“Disco” Gabe Wasylko Selected as 2017 BEAT Hall of Fame Inductee
By Alexis Gemelas

For the past two years, Brunswick City School’s nationally-award winning backpack journalism and video production program, the BEAT, has been inducting alumni into their more newly established Hall of Fame. This year, two more alumni will be inducted; one is none other than “Disco” Gabe Wasylko.

Wasylko, a Brunswick High School graduate of 2015, was a member of the BEAT program for all seven possible years: grades six through 12. During his time in the program, he acted as a positive role model to other BEAT students and helped pave the way to success for future members. For example, Wasylko was selected as a student video reporter for President Obama’s press conference at CCC West in 2011. In 2011, he also helped produce the BEAT’s award-winning Ford Focus “Focus on Schools” video and was part of a team that interviewed singer Demi Lovato.

Wasylko was the first BEAT student to take on the management of Brunswick High School’s football scoreboard, initiating many improvements and laying the foundation for other BEAT reporters to follow his footsteps. He was also the first BEAT reporter to be an Akron Rubberducks intern and is currently their scoreboard operator. This has opened the door for several other BEAT students to become Akron Rubberducks interns as well.

Although Wasylko has done all of this for the program and more, the BEAT has given back to him as well. “One thing I’ve taken [from the program] is the ability to be professional in a work setting because the BEAT really teaches us how to work with adults,” Wasylko explained. “We don’t talk about age as a number… We don’t talk about age as being anything. We just look at our actions.”

Wasylko said that the program has also taught him teamwork skills and to not give up on your goals and dreams. “It’s good to dream big and try different things because, like I said, age shouldn’t define you. You should be able to do whatever you want if you put the hard work and dedication into it.”

Wasylko is now finishing his sophomore year at the College of Wooster for a double major in mathematics and political science. His love of coffee has also led him to start his own coffee blog on Instagram and Facebook called “Gabe’s Coffee Journey.”

Wasylko will be inducted as a member of the BEAT Hall of Fame with fellow 2015 alumnus Rohan Srivastava and Brunswick Board of Education Vice President Richard Nowak at 1 p.m. on Sat., May 20 at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #15 on West 130th Street in Brunswick.

You can follow Wasylko’s coffee blog @gabescoffeejourney on Instagram or Facebook. For more information on the BEAT Banquet on May 20, contact John Wasylko at jwasylko@bcsoh.org or (330) 321-7601.

Rohan Srivastava Enters BEAT Hall of Fame for His Outstanding Influences
By Allison Rhoades
Rohan Srivastava, a 2015 Brunswick High School graduate, will be inducted into The BEAT Hall of Fame, honoring past students from Brunswick’s Video Program. Srivastava joined the club when he was in sixth grade and quickly began to show his multiple talents.

In 2011, Srivastava was a key producer in the Ford Focus School Video Contest, “Focus on Schools”. The video placed in the contest and awarded The BEAT a grant. In 2012, Srivastava won first place with the Media Communicators Association-International (MCA-I) through their national video contest for his video, “Gotta Keep Reading”. This video also won Srivastava “Best Music Video” at the Alliance for Community Video’s Hometown Video Awards. Along with winning multiple awards, Srivastava received an opportunity to be a Tribe Reporter for a Day with the Cleveland Indians.

Srivastava’s video “Gotta Keep Reading” was also one of his favorite memories from the program, “I really enjoyed editing videos on Final Cut Pro. I remember editing "Gotta Keep Reading" and it was amazing to see how ordinary clips could turn into an award winning video!” Srivastava said.

Srivastava helped implement a new technical side to the program. Throughout his years in the program, he filmed and taught other students to film the Brunswick Varsity Football games and other school events. In-studio, Srivastava helped put together a new studio video-switcher, opening up new and unique opportunities for every member of the club.

While Srivastava helped and influenced the program in many ways, the program also influenced him.

“The students in the program were definitely people I could go to if I needed help. I participated in the program for six years with my best friend, Gabe Wasylko, and it was great to be able to work with him. John Wasylko was and still is a wonderful mentor who really taught me how to be a professional and how to act with integrity,” stated Srivastava.

Srivastava stayed in the Video Program for a total of seven years and graduated as Valedictorian for the Brunswick Graduating Class of 2015. Through his busy schedule of Advanced-Placement classes, sports, and clubs he still managed to find time for the Video Program. Currently, Srivastava is attending the University of Cincinnati and is studying medicine.

Throughout his hectic years of middle and high school, Srivastava still stayed with the BEAT Video Program because of the experiences he gained. “My sixth-grader mind was excited to be on television, but over the years, I began to understand how valuable this program was for professional and leadership development,” he explained. “I guess I joined the video club not knowing what to expect, but I stayed in the program until senior year of high school because I appreciated the unique experience.”

Srivastava has accomplished much in his lifetime and has influenced the course of the Brunswick Video Program through his dedication. “The BEAT is a very important experience of my childhood. I hold the memories and the experiences very close to me, and I encourage more students to be part of this program.”

Srivastava will be inducted as a member of the BEAT Hall of Fame with fellow 2015 alumnus Gabe Wasylko and Brunswick Board of Education Vice President Richard Nowak at 1 p.m. on Sat., May 20 at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #15 on West 130th Street in Brunswick. For more information, contact John Wasylko at jwasylko@bcsoh.org or (330) 321-7601.

Child Safety Fair Well Received

Janet Niemiec and Michelle Cabassa of First Federal Lakewood as they run their booth.
By Elliott McNeely
Crowds of people gathered at the Ehrnfelt Recreation Center in Strongsville on Sunday, April 9 for the Child Safe Community Day Fair.

The fair was presented by the Strongsville Rotary Club, along with its gold sponsors: Strongsville Chamber of Commerce, Strongsville VFW Post #3345, Southwest General Health Center, and Jeff Ellis' International Karate Centers.

This is the 13th year for the fair, and it offers families information to help keep children safe both inside and outside of the home. Members of law enforcement, various public service agencies, and local businesses donated their time to distribute information on the protection and safety of our children.

Michelle Cabassa manages the First Federal Lakewood offices in Strongsville, North Royalton, and Brunswick and has been volunteering at this event for several years. “This is such a fun event to participate in and there is always a such a great turnout.”

Strongsville Fire Department offers a tour of a fire engine.
There was a large assortment of enjoyable activities and contests for everyone. Jeff Ellis' International Karate Centers provided mini-clinics on stranger danger as well as Martial Arts demonstrations. They also offered an educational "Bully Proofing Your Child” program for children in grades three to six.

The Strongsville Fire Department had a tour of the fire engine outside along with Captain Matt Tilbert, who managed the fire safety booth inside.

Lisa Fiorilli and Laurie Pfahler of Southwest General Health Center had a great deal of information to offer, such as information on Safe Sitter classes for middle school students.

Other fun activities included a free Easter egg hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny, face painting, inflatables, an ice cream eating contest, free child identification kits, prizes, drawings and more.

It was an educational and fun-filled event for the entire family.