Joslyn Young '10 Launches Summer
Institute for Youth Media in Chester, Pa.
by Alisa Giardinelli
Joslyn Young '10
With less than two weeks to go, 10 Chester, Pa., teens are in the final stages of editing their film projects, one of the key components of their involvement in the Chester Voices For Change (VFC) Summer Institute. Founded and directed by Joslyn Young '10, the Institute trains youth in media literacy and production and is made possible by the College's Lang Opportunity Scholarship program and local community partnerships with the Chester Police Activities League and Team Making A Change.
"The goal of the VFC Summer Institute is to train a group of youth media producers in Chester, who will then establish their own voices as community change agents," says Young, a Lang Opportunity Scholar and educational studies and sociology and anthropology special major from Ann Arbor, Mich. "I hope the teens will feel empowered by sharing their own stories through new media and getting to know their community in a new way, acting as leaders, role models, and voices for their own neighborhoods."
Volunteer Lauren Ramanathan '11 (right) reviews camera basics with VFC participant Christian Mills.
The Institute, which opened at the Unity Center in Chester, consists of six weeks of video production tutorial as well as facilitated discussions about the larger social implications of media images. The teens participating in the program are charged with producing video projects to be shown at a community premier in early September. In order to give the students deeper connections with their community and valuable work experience, Young has also arranged for participants to serve as part-time interns with various media outlets in Chester.
"This is such an amazing opportunity, for me as well as for the teens I'm working with," says Young, who developed the Institute with the help of the College's Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. "I've already learned so much from the process that goes along with the Lang Scholarship and I know this summer will teach me even more. I can't wait to learn from these teens' stories as I watch them come together to create something from and for their community."
Eugene M. Lang Opportunity Scholarship grants are awarded each year to as many as six members of the sophomore class who are selected by a special committee on the basis of distinguished academic and extracurricular achievement and demonstrated commitment to civic and social responsibility. Stipends are based on financial need and take the form of full grants up to the amount of total College charges. Each Lang Scholar is also eligible for a paid summer internship, funds for educational enhancement, and a budget of up to $10,000 to support a service project which, in the opinion of the staff of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, will facilitate social change in a significant way. Scholars whose final projects are completed are eligible for a fellowship of $10,000 for graduate study, payable at $5,000 per year for each year of graduate school up to two years. The Opportunity Scholars Program is made possible by the gift of Eugene M. Lang '38.