ST. PAUL (Sept. 2, 2013) —
This summer, twelve talented local high schoolers participated in the Youth Intern Program at the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network.
For the ninth year in a row, SPNN hired youth through the city of Saint Paul’s Youth Job Corps. A program of St. Paul Parks and Recreation, YJC helps economically disadvantaged youth gain exposure to a variety of jobs across the city while earning a summer income.
Over the course of just seven weeks, the Youth Interns learned all aspects of media making, including camera, lighting, and audio. Each participant directed an autobiographical video project in preparation for the short documentaries they would be creating with local community partners. Along with two peer mentors experienced in media making, plus two adult staff members, Youth Interns took field trips to community organizations and explored many topics they might want to focus on for their documentaries
Once the Youth Interns had become trained in basic production skills, they set out to produce their documentaries. Participants worked in groups with three different community partners; the Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment, Eureka Recycling, and the St. Paul Almanac. The documentaries focused on issues of local import, chosen by the Youth Interns, allowing participants the opportunity to visit with experts all over the city while exploring their topics. One team covered Food Justice, while another group interviewed local artists and writers. The team working with WISE, which serves girls who are new Americans and refugees, spoke with alumni and participants, about moving to the United States and how WISE supported them.
As the summer came to a close, YIP held a celebratory screening of the final documentaries at the Galtier Cinemas in Cray Plaza. In less than two months, this diverse group of youth, who attend high schools all across Saint Paul, had learned job skills and digital literacy while exploring their community. Sharing their work with their friends and family, several of the young participants expressed interest in continuing media making as a career.
With the City of Saint Paul’s continued focus on the importance of youth development and out-of-school-time programming, SPNN is honored to offer robust programs like YIP to local youth. SPNN offers award-winning programming for youth throughout the school year and summer.