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Alumni Spotlight: Myles Dawson '17

By Adam Isler, Advancement Consultant
From photography, videography, and graphic design to marketing and entrepreneurship, Myles Dawson '17 is already the founder of his own media brand and is carving his own path, while currently a Sophomore Marketing Major at Howard University's School of Business. I recently had the opportunity to sit down (over Zoom) with Myles and get to know more about him and what got him where he is today.

Raised in Harlem, Myles attended pre-school at St. Mark's The Evangelist on 138th before joining us at MCS in the 5-6's. Always a creative, he was drawn to drawing (no pun intended) and painting at a young age. Of all the teachers Myles had over the years, art teacher Janice Movson made one of the biggest impacts on him. She gave him the freedom to express himself in any way he wanted. This helped his confidence in the arts flourish, which he has carried on to college. After graduating from MCS, Myles went on to The Beacon School, where he explored digital media and photography. In addition to digital media, Myles has a passion for basketball (you'll later find out how he has blended the two). Because of Myles's height, he played center for Beacon's varsity team. He was later, more comfortably, positioned at shooting guard and the wing in AAU and plans to play in an intramural league at Howard University, as long as COVID restrictions lessen.

Myles recently wrapped up his freshman year as a Marketing Major at Howard University's School of Business, with a focus in Visual Arts. At Howard, he has a particular interest in sports media and had the opportunity to join the modeling organization, Models of The Mecca as a Photo/Video Specialist, which involved a competitive admissions process.

He is also the founder of MKD Media, where his "goal is to continue to grow as a business-minded creative and tell stories through digital media." Myles wears many hats with MKD Media - while running the brand, he's the photographer, videographer, graphic designer, marketer, and more.

During the beginning of the pandemic, with fewer options to occupy his time, Myles picked up his camera and started taking photos. This led to the birth of MKD Media in June 2020. He took his skill set and interests and used them to fill a need and provide a service. In December 2021, Myles alongside fellow MCS Alum Zuri Campbell '15 and business partner Jordyn Hill made a pitch to Howard's women's basketball team, which they felt deserved more representation. Their proposal was initially denied, but with patience and determination, they soon found themselves hired. MKD Media attended the team's practices and games and provided a range of photography, videography, and graphic design for the organization, including action shots for their social media and posting stats for their website. Between the basketball team's media coverage and schoolwork, Myles felt a bit overwhelmed at times, but he viewed it as a worthwhile test in time management that will certainly prepare him for the years to come, especially since he aspires to become a Creative Director down the line.

Myles also keeps himself busy doing freelance work, including shoots with Howard seniors for their graduation, Philadelphia-based clothing brand Savage Series 8, Back 2 Basics Academy (run by MCS educator Jermaine Lloyd), Harlem Fashion Week, Children’s Aid (where he gained very useful professional experience working on graphic design for their social media), and The Black Comics Collective. One particularly big achievement of Myles' was when he got to document the very first HBCU x NBA Classic and NBA All-Star game (see attached photos).

When he isn't busy with his own schoolwork and MKD Media projects, Myles is usually playing basketball or exploring Washington DC. He enjoys taking walks around the National Mall, the National Museum of American History, and admiring the local architecture.

When asked if/how MCS has impacted his life and career path, Myles said the impact is second to none. MCS taught him how to see the bigger picture in many aspects of life. How to analyze and have a critical eye. It helped him identify his ideals and to this day, he constantly refers back to "the golden rule" - treat others how you want to be treated. MCS showed how vital it is to find a community and appreciate the value of support systems. This is what later attracted him to Beacon and then Howard. When I asked for specific memories from MCS, Myles lit up as he recalled:
  • his time managing product lists, profits, pricing, and income with La Tienda;
  • the public speaking experience he gained during the Social Justice Data Fair, which directly prepared him for presentations in college and pitching solutions for companies;
  • Farm chores - they were fun at first and at times were annoying as he got older, but he knows they provided him with attention to detail. If a task wasn't done correctly, John or Cathy would ask Myles and his classmates to do it again. He credits these tasks for his perfectionism in his work and studies.
I also asked Myles what he feels is the most valuable aspect of MCS' mission and program. He told me, "it's the transparency that teachers and educators provided to us, giving us the ability to be critical thinkers as we analyzed current events and topics, and communicated our opinions in a safe environment. I also value MCS' push for each community member to provide a positive impact on the world and those around us."

It was a true pleasure to get caught up to speed on Myles' life. We're proud of what he's accomplished and can't wait to see what's next!

You can keep up with Myles on his website (mkdmedianyc.com) and Instagram @mkd.media.
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