Levine Children’s Hospital – Intern Showcase

Seacrest Studios is filled with endless possibilities. Through the eyes of a child it is a place to escape. A home away from home. A world full of endless color, games, entertainment and hope. It is filled to the brim with people who care. 

But what does the studio mean to an intern? It is a place to grow, learn and prepare you for the professional world. College students are given first-hand experience with state-of-the-art equipment. They develop skills in photography, videography and writing while hosting their own radio shows and spearheading out-of-the-box games with patients in mind. Most importantly? Interns are presented with the unique opportunity to create lifelong relationships. Read below to hear just how impactful these are.


Carly Thomas
Elon University ’19

Carly Thomas is a Broadcast Journalism major at Elon University. She has a passion for entertainment news and aspires to have a career in the industry. She has worked with children since she was a young teen, and when she found an internship that combined her desired career path with children, it seemed like a dream. Carly’s hobbies include: singing and graphic design, two things she was also able to incorporate into her summer internship at Seacrest Studios.

“Being able to go up and meet patients and get them excited for what Seacrest Studios is all about and then later seeing them come down and smile. Some kids were nervous about coming down to the studio but seeing how happy they were once they were down there made this internship one I will never forget!”

Cory Peeler
University of South Carolina ’20

Cory is currently a junior Broadcast Journalism major and Theater Minor at the University of South Carolina. His passion is television and film and he hope to become a producer one day. Cory decided to major in Broadcast Journalism because he loves telling other people’s stories in a beautiful way. An additional passion includes acting, and the art of stepping into someone else’s shoes to tell their truth to the world.

“The Seacrest Studio 5th Birthday Party!!! I absolutely loved having the community come together and celebrate Seacrest Studios. Seeing the patients come down and smile made it all worth it.”

Darbi Horne
University of South Carolina ’19

Darbi is a native of Greenville, South Carolina and will be a senior Broadcast Journalism student this year. Garnet and black runs through her veins and she could not be prouder to be a Gamecock. When her Seacrest Studios supervisor, Meredith Dean, offered her the opportunity to work with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation she snatched it up in a heart beat. As a Broadcast Journalism student, media effects her life every day for the better. As a student she feels incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to combine her passion for media with her love for kids into one internship. She quotes, “This was a chance of a lifetime that I will never forget.”

“My favorite memory was really connecting with a little girl that eventually became stuck to my hip. I looked forward to seeing her every single shift, and my days weren’t complete without her! She eventually worked up the courage to cohost a show with me and it was the most rewarding and fun experience I had all summer.”

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. She went to a church where many of the children lived in poverty and through her show she would gather events in the community, accomplishments of the youth in church, etc. Through this weekly newscast she was able to uplift children, and discovered an innate passion for sharing stories and making 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.

Emma Freas
Queens University of Charlotte ’20

Emma is a currently a junior at Queens University of Charlotte double-majoring in Music and English. Several years ago, she started her own business teaching piano to kids in the Charlotte community and instantly found so much joy in it. This summer, Emma was blessed with the opportunity to intern at Seacrest Studios, a position that combined her love for music, kids, and communication!

“One of my favorite memories at Seacrest Studios was when I visited a patient in his room and started talking to him about the studio and myself. I saw his face instantly light up with smiles and giggles. That is what we’re all about at Seacrest Studios – bringing happiness and positivity to kids’ lives!”

Jordan West
Western Carolina University, Winter ’18

Jordan West is a driven young woman who strives to live life with the purpose of inspiring and uplifting others. As a December 2018 graduate from Western Carolina University, she is seeking a full time position in Broadcasting and Public Relations where she aspires to utilize her education and personal experiences. Jordan enjoys interacting with new people and creating lifelong connections. She is thrilled to embark on new adventures and discover what the future holds.

“My favorite experience was having the pleasure to meet DJ Coco / Colleena. She came into the studio for the first time one Friday afternoon and wanted to sing a song to the patients that were staying on her floor. She had the whole floor turn to channel 99 to watch and hear her sing. Colleen stayed in the studio for over an hour just singing songs back to back and had an audience standing outside of the studio clapping, hollering, and cheering her on. I was over whelmed with happy tears for Colleena, and impressed by her amazing voice. She will forever leave a huge impact in my life.”

