Youth Media Program Development

VISTA Name: 
Kevin O'Brien
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Kevin further developed a youth web magazine project based on the project that CTC VISTA Alison Hale had started the year before. The name of the project is: Teen Limitz. Here youth participants wrote stories, took pictures, and learned many skills: Web publishing, Design, Macromedia Dreamweaver, HTML, Flash, and Adobe Photoshop. Kevin also taught a web design class for adults in both English and Spanish at the Center.

Kevin is to provide tech support to residents in the Villa Victoria neighborhood that were given computers through IBA’s computer donation program. He has made over 50 visits to fix software and hardware problems. He also developed a training manual to help residents learn about providing Tech Support. The guide addresses all the common problems that residents face and shows how to fix them. This guide is available online: http://www.iba-etc.org/tl/supporttraining.doc (29 MB)

Project Outcome: 

Kevin successfully recruiting the three teens that had previously worked with Alison. He then taught them how to build their own webpages and link them together. He helped them with their writing and editing. By working with WiredWoods, he was able to get help with the curriculum development and tracking as well as get digital cameras loaned to the program.

The teens can now say with confidence that they know how to develop and maintain a complete website. They can also build their own pages, and enter into more advanced training programs. This could potentially be a way for these kids to find high-paying jobs.

Kevin also taught a dozen adults how to make their own pages. They were excited to learn and help each other learn.

Kevin was very patient and understanding with the residents. On each of the site visits to fix residents’ computers, I heard that he took time to teach residents about the computers and encourage them to take more classes.

Impact Quote: 

I was impressed with Kevin’s persistence and dedication to the project. He would knock on their [teen volunteers’] doors if they were late and work around their schedule to get things done. By the time Kevin left, I felt the teens had gotten a valuable experience from him.”
- Kimberly Lopez, supervisor

Youth Program Development

VISTA Name: 
Diliana de Jesus
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Our Americorps VISTA project focused on increasing the capacity and sustainability of UTEC’s Multimedia programs through various development-based responsibilities. Diliana was responsible for grantwriting (specifically focused on enhancing our community technology programs), organizing special events (fundraisers, open houses, etc.), coordinating phone-a-thons, developing PR materials and UTEC’s first-ever annual report. Diliana was expected to work with and train teen leaders in all aspects of their development work.

Specific responsibilities included:

•Attend, participate, and occasionally facilitate all staff meetings and planning retreats.

•Serve as a counselor and role model for youth involved in the Fundraising Team.

•Design and carry out annual development workplan.

•Research and write grant proposals.

•Coordinate special event fundraisers.

•Develop a resource guide for the Development Department.

Project Outcome: 

Diliana’s background in communications has only strengthened her contribution to UTEC by focusing on increasing the capacity and sustainability of our multimedia programs through various development-based responsibilities. She also works with and trains teen leaders of the Fundraising Team in all aspects of their development work. In addition, she assists with the program development in the areas of video production, sound recording, and web design. It is obvious what a tremendous asset Diliana is for our organization, but it is also apparent that Diliana herself has grown professionally from the hands-on development work of our multimedia programs. She plans to continue this type of work well into the future.

Diliana has played a major role in being an active participant in the organization’s overall development. She has consistently supported her co-workers, emphasizing the team environment at UTEC. Diliana has the skills to bring an idea to life. For instance, UTEC’s first major fundraiser will be taking place early next month. Diliana worked with teens in the Fundraising Team to gather ideas/themes for the event. Since then, she has developed and followed a timeline to make the event a future success!

Diliana has accomplished the following major tasks as based upon her workplan:
• Completion of first-ever UTEC newsletter (second issue now in progress)
• Just recently completed first-ever Annual Report.
• Completed three monthly Open House Nights (and built a system for carrying out this work).
• Developed new mailing list for all fundraising activities.
• Secured donations from various businesses as part of program ads for newsletter.
• Completed and submitted various grant applications (as well as grantwriting training course).
• Developed new bios for all staff.
• Currently documenting all work as part of a new Fundraising Resource Guide.
• Currently planning a special event fundraiser to support a new capital campaign.
• Interviewed and hired teen fundraising staff.

Young Entrepreneurs Society, Inc.

Orange, MA

Helping teens and young adults in rural Western Massachusetts USA find and follow their own paths to prosperity through entrepreneurship, job readiness and financial education since 1998.

Served over 1,000 young people since inception in Massachusetts, Iowa, Alaska and Canada. Findings from over 500 BizVenture! pre- and post-program evaluations completed to date show that:

100% of our students more than doubled their overall business knowledge
85% identified a special talent they can use to earn a living
91% feel they know enough to start their own business and make a profit
95% plan to go on for more education after high-school
15% are operating a business
60% are holding a job
90% remained in or completed high school
55% performed voluntary community service

Reel Works Teen Filmmaking

Brooklyn, NY

Reel Works Teen Filmmaking is centered of the conviction that every young person has a story to tell and an important contribution to make our world. We believe that filmmaking holds within it essential disciplines of literacy, communication, creative and critical thinking, storytelling and teamwork that young people need to effectively express their unique visions. In the process they gain self-esteem, master state-of-the-art technology and are transformed from passive consumers to active creators of media. We say to teens: You have a voice. Use it!

Founded in 2001 at the Prospect Park YMCA, Reel Works is a full-time nonprofit arts organization that serves over 150 teens each year through five core programs: The Lab, The Master Class, Reel Impact, Reel Works Productions and the Summer Lab.

Transmission Project