

After playing a game where Carly had to try and guess country songs before Shazam could, we quickly discovered that not even an app could guess country songs before her. She can, however, be stumped by Disney silhouettes when playing, “Guess that Disney Character!”

Carly finished her visit by giving a patient that was discharging a special send-off that ended in a big hug. She’s currently touring with Rascal Flatts and Dan + Shay, but we can’t wait to have Carly back in the studio for more games and trivia!

 

Seacrest Studios in Charlotte Celebrates Its First Birthday!

Patients, staff and special guests gathered to celebrate the first birthday of Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The day was filled with fun activities, special appearances, and music, music, music!  LCH patients, and their families, knew something special was happening when they pulled up to the hospital to find big inflatable blowups on the front lawn!

Our birthday celebration kicked off with Charlotte radio hosts, Woody and Wilcox, from 106.5 The End.  The guys played a game of “Quick Draw” with patients in the studio, and even helped with a birthday Mad Lib!

“Dakota the Dinosaur” drew gasps from the crowd as he, and his friends, came roaming into the LCH lobby and Seacrest Studios! Dakota was so large, he almost didn’t fit! It was a prehistoric birthday bash for sure!

Former patient, Carmen Diaz, who helped us open Seacrest Studios, returned one year later healthy, strong, and cancer-free!  She talked about opening day a year ago and how excited she was to meet Austin Mahone! Carmen performed some of her favorite songs for us, including “Brave” by Sara Bareilles.

Much to the surprise of Carmen, and the rest of the patients at LCH, Sara Bareilles actually appeared at Seacrest Studios to make our birthday party even more special.  In town on her “Little Black Dress” tour, Sara was able to break away from rehearsal long enough to say hello to all of the patients and their families. She told patients about her favorite birthday party ever, which included a bouncy castle with her friends in an L.A. Park.  Patients got to ask Sara questions and get her autograph!

Of course, a celebration at Seacrest Studios would not be complete without the most loveable cat in Carolina!  Carolina Panthers’ mascot, and frequent visitor to Levine Children’s Hospital, Sir Purr, brought his energetic personality, and magic, to our birthday party! The most recognized cat in Charlotte took pictures with patients, and even helped hand out cupcakes.  Sir Purr joined in “Birthday Bingo” with Charlotte radio hosts, Drex and Cassiday, from Kiss 95.1.  He gave a squeak of his paw and a little dance when “BINGO” was called!

To finish off our amazing celebration, Seacrest Studios welcomed back triplet sisters, The TBA Girls, for a performance.  The TBA Girls serenaded our patients and families with songs like “Let It Go,” “Happy,” and “Story of My Life.” Their beautiful voices stopped everyone in their tracks!

Cupcakes, candy, Ryan Seacrest coloring book pages, dinosaurs, Sara Bareilles, radio hosts, Sir Purr, Bingo, patient performances, balloons, and The TBA Girls were just part of the parade of fun that helped make the first birthday at Seacrest Studios one that we will never forget!

 

Sheryl Crow Sings Three Of Her Hit Songs In Seacrest Studios

Nine-time Grammy Award winner, Sheryl Crow, made a special trip to Seacrest Studios in Charlotte, NC, on a tour stop with Rascal Flatts.

There were gasps of excitement when Sheryl walked into Levine Children’s Hospital and met with patients and their families.  She put on a front row, mini-concert for the crowd that had gathered to see her! What a treat it was to hear some of Sheryl’s famous hits, “Soak Up The Sun,” “Shotgun,” and “Everyday Is a Winding Road.”

Patients thought it was especially exciting to hear about Sheryl’s impressive career – and how much she loved working with Michael Jackson! In a very poignant moment, Sheryl spoke to our patients very candidly about her own battle with cancer.  She told patients to keep looking forward, even on the bad days. It inspired everyone who was there to see her.

The “First Cut Is the Deepest” singer took a lot of time getting to know patients, and what they were going through.  She even stopped with each parent and shared an encouraging word with them.  One of the sweetest parts of Sheryl’s visit was the recording of short videos for patients who were not able to leave their rooms!  Each message was personalized to the patient Sheryl was talking to!

We all soaked up the sun with this talented singer.  Patients are going to follow her advice and keep looking forward. Thanks, Sheryl!

Katy Tiz Sings ‘The Big Bang’ In Seacrest Studios

Katy Tiz brought energy and happiness to Seacrest Studios in Levine Children’s Hospital,  and the patients were thrilled to meet the her!

“I like to have fun every day,” and fun is exactly what everyone experienced when Katy stepped to the microphone at the studio in Levine Children’s Hospital.  Katy told patients about being delayed at the airport and how she carries a tennis ball with her at all times so, when there is a moment of downtime, she can play catch with her guitar player.

Katy answered many patient questions and even talked hairstyles, how she does not wear matching earrings ever, and about her cat, “Schmitten the Kitten.”

