Ryan Seacrest Foundation gives young patients 'The Voice' - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

The Voice at Seacrest Studios, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Ryan Seacrest Foundation gives young patients 'The Voice'

Updated:
At The Voice at Seacrest Studios, young patients like Rebecca Welch are live on the air-- thanks to Ryan Seacrest. At The Voice at Seacrest Studios, young patients like Rebecca Welch are live on the air-- thanks to Ryan Seacrest.
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ATLANTA, Ga. -

Being stuck in a hospital is not something any child should have to deal with.  But thanks to a very familiar face, kids who are being treated at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have a unique way to pass the time.  

Ryan Seacrest might be known as the face of American Idol, but to many, he's also "The Voice" of Dunwoody.  He hasn't forgotten his Georgia roots, and he's inspiring kids who need it most of all. Spend 10 minutes inside The Voice at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and you'll quickly see what Ryan's efforts mean to kids and their families.

Like many great things, The Voice got started over dinner.  His mom Connie told FOX 5 Ryan wanted to do something to give back.  So, at dinner one night, the Seacrest family dreamed up a plan to bring radio to kids in hospitals-- starting with his hometown of Atlanta.

"To think that it was just an idea at dinner, where Ryan said that he wanted to do something," his mom said.  

That dream has since become a reality for Ryan and his family.  Together, Ryan, his mom, his dad Gary and his sister Meredith started the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and created Seacrest Studios, which are real, state-of-the-art radio station inside children's hospitals across the country.  There are studios in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, and come next month, Orange County, California.  Boston is also on the horizon.  Inside those studios, kids can learn all about how radio works, and try it out for themselves "on-air," broadcasting to patients throughout the hospital.  

Rebecca Welch of Dallas, Ga. is a patient at CHOA, but she's also a bona fide radio co-host. She's comfortable-- though admittedly a bit nervous-- doing big interviews with big-name celebs-- like The Host stars Jake Able and Max Irons-- on her own, but her first reaction to The Voice was a little different.   

"It was very, very big and I would have no idea what I was doing if I stayed down here for very long!" Rebecca remembered.

Like Rebecca, kids who are undergoing long-term treatment at the hospital come to The Voice to learn about radio with DJ Wendy Threatt, who is on-air in the afternoons. The studio's walls are covered with autographs from stars who have dropped by to visit with the kids, from Usher to Justin Bieber.  

"There's been a lot of stuff in the hospital for the little kids.  There hasn't been a lot for the tweens and teens until this came," Wendy explained.

Rebecca says after getting a little experience at The Voice, she knows now she definitely wants a career in either radio or acting in the future.  She will never forget meeting the stars of The Host, which is exactly what Ryan Seacrest had in mind.  

"And the best thing is, it makes a difference-- to the children, and I have to say, to the parents," Connie Seacrest explained.  "I have lot of the parents come up to me and say, 'Will you please thank your son?'"

For more on The Voice at Seacrest Studios, click here for a link to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation's website.  You can also like Ryan Seacrest Foundation on Facebook, or follow them on twitter @ryanfoundation.

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