By Josh Cohen
Nov. 6, 2017
ORLANDO – Children from the New Image Youth Center in Parramore will have plenty of great stories to share when they see their friends at school on Tuesday.
They spent their Monday evening downtown at Plaza Cinema Café 12 with Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross, Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw and Magic Dancers. Together, they watched a private screening of Wonder, an American family drama film scheduled to be released in theaters nationwide on Nov. 17.
Viewing this particular movie meant a lot to Ross and all the kids. An adaptation from an award-winning children’s novel, Wonder is an inspiring and heartwarming tale about a boy with a facial deformity learning to adjust to his new school and surroundings.
The film teaches youth about the harmful effects of bullying, overcoming obstacles, accepting others for who they are and building confidence and courage.
“Everyone deals with this one way or another,” Ross said. “It’s good to have people understand the consequences of it (bullying) and what you can do to help someone get through it because it affects lives.”
Shanta Barton-Stubbs, the executive director of the New Image Youth Center, shares that same perspective. She’s confident this movie can have a positive impact on youth from all different backgrounds.
“We are in a day and time right now where it’s just very important for kids to feel comfortable no matter what their situation is, no matter what their economic status is, no matter what behavioral issues or even defects that they may have,” she said. “I’m hoping that our kids are able to hear the message today that no matter what the situation is that you are special. You can be whatever you want to be.”
Prior to the kids walking into the auditorium, Ross and Outlaw helped serve them food and drinks from the concession stand. The smiles on the faces of the children delighted Ross, who remembers from his youth how critical it is to have role models while growing up.
“Seeing them happy, asking questions, having fun, it’s well worth it,” he said. “I’m excited to be here.”
When the movie ended, Ross handed out goody bags to each of the 50 children. The youth also took pictures with Ross, Outlaw and the Magic Dancers.
“This is an amazing way to start the week off with kids be able to come and not only see a movie that has such an amazing message but be able to meet Ross for the first time and longtime friend Bo Outlaw who has always been involved with the New Image Youth Center,” Barton-Stubbs said. “The kids are so excited. Being able to walk in and recognize that there was red carpet, that there were dancers, that people were here to greet them. The excitement over their faces just told the whole story. We’re always grateful for the partnership with the Orlando Magic.”