Kathleen Cook
University of North Carolina at Charlotte ’19

Kathleen Cook is currently a senior at UNC Charlotte. She has a few passions in her life, but the main two are sports and journalism. With two older brothers and a dad who all love sports, growing up, she had no choice but to attend countless sporting events. Her love was instant. Sophomore year in high school Kathleen joined the school newspaper and fell in love with journalism. She quickly climbed to editor-in-chief her junior and senior years. When she came to college, Kathleen knew she wanted to continue to pursue journalism, and immediately became involved with the campus newspaper. She quickly found a niche and became sports editor of the campus paper sophomore and junior year. Now, in her final year of college, she is the video editor for the campus newspaper as well as a digital media intern for ESPN offices in Charlotte.

“My favorite summer memory has to be DJ M. She came down to our studio one day with her cousin and we jammed out to Moana and then DJ M told me about how she makes bracelets and that she would make me one. A few weeks had gone by and I hadn’t seen my friend in a while. On my last day in the studio, Meredith told me someone had dropped something off for me — DJ M made me (and Meredith) keychains!!! It was honestly the best moment in the internship because, while I knew that DJ M would always be a part of me, it showed me that I had made some sort of impact on my friend.”

Kendel Davy
University of South Carolina ’19

Kendel is a senior Public Relations Major at the University of South Carolina. She is a cheerleader for the university and has been voted most spirited three years in a row. She has a passion for helping children and their families as they go through the experience of being in a hospital. Kendel hopes to combine her high spirited energy and passion for kids to work at a children’s hospital in the future.

“My favorite memory at Seacrest Studios was meeting Xavier. He made every shift so much fun! We would always call down to the studio, he pied me in the face for PT and he painted my face. He made my heart melt so many times but especially watching the accomplishments as his health progressed. When he left the hospital, the amount of people that grew to love him was amazing.”

Randi Moultrie
Winthrop University ’19

Coming to Seacrest Studios from Charleston, SC, Randi is a senior Mass Communication major and Business Administration minor at Winthrop University. After an amazing internship opportunity with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation she has found a new love for radio. In the next year Randi plans to move to Houston, TX where she aspires to build a career in the broadcasting field and pursue her master’s in business. Randi’s aspiration is to one day return the Ryan Seacrest Foundation as a Program Coordinator for one of their many studios across the country.

“My favorite summer memory would have to be meeting DJ Coco, her story and pure happiness always seemed to put a smile on everyone’s face. I got the chance to allow her to do my make-up, because I knew it was something she loved and felt she could not embrace being in the hospital, so I wanted to give her the chance to smile.”

Scotty Gavlin
University of South Carolina ’19

Scotty aka “DJ Scotty G” was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Lexington, SC. He once told his mom that he wanted to be a broadcaster and she said, “you can’t do that Scotty, you mumble.” His reply? “Mom I am 8.” (*Note from Scotty: This is a true story, but seriously she is the greatest person in the world.) His mumble did not bring him down as he pursued a broadcast class in high school. Scotty’s love of broadcast comes from his passion for communicating with others and building impactful relationships. Whatever he does in his life, he wants that to be a part of it; News, sports, ministry, whatever it may be just getting to be with people and hearing stories would be a dream come true.

“We did this thing called iHeart Art on Thursdays and one week a boy named Bren came down. He was super little and kinda shy at first. Then we asked if he wanted a song and he said “Rollie Rollie.” (Not the correct name of the song, but so cute.) I then started dancing and when I did he looked up at me and raised his arms for me to pick him up. For the next 30 minutes, we just danced. Danced a little too much because we were asked to calm down. Still though seeing him happy and all the attention on him made the whole day great.”


Hannah Slater
University of South Carolina ’18

For a long time I knew that whatever I did career-wise I wanted to positively impact people, however I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to accomplish that. In high school I began exploring the field of journalism, and it quickly occurred to me that this could be just the avenue I was searching for. Journalism has the opportunity to do such great good in the lives of others, and though that isn’t necessarily always what occurs, I hope to ethically and effectively produce quality journalism to improve the lives of my audience.

