Youth Media Program Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Sarah Pierantoni
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Our Community Media Center is a cooperative of public access, nonprofit media including, GRTV, WYCE, GrandNet, the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID), the Mobile Learning Lab for Information Educaiton (MOLLIE) and the Wealthy Theater. We provide individuals and groups with access to the tools training and means of transmission they need to join our mission of “Building community through media”.

Our VISTA member will assist in video and other media productions, primarily with the Mobile Learning Lab for Information Education (MoLLIE). MoLLIE works in large part with youth in the local financially struggling school system to help teachers fulfill curriculum requirements while also teaching the students the skills of video production using digital video cameras and iBook computers for editing.

Project Outcome: 

Over the course of Sarah’s Vistaship she has been instrumental in working with our various youth training programs providing a wide variety of skills. She was responsible for helping students make the best videos possible and teaching them to think critically about media and media messages. She took the initiative to outreach to communities we hadn’t worked with in the past including GLBT and the Triangle Foundation, and solidified relationships with them and our organization. She helped plan a film festival and worked on several video installations dealing with issues such as the war and discrimination. In addition, Sarah has helped out in our theater by operating the lighting board for concerts, selling tickets and running concessions. She teaches video production and editing classes to our members and so much more.

Here is a list of projects Sarah was involved in during her VISTA year:

1.Allegan County Community Mental Health: produced, shot and edited a documentary about the stigma of mental illness.

2. G.E.T. Girls Empowering Together: since January worked with a group of High School girls in a leadership mentoring program to mentor, produce, shot and edit a documentary about the program, “Breaking the Surface,” available for viewing at

3. The MOLLIE Club: a weekly video club for students in middle School that provides an opportunity for them to come in and Make videos.

4. MOLLIE (Mobile Learning Lab for Information Education): Went to area schools and non-profits teaching youth how to produce, shoot and edit videos.

5. Real Pride: helped start the planning process for a film and documentary series about LGBT issues.

Impact Quote: 

Sarah had an especially strong bond with [the G.E.T. program participants] and it was great to see their reaction to the documentary we helped them produce. They had a really fancy dinner with a lot of area dignitaries in attendance when the documentary was screened for the first time. Many commented to us afterwards about what a great project this was and committed to funding another program this year.”
- Gretchen Vinnedge, supervisor

Transmission Project