As many of you might know, in addition to print and multimedia design, one of the fields that I’ve been pursuing since art school is film & video. Through Gypsy and with The Nature Conservancy, I get to work on all kinds of video projects, in all different phases: shooting, editing, composing original music and doing voice overs.
What many of you may not know is that I also teach a video class at my old alma mater, the George Washington Junior High School in Alexandria. The program—iMovie Mentors—was set up through the Alexandria Courts system and funded by a grant from the City of Alexandria. It is a mentorship for at-risk, minority and immigrant boys in sixth and seventh grades. The kids are paired up with an adult mentor from Alexandria and the two work over the course of the year shooting and editing a short film based on life around town.
(Note: the Washington Post article mentions me as one of the mentors, but I should point out that I’m not. I’m just the guy who teaches the after-school video class each week.)
These are some of the brightest and most creative kids I’ve ever seen. They dive right in to everything they do and they are incredibly fast learners. The mentors in the program are equally enthusiastic, and I have a great deal of admiration for their dedication and civic pride. I can’t imagine working with any program or group of people that could make me prouder to be an Alexandrian. As I’ve told many people: no matter how bad a day I might have had, leaving that class each week never fails to clear up my perspective and inspire a fresh breath of creativity in me. It really is an honor.
Thanks to Director Linda Odell, Mentor Alexey Tolchinsky, and student Anthony Wright, iMovie Mentors just got some well-deserved press. Check out Sunday’s Washington Post article here, along with the cool photo gallery from our weekend trip to Police Camp. This is great exposure for a great group of kids, a great group of mentors and a great program! Go iMovie Mentors!
photos © Alexey Tolchinsky, Anthony Wright