“The first time Colleena ever came into the studio was a Friday, which was the day I worked. We knew nothing about her outside of the fact that she was a patient when she came in. Colleena’s mother explained to us that Colleena’s passion was music, so we asked her if she wanted to sing for us. Little did we know the magic that was about to occur. When Colleena began singing, I don’t believe there was a dry eye in that room. Her beautiful voice reflected her beautiful soul, and it was amazing to see such a vibrant light of hope when something so tragic had happened to her family and herself. There are so many moments like this one that occur in Seacrest Studios, and it’s amazing to see the level of strength that such young individuals can have.”


Jake Selvey
Wake Forest University

Seacrest Studios from the perspective of an intern:

Jason Mraz performs “Have It All” for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!

Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz showed up at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with his all-female back-up singers to perform for patients and families in Seacrest Studios recently. Jason makes positivity a priority and it was evident from his visit!  He was so much fun, joking with and encouraging patients, living up to the lyrics in his song, “Have It All.”

We learned he has performed on every continent and his favorite place was Myanmar, where he sang for over 70,000 people even though it was illegal (until then) to have gatherings over twelve! Jason even taught us a phrase from Myanmar that inspired his song, “Have It All!” When a patient asked Mraz if he had ever forgotten his lyrics while on stage he mentioned one of his band members gave him the following piece of advice…”Say MEOW in place of the forgotten lyrics!”  Then Jason admitted he had been “meowing” at one of his recent concerts! Thank you for such a great visit Jason!


AJ Mitchell performs for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Fresh off his performance on the TODAY show, singer songwriter and social media sensation, AJ Mitchell, popped into Seacrest Studios and performed for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! Here to promote his new EP, Hopeful, the 17-year old talked about how exciting the last couple of years have been since moving from his small town in Illinois to Los Angeles to pursue his career as a recording artist and songwriter.

Having started piano at age four, it was no surprise to his parents that by age six, Mitchell has already written his first song — featuring a little bird. He even sang a verse or two before performing “I Don’t Want You back” and “Girls,” both on his debut EP. AJ hopes to go on tour next year, and we hope Atlanta will be one of his stops! Best of luck to this rising star, and thank you for visiting us in Seacrest Studios!


Little Big Town brings BIG smiles to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia!

Little Big Town’s impact was anything but little when they stopped by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Perhaps as much a draw for the parents they were for the patients, the Grammy award-winning band was all smiles and laughs as they swapped stories with a packed Atrium.

From pranks with Carrie Underwood, to Spongebob and Sesame Street impressions, the members of Little Big Town went down memory lane discussing their adventures on the road, the opportunities that their success has brought, and the glue that has held them together for so many years. And how’s this for a class act? They cancelled their own sound check to do some extra special room visits before departing the hospitals. Thanks, Little Big Town, for the little moments and the big day for our kids!

All Time Low makes another visit to Seacrest Studios!

What a better distraction for the patients at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia than some games with All Time Low! The band was a hit at the hospital during their pit stop before their big show, melting the hearts of patients (and some of our interns) with their comradery and playful demeanor.

Diving into a game of “All Time Trivia,” each member was quizzed with “easy” questions about their own band. We quickly witnessed little success and hilarious consequences (just check out what the kids made them wear for wrong answers). When asked about their lengthy journey together, perhaps Alex Gaskarth gave away the best secret of all to their success, “we grew up on the road…stay creative and stay driven.” Keep it up, guys!

Thanks for visiting Seacrest Studios, All Time Low! We can’t wait to have you back.


American Idol tour visits Seacrest Studios in Cincinnati!

American Idol 2018 Winner Maddie Poppe stopped by with the rest of the top 5 contestants: Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Cade Foehner, Gabby Barrett, Catie Turner and Michael J. Woodard. After an impromptu dance of “JuJu On That Beat” they were asked which Disney character they would be, to which they said: Flounder, Anakin Skywalker, Mufasa, Raven Baxter and Jenny from Oliver & Company! The whole American Idol crew said they would love to continue collaborations following the American Idol tour and all are excited for the future!


Riley Clemmons debuts self-titled album at Seacrest Studios!

