Mobile Learning Lab Trainer/Technician

VISTA Name: 
Abby Balazs
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Abby’s year with the Mobile Learning Lab for Information Education (MoLLIE) was characterized by a transition of the project from a previous role of working in traditional classrooms to a new service area involving after-school programming for at risk children. Over half of the jobs MoLLIE took in the 2004-05 school year were at after school centers run by the School district in conjunction with the city Parks and Recreation Department.

MoLLIE taught participating children how to write, shoot, and edit, for cablecast, their own curriculum-linked skits, PSAs, and mini documentaries. As a MoLLIE trainer/technician, Abby was essential to the success of those programs.

Project Outcome: 

Other ongoing projects that Abby was crucial to the success of included:

- “Project Safe Neighborhoods” (U.S. Department of Justice) in which Abby facilitated the efforts of local youths at neighborhood associations and community centers in writing, shooting, performing, and editing their own Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on the subject of gun violence prevention.

- Wedgwood Christian Services of West Michigan. Similar to PSN, the Wedgwood project involved providing at-risk teens with the tools, training, and means of transmission to create their own mini documentaries and PSAs focusing on substance abuse prevention.

Both of these long term projects have been very successful due in large part to Abby’s commitment, diligence, professionalism, expertise, and willingness to work with at risk teens.

Abby’s final, and perhaps most lasting project, done in conjunction with previous VISTA/Americorps volunteers Laura Craig-Bennett, Amy McKenzie, and Jennifer Harris, has been the editing of a four-episode series of documentaries entitled “Girls to Governors” which commemorates the role of Michigan women in politics. Funded locally by the Nokomis foundation of Grand Rapids, the VISTA/Americorps producers of “Girls to Governors” seized upon the election in 2001 of Michigan’s first female governor, to examine the emerging role of women in local, state, and national politics and public service.

The editing of this series was the capstone event in and outstanding year of service provided by VISTA volunteer Abby Balazs. The VISTA program should be very proud to have Abby as an alumnae just as we are proud to have had her as an employee and team mate.

Impact Quote: 

Abby brings with her a high degree of expertise in her field which she is eager to share with students and colleagues alike. She is enthusiastic and very effective as a teacher, especially in a one-on-one setting. She has a warmth and a focus that children are very responsive to. Abby is setting a very high standard of performance in all aspects of her job with MoLLIE, and I am happy to have her as a member of the team.

Gov 2.0 Summit

September 7, 2010 - September 8, 2010
Washington, DC

Gov 2.0 Summit brings together innovators from government and the private sector to highlight technology and ideas that can be applied to the nation’s great challenges. In areas as diverse as education, health care, energy, jobs, and financial reform, there are unique opportunities to rethink how government agencies perform their mission and serve our citizens. Social media, cloud computing, web, and mobile technologies—all provide new capabilities that government agencies are beginning to harness to achieve demonstrably better results at lower cost.

Social Networking Conference

June 16, 2010 - June 18, 2010
Beverly Hills, CA

The Social Media Conference are the largest events that cover the mobile Online Community industry, the business social networking and enterprise social networking industry. The next event will be held on June 16-18, 2010 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, USA. The Beverly Hills event will focus on the mobile online community market as well as business/enterprise social networks.

Tabla Rasa: App Forward

June 14, 2010
Washington, DC

We’re assembling another master cast (see our group in NYC) of innovators, developers and visionaries — we call them Davincis — for hands-on guidance, creative inspiration and how-to maps for apps on the iPad and the wave of mobile, high-concept, high-touch personal computers. We’ll demonstrate how first-movers create advantage. We’ll show how the app-savvy can expand engagement. We’ll flash forward to the shiny new things that will make your eyes pop in the exciting years to come. But mostly we’ll help you figure out what to do now, as well as in your flash-forward future.

Transmission Project