Our mission for our Civic Engagement & Leadership project is twofold: (1) our team of talented filmmakers will create a handful of short documentaries to promote community non-profit organizations that offer girls opportunities to improve their health, academic success, career-readiness skills, and leadership skills. Secondly, we will host a community event that will include a film festival and community outreach fair that will showcase all of our documentaries as well as allow each community organization to promote itself and its benefits to young girls and families all across Los Angeles.
Our Girls Build LA group from USC Media Arts & Engineering Magnet (affectionately known as USC MAE) is composed of ten very talented, aspiring young women. Each girl has gained a substantial amount of knowledge and experience making films by taking courses in Filmmaking 1, Filmmaking 2, and/or Documentary Filmmaking. In addition to being devoted to academics in school, our group is involved in the community. Everyone works with different community programs both through school-sponsored events and on their own time. Each of our community partners holds a similar mission: (1) offering safe grounds after school for children and teens and (2) empowering young adults by providing them leadership skills, career-based skills, college readiness training, and/or opportunities to mentor. Through their commitment, these community partners exist to help all local students become better community members and be successful in their future college and career goals.
By participating with a variety of community organizations, our Girls Build LA team has been involved with many aspects of our neighborhoods. Some of our partners include School On Wheels, a nonprofit organization that assists homeless kids across Los Angeles. Red Shield is an after-school recreational building for children where our girls have volunteered as role models by tutoring younger students. Ghetto Film School (GFS) is a free, intensive 30-month training in filmmaking where two of our girls are learning skills to gain the skills needed to work in the film industry. MESA takes place on our campus after-school and teaches students the basic knowledge and skills required to get jobs in the field of engineering. Last but not least, many of our girls have a close contact with the 24th Street Theatre, which has teenage girls serve as mentors to the younger generation through acting classes. Having a close connection with all of these neighborhood organizations, our group has been able to play an active role in being a part of our communities and help teenagers become better prepared for their future.
To help promote these great community partners, our GBLA team is going to make a short documentary about each one. Our talented filmmakers will shoot, edit, and finalize different documentaries, highlighting what each community partner has to offer local teens. Our final event will primarily be a Film Festival, showcasing the different documentaries we have been working on. In addition to that, we will have all organizations present to have more information about themselves and answers questions so people know how to join. Through communicating with our mentor Margaret Chernin, we have already received several tips and resources on how to plan and execute a successful event. We have even been lucky enough to have found a possible location where our event will be taking place. We will promote our films, community partners, and our final event on social media. We plan to invite all other Girls Build LA teams and staff to attend as well as our classmates, school staff, family members, and friends! With much dedication and design, we are optimistic in hosting a successful event that everyone can discover new organizations that can help them gain skills for their futures and make their communities even better places to live.
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