Most people spend their lives trying to achieve stability. Going to college to get a degree that will lead to that all too important 9-5 job that will give you the security to start and support your family one day. Duane Myko had done just that. He had played by the rules until one day he decided to change them altogether. What sparked that change? His desire to positively affect a generation that no one seemed to understand.
I would see these kids wilding out on the Metro being real reckless and saying whatever they wanted to say, cursing and everything. I’m not gonna act like we didn’t curse and things but the difference was when we saw adults around we cut that out. So I was like ‘I gotta holler at the youth really quick’. I was just getting tired of everyone saying the youth were acting up and no one really doing anything about it.
But he quickly realized that a simple speech would not do the trick. Duane believes that we can’t keep talking about the youth and their negative behavior in 2014 while using dated measures expecting them to work.
If I’m gonna talk to the youth I can’t just to TALK to the youth. No one likes a long speech or lecture. It’s boring. I hated it growing up so why would I do the same thing? So I ended up going home and coming up with these words, Should Could Dream.
We can’t keep using these dated measures like college expos and these boring speeches. You have to be innovative. Kids don’t relate to those methods anymore.
His idea…a one man show that would help re-mold the mentality of today’s youth.
I said I’m gonna incorporate everything and act it all out and make a mockery of everything they’re doing and then I’m gonna educate. So I added acting, poetry, comedy, music and motivational speaking into this 60-minute show. It all just came together.
He even quit his secure government job to start the tour.
I was working at the FDIC doing very well. But I realized this is not what I’m supposed to be doing for the rest of my life. We have to keep on growing.
And he pulls no punches when talking about the issues that the youth of today encounter on a daily basis.
It’s no holds barred. I talk about everything. From sex to drugs to acting up in class…everything. But then I bring it back and focus on education.
For the parents and adults who find themselves too intimidated by teenagers to reach out to them, he has news for you.
These kids are not tough. Since 2012 I’ve been to over 400 schools in front of over 380,000 kids. All they want is attention. And if you don’t give them attention that’s when they will act a complete fool. When you give that attention and that tough love, they will love and respect you. They really need our help.
The value of the show extends far beyond the 60 minutes that Duane engages the kids. For some, the impact will last four years AFTER the experience.
We have a college fair at the end. That’s the real value. We pass out college information, college brochures and we help kids get into college. In the 2012-2013 school year, we did a partnership with Morgan State University and through the Should, Could, Would program we enrolled 144 students into Morgan State University. So, it’s a new innovative way to increase college enrollment. It let’s them know that college and education are key because that’s our only weapon. The only way we can win out here is if we’re educated. I never understand when youth say they don’t wanna go to college. It’s the dumbest thing in the world to me.
But through the Should Could Dream Tour, they are starting to get it. The response has been enormous. The kids love it and the teachers are in awe of how Duane can keep 800 to 1000 kids silent, obedient and respectful for an hour lol. And the stats show it too. Should Could Dream trends on social media every time they have a show, which means the kids are talking about it. 80% of his shows are at schools that he’s already visited before. Here’s why, according to Duane.
I’m speaking their language. I’m talking about smoking weed. I’m talking about hooking up with Keisha. I’m talking about disrespecting the teacher. But then I say pause and I educate.
Should Could Dream isn’t all Mr. Myko has in store.
We realize that the vision is so much bigger. We have the college fair portion which encompasses the multiple colleges that we work with. We also have the web series, “The Conversation”, which comes on every single Wednesday where I sit down and talk to a group of students about different topics. One of my dreams is to expand that into a full time talk show.
Averaging 3-4 shows per week during the tour, how does Duane keep the high energy needed to inspire the kids?
I’m passionate about it. It’s what I love to do so it’s not work. I’m on stage having a blast. I’m partying, educating, changing lives. At the end of the day it’s an innovative way to say ‘hey, let’s go follow these dreams’. We really touch people’s lives.
Should Could Dream has now secured partnerships with Sports Zone and Revolt TV. For a list of the schools the tour will be visiting or to add your school, go the their website, www.ShouldCouldDream.com.
Check out some footage from “The Conversation” below.