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Manhattan Beach Kids Flex Their Talents During Quarantine

Jun 07, 2020 11:51AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach kids have talent - and they haven't just been sitting around during this quarantine period. DigMB talked with Manhattan Beach kids who have using this time to hone their skills and share their talents with the world.

Photo credit: Steve Gaffney

Nate Goldberg, a Rolling Hills Prep 9th grader, is a  videographer who has collaborated with YEW! Surf Wax to create sophisticated and mesmerizing videos for the North Manhattan Beach store's Instagram feed. Goldberg worked with business owner Hogan Peters during the quarantine as Peters pivoted his business to create hand soap that he donates to students in need. Goldberg's videos have gone viral online, in some cases getting more than 60,000 views on Instagram, and one of them aired during the Beach Life Festival.

"I like to use certain effects or transitions from creators on YouTube or Instagram and implement them into my own videos using my own creativity," said Goldberg.

Goldberg and his twin sister Ryann also created a video about the Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Manhattan Beach Pier that racked up more than 1,000 views in less than two days.

Jacob Tan, a Mira Costa 9th grader, has been making educational videos for the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium, where is he is a volunteer. He uses iMovie, ProCreate, and LifeLapse to create lively educational videos that explain weighty topics such as ocean acidification. (You can see his videos on the Roundhouse Aquarium's Instagram page.)

"I really feel that a lot of people learn best through short videos. This enables people to absorb the facts without being bored. When I saw an opportunity to combine my eagerness to spread oceanic awareness, my affinity for art, and my knowledge of biology, I couldn’t help but volunteer," he said. "I really hope that people are able to have more awareness and care for the ocean after watching one of my videos."

 Ava Dykstra and Sydney Saypack, both Mira Costa 11th graders, started a line of custom tie-dyed and bleach-dyed clothing called 2 Dye For Clothes. "I reached out to some of my friends and asked if they would buy sweatpants, sweatshirts, and crewnecks if I tie dyed them, and they all said yes, which drove me to being thinking about possibly starting a business," said Dykstra. "[Sydney and I] both learned how to do our special tie dying techniques through a lot of experimentation and through watching a couple of YouTube videos on the basics of tie dying." They are currently selling their line through their Instagram account, @2dyeforclothes

Charlie Kwon, a Mira Costa 10th grader, is a talented artist who recently won a first place award in the Neptunian Woman's Club art contest. She has continued painting during the quarantine and entered artwork in the Crown Education Challenge with the them of "Hope During the Pandemic."  

Also during the quarantine, she started taking her artwork to a new level: She received her first paid commission for one of her paintings. (She donated part of the proceeds to a dog rescue group.) She is now at work on her second commission from another customer. You can follow her work on her Instagram at

 Braeden Vandemore, a Mira Costa 11th grader and avid reader, organized a "book service," in which she collected books that people wanted to donate, and then offered to deliver the (disinfected) books to anyone who requested one.

She says she currently has about 50 books that are waiting for a new home. "I will continue with the service as long as I keep getting responses," she said.

Her current favorite reads? Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

Katherine Jester, an MBMS 8th grader, started a cookie business called Kat's Cookies. "I love to bake and have been making desserts for my friends and family for as long as I can remember," she said. "I learned to bake from my mom and grandma who are experts in the kitchen."

She has been promoting her baked goods on her Instagram: @katscookies__ .

"I would love to continue my business in the future and if people keep ordering, I’ll keep baking," she said.

Roc Dillman, an American Martyrs 7th grader, started a jewelry repair business. Using a jewelry repair kit, he has been repairing broken clasps and ringlets, and attaching charms. He charges $5 per necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings. "My mom had asked me to fix some things, so she gave me her fixing kit. I just sort of knew how to do it," he said. He appears to have tapped into a healthy market, because even when DigMB went to watch him working on projects, he had a customer dropping off more work to be done.  (If you want jewelry fixed, text his mom Laurie at 310-374-7777.)

 Owen Sedlik, an 8th grader at MBMS, is an award-winning photographer who has been using the quarantine to practice his techniques, particularly on nature-related shots.

The recent period of luminescent waves gave him the perfect opportunity to experiment with long exposures and different shutter speeds. (With his dad, he was working on his shots of the waves until 1:30 a.m., without even realizing how late it was.)

"When I notice a possible picture, I ask myself, 'Is this picture worthy, and if so, is this something other people would enjoy looking at?'" he said. You can follow his photography on Instagram at owen_said_lik.____photos.

 The Laughter Project is a mask-making project run by a team of Manhattan Beach kids, with all proceeds from the masks donated to The Giving Spirit, an organization that helps the homeless.

 The team includes  Justin Oliak (16), videos; Jake Oliak (14) videos and artwork; Ella Luthro (14), production; Kate Ramallo (17), production; Emersyn Bradfield (12), production; Sloan Roth (13), production; Lorelei Davis (12), packaging and distribution; Avery Roth (15), marketing; Scarlet Kim (13), marketing; and Alexis Kim (11), marketing.

So far the team has raised a whopping $2,408 for The Giving Spirit with 87 masks sold to date.

Last but not least, don't forget about other amazing Manhattan Beach kids DigMB has featured in the last ten weeks:

Leah Szabo, a 10th grader at Mira Costa, who created a poignant photo gallery of Mira Costa seniors;
Taylor Ryan, an 8th grader at MBMS, who is taking her protective sports bra business to a national student entrepreneurial competition later this summer;
Ryan Rossow, a senior at Mira Costa who is coordinating local efforts to provide food to those in need;
Pnina Tofler, a senior at Mira Costa who is headed off to Israel to start a children's choir in war-torn city of Sderot, Israel.

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