Talent show to spotlight Merced program

A few community-based organizations plan a talent show Thursday to showcase the culmination of a new collaboration in Merced.

The free event is called “The Save Our Youth Merced Talent Showcase” and begins at 3:30 p.m. at El Capitan High School, 100 Farmland Ave.

The Boys and Girls Club of Merced County; Love, Faith and Hope Inc.; Building Human Assets; and Save Our Youth: The Next Generation are teaming up for the event. “We’re working together collaboratively to move the agenda forward,” said Tony Slaton, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club.

The showcase is part of a program meant to increase parent participation and community action, according to organizers. It features storytelling, song, dance, rap, spoken word and other artistic media.

The three-part collection of performances will touch on a number of pitfalls for young people, including teasing, bullying, peer pressure, gangs and drug use; family decline, school failure, mental health deficits, delinquency, lack of job skills and poverty.

Organizers said they want to help young adults, parents and children assess the signs of everyday pitfalls and respond effectively.

Dolores Slaton, the director of family services for Save Our Youth: The Next Generation, said the parents in the program have been involved in a number of classes over a nine-month period that revolve around helping keep young people out of trouble.

“Our thing is if you have a parent that’s in crisis, you have children that are in crisis,” Slaton said.

She said parents will lead discussions beginning at 3:30 p.m., and young people will perform in the talent show beginning at 6 p.m.

For more or to reserve a seat call (209) 489-7516, or send an email to