At Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, a wide, contagious smile spreads across the face of a patient as she becomes an anchor in a broadcast news segment. She has briefly escaped her daunting reality of a lengthy hospital stay and numerous tests and treatments. Nearby, another patient is enthralled with his role of radio D.J. as he uses state-of-the art equipment.
Pediatric hospitals are filled with cutting edge medical technology, but normally hospitals do not also house professional media equipment that is accessible to children. But thanks to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, impressive, interactive multi-media centers, named “The Voice”, are available for patients to explore at both Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The Ryan Seacrest Foundation aims to enlighten, entertain and educate patients through the creative outlets of media. “The Voice” serves as an encouraging, fun distraction from long days spent confined to a hospital bed undergoing countless tests. Celebrity guests are frequent visitors to the center, and they offer special performances and loving attention to the children.
Journalism students, including Grady College students, intern with “The Voice” and gain applicable career skills and a rewarding experience. “I’ve had too many amazing experiences at “The Voice” to count. I really can’t put into words how amazing it is to see these kids who come in so shy and often sad or discouraged and see them completely transform by the time they leave,” said Katie Sorrels, a Grady student and current intern with “The Voice”.
Ryan Seacrest, a celebrity in the entertainment arena and host of American Idol and E!News, formed his foundation as a way to positively impact the lives of sick and seriously injured children. Seacrest’s parents and sister share in the philanthropic efforts, vision and expansion of the Foundation with each family member also serving as a team member. Meredith Seacrest, Seacrest’s sister and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation said, “We are already in the works with Children’s Hospital Boston and Children’s Hospital of Orange County to bring our entertainment program to these leading pediatric facilities.”
Clearly, Seacrest’s stardom and success has not gone all to his head, as his generosity is giving sick children the opportunity to become stars and shine at “The Voice”. While celebrity status, within the hospital, may ensue for many of these young stars, “The Voice” offers much more then fame – namely, courage to fight, belief in themselves and the hope for a bright, healthy future.
To contribute to The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, visit www.ryanseacrestfoundation.org. “Your generosity will help us lift the spirits of sick kids and provide a positive and entertaining form of distraction,” said Meredith Seacrest.