Written Recap by Seacrest Studios Program Manager, Mamie Shepherd
Photography by Trent Nicholson
Video by Maddie Herreid

Capitol CMG artist, Riley Clemmons, made pulling an all-nighter look like fun when she stopped by Seacrest Studios in her hometown – Nashville, TN!  On the day her debut, self-titled album dropped, Riley had been up for over 24 hours straight!  Riley started her day in the wee hours by celebrating her album release in New York City! She was so excited that she just stayed awake from Times Square to Nashville where she sang her heart out to adoring fans in Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt!  You can go a long time on just a little sleep when you are that excited!  Our patients matched Riley’s enthusiasm and peppered her with tons of questions about her likes, dislikes, and how she keeps going when she gets tired.

Patients were encouraged to learn that Riley actually started writing songs when she was just 13! That gave many who had gathered in the studio, and those watching from upstairs, motivation to start writing down their thoughts and feelings to put to music!  After all, writing is something patients can do from almost anywhere!

It was really exciting to know that Riley has worked with award-winning songwriters and that she is even going on tour in the fall with American Idol star, Danny Gokey!

Clemmons’ songs, “Broken Prayer” and “I’ll Stay” are studio favorites and have been part of the line-up at Seacrest Studios and on Radio Disney.  Because of that, it didn’t take two seconds for patients to pick up on the choruses of Riley’s songs and sing along with her.

After answering questions, playing a game of This Or That, and singing some tracks from her album, Riley left us with hugs and encouraging words to keep our spirits up and our determination high!  It was an engaging, therapeutic visit with a compassionate performer we are sure to hear more big things from!

Thanks, Riley, for the laughter, love, and lyrics.  We were “Better For It” and can’t wait to hear more of your music!

Riley’s self-titled album, Riley Clemmons, is out now!


Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, visits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!

And the winner is….

Seacrest Studios at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! We scored big time with a visit from the beautiful and talented, Miss USA 2018, Sarah Rose Summers! Just two moths into her reign as Miss USA, Sarah Rose felt right at home in a hospital setting – a place she’d become familiar with earlier in her career as a certified Child Life Specialist. She was an instant favorite among patients and families.

She encouraged questions from the audience, citing it was “practice” for her upcoming Miss Universe pageant in December, and for the “talent portion” of the visit, Sarah Rose promptly volunteered to learn – and participate in –  the popular dance move coined “the floss” with an excited patient.

Many pictures, autographs, hugs and smiles later Sarah Rose is headed back to NYC. Thank you so much for visiting Seacrest Studios a second time! We are honored you want to visit all ten, and cannot wait to cheer you on in the Miss Universe pageant!


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!


Sabrina Carpenter Makes Her 9th Appearance in Seacrest Studios!

With bright eyes, an ear-to-ear smile and a tucked in Topanga shirt, Sabrina Carpenter entered Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. Sabrina, an ambassador for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, is a seasoned pro in visits at Seacrest Studios, having visited eight of ten studios across the country.

Patients and families in the studio instantly felt at ease with the actress and musician, jumping right in to the interview with pressing questions.

“Who is your favorite superhero?” one fan intently asked.

After a brief moment we learned the young star is “enamored by all of them, but really likes Spiderman.”

On trend, another patient asked Sabrina her all-time favorite movie. Although it is difficult to name just one, Sabrina narrowed her favorite down to Across the Universe, a musical inspired by the Beatles.

In advice to fans, Sabrina noted you are never too young to follow your passions. At just six years old she began singing, and at age eleven she had her first acting gig on Law and Order SVU. She was hooked. With inspirations like Christina Aguilera in her life Sabrina shared the most important part of her career was her education. To any patients in the hospital with similar aspirations she said, “I was always reading and writing stories, songs and poems, and drawing pictures. Any kind of self-expression is how you separate yourself from everyone else.” Start there, and the rest will fall into place.

Her wise words did not stop there. When you’re on the road, dealing with social media, and far away from home life can get tough; and in the hospital patients and families may experience similar feelings. We asked Sabrina what she does on the cloudier days, and received some advice universal to any situation:

“Take a deep breath and think about the things you are grateful for. Even in moments when you think everything is going wrong, think about the little things. Be grateful for those around you, for waking up, and for the big and small things that put life into perspective.”

Sabrina, we are blessed to have you as an RSF ambassador. Thank you for hopping off a stage in downtown Nashville, and immediately visiting kids in the hospital. You have brightened the day of so many fans in Seacrest Studios, and we could not be more grateful for your giving heart!