When Katy walked through the doors of the hospital, and heard her song, “The Big Bang,” playing at Seacrest Studios, she jumped up and down with delight! “I’m a normal girl with a big dream, and I’m lucky enough to live that dream at the moment and it’s incredible.  I do get overexcited and I am a geek, and I am a bit goofy, and I’m really proud of it,” she said.

Katy even took time during her visit to go to the rooms of a few special fans who could not make it down to the studio.  Patients are still talking about how much they love Katy Tiz!

Belk Bowl Teams Score a Touchdown at Seacrest Studios

The patients at Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) had a lot to cheer about when the Cincinnati Bearcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels went head-to-head in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC.  Football players from both teams made an appearance at Seacrest Studios before their face off on the gridiron.  You would not have guessed any rivalry though from these bigger-than-life teams when they focused on patients.  Their goal was to bring joy to the children who could not be home for the holidays and they clearly scored in that endeavor.

The Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference), led by their coach, Larry Fedora, and the Bearcats (American Athletic Conference), led by their coach, Tommy Tuberville, brought music, laughter, and stories to Seacrest Studios. Both teams SANG and shared New Year’s resolutions with patients at LCH.  Players also talked about their own injuries and how they work to overcome them and get back in the game.

The studio erupted in laughter as these star athletes, and their coaches, talked about everything from free time to chocolate milk!  Their competitiveness isn’t just confined to a football field either!  We saw some pretty fierce competition when the players faced off with their own team members for a game of Guess What!

Seacrest Studios was an exciting place to be right after the holidays and we thank the Belk Bowl teams for taking time away from practice to show us what true sportsmanship is like.  Their goal was to spread holiday cheer and they scored big points with their fans at Seacrest Studios and Levine Children’s Hospital.

Alberto Del Rio Visits Seacrest Studios On His Way to SmackDown!

As we near the end of the year, Seacrest Studios Charlotte looks back at some of the big moments for patients at Levine Children’s Hospital.  When WWE two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, stopped by on his way to SmackDown, patients were in awe!  The 239 pound, 6’5″ professional wrestler proved his big heart is as award-winning as his championship bouts in the ring.

Assuring patients that their real opponent in life does not appear in a wrestling ring, but in everyday struggles they may face, Del Rio said not to surrender to those struggles, that strength comes from meeting your struggles head-on. Speaking in both Spanish and English, this larger-than-life wrestler lingered to take pictures and sign autographs before facing his next championship battle in Charlotte.

Our thanks to Alberto Del Rio for helping us with the tools we need to help fight our struggles and win hard battles.

Dustin Lynch Makes A Special Visit To Seacrest Studios!

Country singer, Dustin Lynch, made a special post-Thanksgiving stop at Seacrest Studios in Charlotte during a concert tour break in the Queen City. Dustin spent time with patients at Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) during the day before he stepped onstage for a late-night performance.

LCH patients were thrilled to get to meet the “Cowboys and Angels” singer who looked every bit the part of a country star – hat, boots, and smile!

Dustin answered questions from patients – why he likes country music and if he ever takes his hat off (he does – it’s too big on the bus).   He told the crowd at Seacrest Studios that he did not cook anything for Thanksgiving because his job was . . . to taste everything!

Dustin’s Charlotte stop was actually a break from his current tour with Keith Urban and Little Big Town. Lynch told LCH fans that he and his group are having “the time of our lives” on the Light The Fuse Tour.

Interestingly, Dustin pipes the tunes of country-music-lover, Justin Timberlake, through his headphones before a big performance to help get pumped up and says, “Shows are like ballgames.”

LCH enjoyed some funny moments when Dustin’s knowledge of holiday songs was put to the test at the microphone.  Then, to everyone’s delight, Lynch picked up his guitar and entertained patients by singing and playing songs that keep running through our heads.

Fans will be happy to know that Dustin started recording his second album on December 2nd! We look forward to hearing more from this artist, and we wait for his return to Seacrest Studios in Charlotte. Thanks, Dustin!

Capital Cities Makes a Stop at Seacrest Studios!

Patients at Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) in Charlotte, NC were excited when the group, Capital Cities, who sing the chart-topping hit, “Safe And Sound” stopped by Seacrest Studios! The singers, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, charmed their way into the hearts of patients who were unable to leave the hospital for the group’s concert stop with Fitz & The Tantrums.  They told patients the remarkable story of how they met – believe it or not – on Craigslist!

Patients were entertained by the duo talking about wanting to start a Sky Mall blog and that “Unchained Melody” is their go-to karaoke song. 

They told the crowd in Seacrest Studios that the name “Capital Cities” came about in a random brainstorming session between the two.  They also told LCH patients that “Safe And Sound” was a song that had been in the works for a long time.  “The song that you may have heard – ‘Safe And Sound’ – that particular song actually took a long time for us to get right.  We wrote it very quickly, and we wrote it probably, I guess it was 2010, but then it took us, we literally reproduced the song probably 8 or 9 times before we stumbled upon what you now hear on the radio with the synthesizers and the trumpets, so, it can take a while to really hone in your sound.” 

We loved having Ryan and Sebu in Charlotte and we look forward to their next visit to Seacrest Studios!